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Facebook marketing programs soar

17 Dec, 2012 By: Stephanie Ricca
 


 

Speakers on the travel trends and social media panel at the North America Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference included, from left, David Krantz, program director for the Center for Responsible Travel; and Lane Douglas, principal of social media solutions for MarketBridge.

Whether you engage the services of an agency for your hotel or brand's social media marketing or you do it in-house (or yourself, whenever you have a free minute), chances are you've seen firsthand how customer engagement in sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has grown this year.

eMarketer today reports that according to a recent STRATA survey of U.S. advertising agencies, Facebook remains the social media site most likely used for client campaigns (82.4 percent of U.S. ad agencies used Facebook for clients as of Q3 2012, for example), followed by YouTube and Twitter.

And Facebook spend will only increase in 2013, according to recent data from StrongMail, as reported by eMarketer.com: Nearly 40 percent of business executives polled around the world by StrongMail said they planned to increase Facebook marketing spend in 2013. Facebook beat out projected Twitter marketing spend in 2013 (23.3 percent) and even spend on agency services (13.9 percent).

Speakers at Hotel Management's North America Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference earlier this month said social media and marketing go hand in hand, particularly when it comes to travel, hotels and tourism. They said hoteliers must consider more than just the particular social media platform they want to participate in, but also how to incorporate marketing goals into the plan.

"You need to invest in ideas that create conversations," said Jiri Marousek, director of digital for Brand USA. "You don't want to just check the box. If you're figuring out a way to post something [to Facebook] at the same time every day, in advance, then you're doing it wrong."

Lane Douglas, principal of social media solutions for MarketBridge, elaborated: "It's not wise to say you're going to have just a Facebook strategy or just a Twitter strategy. A social strategy is about intentional engagement, it's not just placing ads on Facebook."

But if research like the STRATA and StrongMail studies prove true and businesses continue to increase their investments in social media marketing strategies like Facebook, then they want to ensure that money is spent wisely.

According to NATHIC speakers, that requires some up-front conversations.

"There are many tools, but it's important to understand how all these pieces fit together," said Chris Seek, president and CEO of Solimar International. "You have to ask, 'What is the purpose of this? What are we trying to accomplish?' Companies should be investing for up-front strategy and up-front learning and training for how these things work. Outsourcing social media is not the way to do it."

Topic : Social Media, Digital Marketing, NATHIC
External Source : Hotel Management, eMarketer
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