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How To Use Facebook


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18 replies to this topic

#1 Andy B

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 12:10 PM

I am hoping this is the right place to post this topic.

Our company specialises in Web Software for the Hotel Industry. Righlty or wrongly so far we have steered our customers away from Social Media until they have the basics of Online Marketing sorted.

Having said that many hotels in these distressed times do have a lot of one-off type offers and events, and we are starting to see that Social Media could be a good way of disseminating them, alongside the usual Adwords/E Zines and SMS.

Twitter seems straightforward enough; Set up an account for the hotel and post an offer, possibly only for Tiwtter followers/fans etc.

Facebook seems a little more complex. I have set up a personal account, and then created a Page and a Group for our own software company.

But what do you think the hotels should be doing. As they are my customers and i am theoretically doing web marketing for them should i;
A. Create more 'pages' for the hotels individually from my own personal account.
B. Simply post any of the hotel messages on my own company business page.
C. Encourage the hotels (ie do it for them) to set up their own personal account and then own hotel 'page'.

What do you think is best?

Last question, is there an APP that would allow me to 'pull-back'/embed onto their websites their Facebook Page



#2 Jill

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 01:13 PM

You can help them set up their own account and their own groups, etc.

It won't do any good for you to post about them on your account, typically.

#3 ScottSalwolke

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 03:06 PM

I'm going through something similar with a client that is a furniture store. All of sudden they want twitter, myspace, facebook, and youtube. I'm setting up facebook, but I still can't decide how we can use it to promote their products except to interact with customers.

#4 Andy B

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 05:19 PM

One hotel today raised some very strong reservations about Facebook etc, primarily because they are worried about who can post what ie i suspect if they could simply post away their own content on Facebook they would be happy enough to give it a go, so long as no one could post a potentially damaging comment, so i guess i need to research that more closely.

I see your problem Copywriter39, i too feel a little pushed into this area without any clear sense of the benefits (but i reserve the right to chnage my mind!)


#5 nethy

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 10:52 PM

Hi Andy B,

As a rule of thumb, that attitude is not very conducive to "Social Media." It is not a rare attitude. It is a conventional instinct among businesses brought up on defending and supporting their 'brand.' It may be rational. However, getting value from youtube, the blogosphere, facebook, myspace etc. is very closely interlinked to giving up a certain amount of direct control over your brand. Facebook is not a good place to put out press releases. Not every company should have a facebook account.

Many companies are extremely risk averse in this regard. This may mean they should stay away from social media.

I think that this thread is an example of a growing issue in our history: PPC, SEO, Analytics, etc. These services are a good fit for almost all companies. Virtually all small-medium businesses can get some value from seo/ppc/analytics/conversion optimisation etc. This can often be delivered without the company getting their hands very dirty (AKA outsourced)*. A consultant can come in, build a site. Create an adwords campaign. Optimise & promote the site. The company/client gets sales, leads, bookings, etc.. If you can do this for a zoo and an electrician, you can probably do this for a Lawyer or a cofee shop. The process is similar. We can argue about the importance of client involvement in the process. But the above process works. Almost for every market. Remarkably so. But this is an exception, not the rule.

This is not the case with social media. Some businesses cannot get any value from facebook/twitter/youtube/myspace. Many of those who will get value will do so in different ways. Can you imagine becoming a 'fan' of your electrical goods store? How about 'sharing' a video by your dentist? How about 'following' the motel you stayed at last year?

I'm not saying that there will be instances of success here. But they are (almost by definition) not everyone.

*Jill I know you're different in this respect. More power to ya.' I think if a mix of training & services are the way to go with SEO, they are definitely the way to go with Social Media.

#6 Andy B

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 03:55 AM

Thanks Nethy

That is a very useful insight into how business might and might not be able to use Social Media. It gives me a good steer when talking to hotel customers.

If anyone DOES have some good real life anecdotes or stories about how businesses (in particular hotels) were able to use Twitter or Facebook to their advantage please let me know.

I was kinda pushed odwn this path by a Webinar a week ago when a hotel chain Web Marketer explained how they use Facebook for example to offer special room rates on particular dates to the facebook community.

#7 Randy

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 07:21 AM

QUOTE
I was kinda pushed odwn this path by a Webinar a week ago when a hotel chain Web Marketer explained how they use Facebook for example to offer special room rates on particular dates to the facebook community.


I think this is probably the optimal way to use the various social network platforms at this point Andy. To let folks know about special deals and such. Or anything that's outside the norm really.

I do know a few companies who have been using this or that platform to offer discount codes to those users. One test that I know of that I'll be interested to see the results on is an Events venue where they're not only announcing upcoming concerts and such on their social network accounts, but they're giving the folks who follow them first crack at getting seats. No discount or anything like that. Just that the people following them get the first shot to get the best seats, before sales are opened up to the general public.

Without having seen any data previously on this kind of approach, I still think the concept holds promise. Especially if they can leverage it into getting more people to follow them on the social network platforms. The very idea that there's a usually pretty tight time restriction (they're testing giving these folks a week's opportunity to get in early vs just a day or two) could spur more impulse buying. Not only for the big name shows, but also for the shows that traditionally don't sell out or don't sell out as quickly.

And then there's the whole buzz aspect that gets people talking...

#8 Andy B

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 04:28 PM

Thx for that Randy, i do have a lot of hotel customers who are really pushing out the 'events' boat to try and get customers in. One hotel in particular has a lot of themed dining evenings, so maybe i will give it a go in this area.

#9 Andy B

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 04:31 PM

Incidentally, i was sent this list if Twitter Apps that shows how Twitter can be used to get the most out of it (hope i am not breaking any [url=http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?act=boardrules]Forum Rules[/url] here)

www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/03/17/99-essential-twitter-tools-and-applications

#10 Randy

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 08:05 PM

I would have to say there aren't 99 "essential" applications. Some of them are nice, some might be helpful, but I wouldn't consider most of them to be essential.

My main thing would be to make sure I had some sort of analytics set up, assuming your tweets will be sending traffic to your site via one of the url shortening services. If the target site happens to use Google Analytics I've posted some scriptlets to make this easier over on my personal site. If you're using something other than GoAn they can be tweaked pretty easily to allow you to track those clicks, and even what they do after they arrive at your site.

#11 nethy

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 08:33 PM

Hi Andy B,

I am not an expert on these. Expertise here is pretty crucial. You're not going to get very far with a company reluctantly saying 'put me on facebook.' These are delicate mediums with a lot of nuances. marketing this way needs to be pretty clever.

One thing to get your mind around is that social media is what you might call 'deep marketing.' As a company, you can get found on google, sell a product or service and be forgotten the next day. That's the majority of goods and services we buy. Very shallow engagement. You don't talk about it. You don't care about it. You don't think about it. People can read Seth Godin and get excited about being talked about. But by definition, these are going to be a minority.

Case Studies
Here's a piece of meta research. Grokdotcom is usually a wealth of good posts about major aspects of internet marketing & ecommerce. Hit most topical categories & you usually find theories, figures, discussions, case studies. Hit Social Media and you get plenty of posts. But they are all very light on numbers, facts, company names, etc.

Large Brands
http://www.searcheng...-business/7792/

A Smaller Brand
Betterworldbooks (If you haven't heard of them, now you have. Get your internet marketing textbooks from them. Sell them your old books. Friend them on facebook. Follow them on twitter***

I don't think expertise can be built here at the drop of a hat. Start by being a consumer. Use twitter facebook... daily. Try to find your next hotel on facebook. Make an effort to find an entertainment spot on myspace. See if you can find a reasn to buy something on twitter.


-Remember that a lot of success 'social media marketing' is binary, or at least has hurdles. That is, many if not most efforts will yield 0 return.
--This is all very new. I am not an expert. What I am saying is from 90% hearsay, conversations I've had, anecdotes, and 10% experience. Just a disclaimer

***Here is a real life example. I am willing to plug for this company. I would not be willing to plug for Borders, regardless of their facebook strategy. It's not only about the industry. It's also about very fundamental aspects of the company's nature.

#12 ScottSalwolke

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 11:42 PM

Nethy thanks for listing these sources. They're very helpful.

#13 Andy B

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 08:14 AM

Likewise thanks for those resources.

All those posts have helped me to orientate how our hotel customers mights be able to use Social Media. it sounds to me like the idea of simply posting special offers doesnt quite meet the criteria, and that it would be better used where hotels are reaching out to their customers as a community. Strangely enough i have a couple of hotels who are really building strong links to their csutomers via cooking events/demonstrations/menu-of-the day/chefs recommendation/themed dining evenings etc etc.

These hotels really are building a loyal band of followers, so i believe that something like Twitter might be a very good format for them.

In addition a hotel suggested a potential good use for Facebook. In the leisure break market many hotels LIVE from weddings. We have built into our website a tool that allows wedding guests to logon and update their own page of details, and have guests post comments, images and videos. But the take up has not been great.
Well the suggestion was to create a Facebook page (or group?) where upcoming weddings can be loaded and Facebook Members can interact. I guess this is depedent on how many people are actually members of Facebook.

Can anyone save lazy me a few hours research and tell me if Facebook content or even webpages can be pulled back onto a website, maybe in a similar way that Tripadvisor Comments and Google Maps can be?






#14 Randy

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 10:37 AM

QUOTE
and that it would be better used where hotels are reaching out to their customers as a community.


That's exactly the approach I've seen work Andy. Where the business is a central cog bringing people together for sure, but the real power lies in the Community.

I've no answer on your Facebook question. I haven't used it enough to know whether that's possible or not.

#15 nethy

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 07:51 PM

Sorry Andy B,
I'm not really a facebook expert. Seem's I'm more of an armchair social media guy wink1.gif

But you seem to be a few steps ahead of the first step that I seem to come across every time social media comes up. No one will follow a twitter that is a list of upcoming deals if you only need that deal once a year. If you really want that you'll search out some sort of twitter coupon book (aggregator of some sort). Getting casual business, that's what adwords is for. Facebook is for highly engaged relationships, something most companies do not do (regardless of what they think they do). Facebook is also probably more about building relationships between 3rd parties with you involved in some capacity. Because that's what Facebook does anyway. I'm getting very speculative, but I'd say that if facebook ads ever take off, it'll be ads getting you to do something within facebook, or facebook-like.

It's not anywhere near as good as actually answering your questions. I realise. But... Here's some cheap advice
I think you should probably bite it & spend a few (lazy) hours to get a feel for how businesses use social media in their marketing. I read some piece of vintage advice written by Yahoo Shops before it was Yahoo Shops (1998). Seems a lifetime ago. It still rings true. "If you want to be an online merchant start by being an online customer." Imagine a restaurant started by someone who'd never eaten in one. If you are starting an online shop but don't buy online, you will have all sorts of ideas. They will be wrong.

Make a conscious effort to notice & be exposed to companies using these mediums. Be a consumer. I'm gonna plug for BetterWorldBooks again & say: Go check out everything they do on social media See the RHS column of their blog. They do a pretty good job. Whenever you come across a site/company that seems like they are pushing social media, add them to your facebook/twitter/myspace/etc.

*Sounds like your clients are bordering on entertainment. Maybe Myspace is the place to go.

Edited by nethy, 26 April 2009 - 08:45 PM.





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