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This post was written for Hotels, Hostels, Motels, Apart Hotels, Bed and Breakfast or Vacation Rentals.
For the past 18 months we’ve seen a greater Return on Investment when using Facebook Advertisement to advertise rooms, specially when compared to Google AdWords.
The reason is very simple: people spend in average 18 minutes every day on Facebook sharing links, clicking on links (which implies browsing and thus consuming), requesting friendships and chatting.
Although each Hotels’ target is different according to demographics, location, seasonality and budget, it is worth to spend between 15% to 35% of [online] marketing budget for a particular season, since not every season properties should spend the same amount. Talk to your community manager to reach the most convenient number for a specific campaign.
According to the length of time a campaign should impact your target, we’ve classified Facebook campaigns into two major groups.
Constant Reminders: campaigns that are always present year-round designed to spark desire to travel to a specific location, like in the case of leisure travel. For business travel, consistent campaigns cause pervasive brand impression that facilitate the decision when purchasing. We recommend Hotels to clearly invite the traveler to book on your website.
One-time Campaigns: used to promote events, discounts or promos. Just as Constant Campaigns, be sure to clearly invite the traveler to book on your website.
Regardless of how you want to reach your audience, here’s the universal checklist to create a Facebook Ad
Step-by-step checklist to create a Facebook Ad for Hotels
To set up a Facebook Ad, hotels, apartments, BnBs or vacation rentals, follow this list together with your community manager or webmaster. If you are confident enough, just try it yourself with a low budget.
Step 0: Start with the Ads Manager
To start, simply click on the down arrow on the top right corner and click on Create an Advert or click here to get started.
Step 1: Choose the objective for your campaign
Social media advertising must always follow an objective to measure the success of your campaign. Objectives help Facebook Ad’s manager to guide your Hotel through the process of creating an effective advert. The options are:
The scope of this article is to help Hotels (and any vacation rental property) to capture more reservations on their website in order get more margin on each reservation. To increase reservations on your booking engine, you should concentrate in the following Facebook Advert objectives:
|Advert Objective||When to Choose it|
|Promote your Page||Your ad will be optimized to reach people in your audience who are likely to take the action of liking your Page. When people like your Page, your posts may appear in their News Feed, along with posts from their friends and family. Promoting your Page might be a good option if you want to engage with your audience or reach new customers. Use hotelRSV Link Generator to take users directly to the Booking Engine. Remember to use lead_src parameter to track the source of the campaign.|
|Send people to your website||You can set a custom destination URL. For instance, you could send people to your website’s homepage, online store, contact page or any page you want people to see. By default, your ad will be optimized to reach people who are likely to click on your ad. Use hotelRSV’s Link Generator to take users directly to the Booking Engine. Remember to use lead_src parameter to track the source of the campaign.|
|Increase conversions on your website||You’ll need to add a piece of code to the HTML on your website. You should add the code to a website page you want to track conversions on. For instance, if you want to track how many people saw your ad and then actually went and purchased the product you were advertising, you should add the code to the purchase confirmation page of your website. By default, your ad will be optimized to reach people in your audience who are likely to convert. Use hotelRSV’s Link Generator to take users directly to the Booking Engine. Remember to use lead_src parameter to track the source of the campaign.|
|Get people to claim your offer||You’ll create an ad with a coupon, discount or another special deal you want to provide. You can choose an audience for the ad you run and can decide how many people can claim your offer. hotelRSV’s Splendidus! Coupon Generator is exactly what you need for this Advert Objective. Create a Coupon Code and use hotelRSV’s Link Generator to take users directly to the Booking Engine. Remember to use lead_src parameter to track the source of the campaign.|
For advanced social marketing campaigns, these two objectives are worth a try.
- Reach people near your business: This objective is ideal if you want to target last-minuters. You’ll target people in and around your local community by setting a radius around your business. Local Awareness may be the right choice for you if you want to increase in-store sales or foot traffic. Running a local awareness ad may also help you build awareness of your business in your local community. Mix this with a last minute Coupon Code generated with hotelRSV’s Splendidus! Coupon Generator to capture that traveler on your website instead on Booking.com
- Raise attendance at your event: Defining an event can be very broad: you can promote an event on your city, a dinner party open to the public at your hotel’s restaurant, or even create your own weekend event. Select Raise attendance at your event to create an event ad that people can add to their calendar on Facebook. People will get reminders about your event, and you’ll be able to see how many people responded to your invite. To reinforce this campaign, create a Coupon with hotelRSV and use hotelRSV’s Link Generator to take users directly to the Booking Engine. Remember to use lead_src parameter to track the source of the campaign.
Step 2: Create Your Advert Set
An advert set is just a container, later on it will be useful to reuse most of the options above when you want to target slightly different targets.
CHOOSE YOUR AUDIENCE: Who would you like to see your adverts?
Hotels usually know who their travelers are and where they come from. If you use a PMS like Novohit or a Booking Engine with Analytics, export your sales sources report or the Traveler Origin statistics.
Remember that advertisement campaigns can have a specific duration (e.g. 7 weeks), so you can have different geographical targets for different seasons.
#hotelrsvtip: Play a little with geo targeting. Dare to expand the geo-target to target a different region. Do your homework first, the internet offers great statistics about traveler’s behaviors and perception of your region. This will allow you to make a better decision when exploring new markets and reduce the risk of wasting precious marketing budget.
Be sure to be very precise when it comes to Age and Gender, use your guest history statistics. There’s little room to play here. For more on the specifics of these criteria, visit this Facebook targeting resource.
Choose your Budget: How much would you like to spend?
Facebook offers advertisers the option to set either a daily budget or a lifetime budget.
Daily budget. If you want your ad set to run continuously throughout the day, this is the option you’ll want to go for. Using a daily budget means that Facebook will pace your spending per day. Keep in mind that the minimum daily budget for an ad set is $1.00 USD and must be at least 2X your CPC.
Lifetime budget. If you’re looking to run your ad for a specified length of time, select lifetime budget. This means that Facebook will pace your spend over the time period you set for the ad to run.
How much should a Hotel Spend on Facebook Advertisement?
After years of trial and error, we’ve come up with the hotelRSV’s rule of thumb for Hotel Web advertisement for constant campaigns:
US$ 3 X room X month X channel
Where channel may refer to Social Network, Search Engine, Traveler Portal or to a specific campaign set. In case of the Euro-zone, instead of US$3, use €3, same for British Pounds. All other currencies are suggested to use US$ as reference.
Example, if your hotel has 350 rooms and this is your only campaign on Facebook, the Daily budget for a Increase conversions on your website campaign should be around
US$ 3 x 350 rooms / 30 days = US $35/day
Turn to the advanced options to further play with some settings that will allow you to optimize your campaign dollars:
Schedule: Choose whether or not your want your campaign to run immediately and continuously or if you want to customize the start and end dates. You can also set parameters so that your ads only run during specific hours and days of the week.
Optimization & Pricing: Choose whether or not you want to bid for your objective, clicks, or impressions. (This will alter how your ad is displayed and paid for.) By doing so, you’ll pay for your ad to be shown to people within your target audience that are more likely to complete your desired action, but Facebook will control what your maximum bid is.
We usually do not recommend to allow Facebook to set optimal bids for you but to opt for manual bidding. This option awards you full control over how much you’re willing to pay per action completed. Facebook will still provide a suggested bid based on other advertisers’ behavior to give you a sense of what you should shoot for.
If you prefer Facebook to optimize the bid, lower your budget and track constantly your campaign, ideally two times per day.
Delivery: Delivery type falls under two categories: a) standard and b) accelerated. Standard delivery will show your ads throughout the day, while accelerated delivery helps you reach an audience quickly for time-sensitive ads. This option requires manual bid pricing.
Step 3: Create your Advert
This is where you setup the graphics and text that will be deployed on all the devices so that users see it and click it.
Every Objective or Advert type has different directives, Facebook clearly explains dos and don’ts of each.
Example: Send people to your website OBJECTIVE
We strongly suggest to review Facebook’s guidelines to help you choose images for your adverts, which as of today, are the following.
Single image ads
- Text: 90 characters
- Link Title: 25 characters
- Image ratio: 1.91:1
- Image size: 1200 pixels x 627 pixels. (Use a minimum image width of 600 pixels for ads appearing in News Feed.)
Multi-image ads — a.k.a. Carousel Ads
This format allows you to set up three to five scrolling images at no additional cost.
Recommended image size: 600 x 600 pixels
Image ratio: 1:1
Text: 90 characters
Headline: 40 characters
Link description: 20 characters
Your image may not include more than 20% text. See how much text is on your image.
Facebook provides the following design recommendations for Carrousel Ads.
After Step: Measure Performance
Although we suggest tracking daily or twice a day, results become tangible between 48 to 72 hours after your ad has been created.
Facebook’s Ad Manager provides useful insights of the effectiveness of your campaign. Since you every campaign has an objective, you can measure according to the objective.
But the ultimate measure for travel providers is room reservations. It is according to the number of reservations that a Facebook Advert creates that you will renew, modify, tweak or simply trash a campaign.
hotelRSV Marketing Software for hotels provides analytics to track the source of a sale, enabling properties to detect if a reservation was the result of an social media advertisement campaign.
Be sure to use hotelRSV’s link builder when creating ads, setting the proper lead source parameter to track the effectiveness of each social media marketing campaign.