Staying at my favourite hotel in Gent, I have been discussing with the staff ideas on how they can promote their Facebook fan page. Here are my ideas:
- Open your page to comments from people – you can always delete them later if you want, but it’s good to leave people freedom to add something. Personally, I would choose the option to allow comments to be added without moderation from you. There is no real risk if you can delete them anyway.
- Comment on the pages of local events, businesses, mentioning your FB page
- Invite your personal FB friends and ask everyone you know personally to do the same with their FB friends
- Find other people on Facebook that are commenting actively on other related pages and send them a FB message introducing your page and asking them to visit it, like it
- After you have created a bit of content and the page starts to work, send one email to all existing hotel contacts from your database telling them the page exists and asking them to like it, share it with friends or run a competition
- Add your FB site address to your email signature, invoices and other social media presence, eg Twitter account
- Publish diverse content – 2 times a week, Tuesday or Thursday +/- 7pm or during the weekend
- Plan your posts with www.Hootsuite.com so that it can happen when you are not there. That means that once a week/month, you can spend 30 minutes planning content for the coming period, rather than have to actually do it every time on Facebook
- Don’t publish so much about your own hotel. Publish more about related on-brand things that encourage people to see your hotel as a good place to be in Gent. Events, places to visit, Gent history, other restautants you like, a new movie opening up, local musicians….
- When you publish something about your hotel, make it more interesting than a photo or menu
- Ask questions, eg: “We are listening to “The Bee Gees” this morning. What’s your favourite early-morning music?”
- Do a mini interview with someone who works in the hotel
- Use a blend of media, especially short videos of max 90 seconds
- To make a network platform work, you need to ask, give and thank. Examples….
- Ask people to visit the page, like, share and leave a review. You can do that on the back of your WIFI code paper, on placemats for drinks at the bar, on papers at each place in the conference centre and fter people have stayed, sending them an email asking for like, share, review or comment.
- Run a competition, asking people to take a photo of their stay in Gent and publish on the page, then share with friends. The one with the most “likes” wins. This encourages people to share something from your page with their own FB friends, which means more visibility (and maybe likes) for your page..
- Info about on-brand things going on around Gent, eg cinema, events and ther local businesses
- When confirming bookings, tell people if they like the page they get a free coffee or other drink, a few chocolate etc..
- “Like” anything anyone adds or says
- Add comments when people comment
- Continue verbally thanking people for their effort when you see them in the hotel
Finally: My own experience tells me that if you set some targets for Facebook page success, this will motivate you to do more and get better results.