Perhaps more than ever, social media is a valuable pathway for hotels to connect directly with travelers. It's one of the channels where hotels can nurture relationships with past guests and surface new audiences that may be eager to escape the "work from home" reality faced by many.
Social media can also be a place to waste a lot of money! Effective digital marketing has always been about results: capturing the most bookings at the best possible rates at the lowest cost. This imperative has been put into sharper focus due to the budget restraints triggered by the global pandemic. There's simply no room for sub-optimal performance that wastes marketing spend.
That's why you need to understand the role of Facebook's Custom Events and Conversions within your overall digital marketing strategy. By fully leveraging the features of your existing tools, you'll improve your hotel's digital marketing so that you capture as much business as possible with your existing budget. Here's what you need to know — and what you need to do right now — to optimize your spend on one of the most widely-used marketing platforms.
Events and conversions are a way to fully leverage your Facebook Pixel. As a refresher, the pixel is a small piece of code installed on your website that allows you to connect activity on Facebook to user behavior on your website. The pixel helps you optimize your spending on Facebook by doing key things:
The Pixel delivers these benefits by tracking events and conversions on your website after someone interacts with a Facebook ad or content on your Facebook page. Armed with these insights, you can further refine your marketing strategy by better targeting your advertising and optimizing your landing pages for conversion.
To track the behavior on your website that results from your Facebook ads (or organic content), you'll need to define which actions you want to track. It's similar to how you set up events and conversions on your website's analytics tool; it's just that these events and conversions tie directly to activity on Facebook's platform of sites.
Once a custom conversion is set up, you can then zoom in on specific customer actions, such as customers searching for certain lengths of stay. Once Facebook receives enough data from your custom conversions, it can use that information to optimize ad delivery to those most likely to take that action — such as showing ads to people most likely to purchase extended stays.
When choosing which events to set up for your website, choose ones that matter most to your understanding of the path to purchase. For instance, if you're noticing an uptick in cancellations, perhaps add a custom event for viewing the cancellation policy, along with a custom conversion related to a completed cancellation, to see if there's a correlation between customers that view the policy and eventually cancel. If so, you can tweak messaging and targeting in a data-backed effort to reduce costly cancellations.
That's just one example of how you can combine events and conversions to develop a more robust picture of your customers path-to-purchase. By setting up events along every step in their path, you can measure how well you're doing at moving customers through to purchase — and identify the most influential touchpoints in the decision making process for each segment.
Along with your primary website analytics, you can then improve your user experience, refine marketing messaging and optimize the conversions that have the greatest impact on revenue. Full visibility into the path to purchase is a powerful tool in improving the impact and effectiveness of your hotel's digital marketing!
Of course, these events and conversions can also be tracked in your standard analytics (as "goals") or even via your CRM (as tags). The beauty here is that you can use these events to build dynamic segments, which you can then easily target across Facebook's properties. That saves you a lot of time and increases the overall effectiveness of your social media marketing!
To get your creative marketing juices flowing, here are three ways that you can use Custom Events and Conversions to boost your hotel's digital marketing.
As you build your Custom Events and Conversions, consider how best to leverage Facebook's many ad formats. Here's an example: for the geo-targeted campaigns, you could build out a dynamic ad carousel that features three different properties in the user's preferred city, with each image linking to a specific booking page. As you can imagine, this can be extremely effective — and can be put mostly on autopilot by integrating Events and Conversions into your marketing flow.
For a deeper dive into setting up your events and conversions on Facebook, we recommend the following articles:
It's certainly a lot of information to take in! But if your hotel spends a meaningful amount of money on Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and/or Instagram, it's a worthwhile investment to make. By connecting actions and conversions on your website to your Facebook investment, you'll have a better handle on your performance and increase the return on your marketing investment.
Can we add to the upfront why this is important now? We've done these in the past so it's adding to that library but it would be good to explain the importance of leveraging social media - especially Facebook right now.
Cendyn is the leading innovative cloud software and services provider for the hospitality industry. Their software solutions drive sales, marketing, and revenue performance for tens of thousands of hotels across the globe with a focus on integrated hotel CRM, hotel sales, and revenue strategy technology platforms. The Cendyn Hospitality Cloud offers a complete set of software services for the industry, aligning marketing, sales, and revenue teams to optimize their strategies and drive performance and loyalty across their business units. With offices across the United States in Boca Raton, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and San Diego and offices in the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan, Cendyn proudly serves clients in 143 countries. Their software solutions deliver billions of data-driven, personalized communications on behalf of their customers every year. For more information on Cendyn, visit cendyn.com.