The Other Social Dilemma Facing Hoteliers this Budget Season
By Tambourine
Wednesday, 18th November 2020

How much should hotels spend on social media marketing? It’s quite the Dilemma.

A recent Netflix documentary shined a light on the many ways social media platforms prey on the behaviors of their users, which got users talking, which got advertisers talking.

And here we are.

The other side of the Dilemma.
The truth is users aren’t the only victims here. Hotels, too, have fallen victim to the ever expanding costs of managing and maintaining their social media marketing efforts. With every new platform hoteliers embrace comes a host of associated marketing costs. And each year, the marketing budget for social media creeps upwards.

Think about it?
The cost to manage your reputation. The cost of guest response and customer service. The cost to advertise. The cost to produce content. Multiply that cost by three or four channels and advertisers can quickly find themselves upside down, spending as much or more on social media marketing than their highest performing channels.

Rising costs and diminishing returns.
If recent events have taught hoteliers anything, it’s that you’ve got to trim the fat. And social media marketing programs are notoriously fatty. For example, it’s not uncommon for a social media program to include things like 24/7 real-time guest response and engagement, daily content publishing, and photography. Some even go as far as drone photography? These are the same strategies major brands and publications leverage with million dollar ad budgets.

Perception is reality.
For many hotels, the perception that social media must be done well seems to have eclipsed whether or not it’s actually necessary to do social media at all. In some hotel organizations, it’s easier to get a social media shoot funded than it is to get a wedding venue photo shoot funded. Shouldn’t hotels prioritize the programs that drive the highest revenue?

Social costs are raising eyebrows.
In recent months, hoteliers have been forced to go through their hotel marketing budgets with a fine tooth comb, lining up their marketing channels in order of highest performing and lowest cost. And no surprise here—social media isn’t very high on the list. Hotel marketers are blessed with a myriad of marketing channels that show tangible and often impressive return on investment. Sadly, outside of robust remarketing campaigns, social media marketing still isn’t one of those channels. And ROI obsessed hotel marketers are taking notice.

A pragmatic approach to social media marketing.
Nobody’s saying delete your social media channels. Well, the Netflix documentary might be saying that. But now more than ever, hoteliers need to ask themselves the tough questions like: How do we create a practical approach to content? How do we maintain a brand standard without having to pay for expensive photo and video shoots? How do we post less and still be relevant?

How much should I budget for social media?
After well-funding your most critical channels and arming your sales team with the tools they need to win more deals—after you’ve done all that without compromise—whatever’s left, that’s what you budget for social media.

Flash back!
How much is your hotel budgeting for social media? What percentage is social media marketing of your overall marketing budget?

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 36th year, is located in Fort Lauderdale, Carlsbad and Bogota. Visit Tambourine to learn more about our new line of segment based hospitality solutions.

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