3 steps to using Facebook for increasing your direct bookings online
Facebook is the biggest “networking event” on the planet. Did you ever think of it like that? It operates 24/7, 365 days of the year and if you use it as a business tool, as opposed to using it as a consumer, you’ll do well on the platform. Let’s explain first what I mean by “business” v “consumer”.
Most people will open Facebook to see what’s going on with their friends and connections.
As a smart and savvy business person, you’ll already know that surfing the cute cat pictures is never going to bring you any bookings, so we have to look at an alternative. Business-minded people use Facebook to educate, connect and engage with potential guests.
So how can you start to attract direct bookings using Facebook?
Start with your profile.
What does it say about you personally? Is your business truly reflected in it, or are you keeping your profile “separate” from your business?
I encourage you not to do that.
YOU are your business, and your profile is your “calling card”, like the one you’d take to a live networking event.
Take an objective look at it now, and ask yourself… is this the image I want to portray online?
Now that you’ve spruced up your profile to reflect you as a business owner, it’s time to start virtual “networking”. This means identifying the groups where your ideal guests hang out and making friends with people you might like.
Adding friends and building your personal network on Facebook is essential for attracting direct bookings. The bigger your personal network, filled with ideal guests, the more success you’ll have on the next step.
And in case you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned your business page, and why I’m not advocating using it
to attract direct bookings, there’s one simple reason for that.
Exposure for your posts on your business page is now a pay-to-play game, so unless you’ve got deep pockets for advertising fees, don’t waste your time. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need a business page!
Now that your profile looks good and you have a reasonable network of ideal guests, it’s time to engage with them by posting entertaining content.
In order to sell successfully on Facebook, you’ll need to warm people up and build a relationship with them. You need to get them excited and interested.
So when you have last minute availability and are desperate for guests next weekend, instead of posting availability with an image and hoping for the best, create a series of strategic video clips which position you as both the “expert” in your area, and as someone interesting.
Video marketing is hands down my favourite way to market a B&B business because
a) hardly anyone does it
b) video gets way more eyeballs on you and your property which leads to more direct bookings
…it won’t happen overnight, so now is always the best time to start!
And now, when you next need some bookings, you’ll have a strategy to implement.