The rise of social media has impacted nearly all business markets from clothing stores utilizing this tool to advertise its products, to corporate businesses using this to recruit potential employees. This outlet is effective and efficient in regard to simplifying operational processes such as marketing, research & development, improving brand image, and engagement from target markets. For example, the clothing store, PrettyLittleThing, quickly and successfully penetrated the online fashion market as they had the ability to accurately assess the situation and develop an effective implementation strategy. PrettyLittleThing’s quick success would not have been possible without the use of Social Media Advertisements.
Therefore, this blog post will dive into the considerations and possibilities social media advertisements can have for businesses in the hospitality industry.
Image 1: PrettyLittleThing’s Instagram Landing Page
Forms of Paid Social Media Platforms
There are various social media platforms that your hospitality business can consider. Each having their own advantages and disadvantages that can be due to the chosen target market. It is important to understand and compare which platform can be the most effective for your business which is dependent on your chosen geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral market segmentation.
Below, is a table that depicts the advantages and disadvantages that may help your hospitality business select which platform can be of the most use for increasing website traffic.
Table 1: Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media Ads
For more info about Facebook marketing, check out this blog here!
For more info about Instagram marketing, check out this blog here!
For more info about YouTube Ads, check out this blog here!
For more info about Google Ads, check out this blog here!
For more info about LinkedIn Ads, check out this blog here!
Is website traffic important for your hospitality business?
Website traffic is important for those businesses who utilize their website as a process in receiving the service. For example, hotels need their website to include a ‘book-a-room’ function as it is needed for potential customers to be able to purchase the service, as do restaurants with the ‘reserve a table’ function. Of course, the internet has made it relatively easy for customers to reserve through third-party websites such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com, however, the website is a brand image that potential customers are likely to investigate to get an idea of the environment and products/services of your hospitality business.
The reason in why third-party websites such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com are used widely by online users is because they are able to analyze customer reviews, rankings, and see more realistic pictures taken by customers, which makes these sources more reliable (Filieri et al., 2015). However, website traffic still plays a vital role in understanding whether the business is generating an audience which can result in an increase in paying customers. Additionally, the older generation demographic still utilize booking through the website as they still believe it is more reliable and trustworthy than a third-party website.
The considerations to selecting a target market that can result in sufficient website traffic.
There are various considerations that is needed in order to maximize how many users interact with your online platform. This being your chosen market segmentation. Liu et al. (2019) defined market segmentation as “a strategy that involves the division of a large market into segments of consumers with different needs, characteristics, or behaviour”. When combined with Keller’s consumer-based brand equity model (as explained in the previous blog posting), the understanding of the target market may allow your hospitality business to maximize an audience reach which can potentially increase website traffic.
Why? Well, this is because understanding your target audience and selecting the most appropriate market segmentation will allow your business to flourish in the sense that it will enable an accurate assessment of the situation such as revenue maximization (Ahani et al., 2019), similarly to the PrettyLittleThing example. Therefore, the implementation of social media advertisements can result in a more positive outcome as you are able to fully understand the consumer’s needs & wants, and the current trends occurring in the chosen target market (Liu et al., 2019). This understanding of the market is the key consideration needed in order to select an audience.
What you can expect investing in paid social media advertisements.
In a social media campaign that has been thought out carefully and effectively implemented, your hospitality business may expect an increase in website traffic and thus, potentially an increase in sales of products/services.
For example, a French Brasserie in Amsterdam has found positive growth in website traffic once they implemented an effective and structured social media strategy; they were able to adapt their target market due to deducting that their customers were from the younger generation. Thus, they improved their Facebook and Instagram platforms to satisfy the needs and wants of this demographic.
In addition to website traffic, investing in paid social media may result in a strengthened brand presence, increased sales, a better understanding of your target market’s preferences, and enhancing customer experience.
Check out this article for a summary of social media investments!
Should your hospitality business consider investing in paid social media advertisements?
Simple answer: yes, you should.
Your hospitality business should consider investing in social paid advertising as the positives outweighing the negatives. The main advantages for investing in social media is the fact that it can improve your hospitality business’ presence both online and brick-and-mortar due to results mentioned in the previous paragraph. Understanding your target market fully is key in order to deliver an effective social media strategy. Hence, the understanding will allow you to decide which form of social media platforms may be the most suited for your business. The disadvantages are the amount of time and effort needed in order to maintain your online presence including the fact that money is required for a positive outcome. However, the return on investing in social paid advertisements may result in an increase in website traffic that can be transferable for future sales of services and products.
So, good luck!
Ahani, A., Nilashi, M., Ibrahim, O., Sanzogni, L. & Weaven, S. (2019) ‘Market segmentation and travel choice prediction in Spa hotels through TripAdvisor’s online reviews’. International Journal of Hospitality Management. 80, pp.52-77
Filieri, R., Alguezaui, S. & McLeay, F. (2015) ‘Why do travelers trust TripAdvisor? Antecedents of trust towards consumer-generated media and its influence on recommendation adoption and word of mouth’. Tourism Management. 51, pp. 174-185
Liu, J., Liao, X., Huang, W. & Liao, X. (2019) ‘Market segmentation: A multiple criteria approach combining preference analysis and segmentation decision’. Omega. 83, pp. 1-13