Facebook Ads are a brilliant way to target potential guests as a hotelier.

We know this, because, despite the bad press it often receives, Facebook is a goldmine of customer insight. It knows what people like, how often they like it, where they like to go, their interests, demographics and much more.

This means Facebook Ads should definitely be in your marketing plan, but before you devote any budget towards it, consider these five common mistakes made by hoteliers when using the platform.

1. Rubbish marketing collateral

It’s true that Facebook offers some brilliant ways to turn static images into engaging videos and slideshows, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with bad material.

Remember – Facebook Ads are designed to appear in front of a brand-new audience. They’ve probably never heard of your hotel and will need plenty of encouragement to engage with your ad.

With that in mind, your Facebook Ads need to look their absolute best with original, beautiful imagery and engaging copy.

2. Unrealistic targeting

It might be tempting to aim your ads at the Baby Boomer market only. After all, you’ve read plenty about how much disposable income they have to spend on things like hotel stays, haven’t you?

But what if Baby Boomers aren’t your target market? What if millennials are actually far more likely to come through your doors?

Think carefully about your perfect, most relevant audience. A common tactic is to first target a broad audience and then narrow that audience down for subsequent ads by only targeting those who engaged originally. This will help you define who is most likely to respond positively to your ads.

3. Stock imagery

We covered this to a degree in tip one, but it really bears repeating.

Why? Because you might spend lots of time crafting some fantastic, engaging copy for your Facebook Ad only to spoil it by hitting Pixabay to source your imagery.

The hotel industry is a highly visual one, and as an operator within the sector you have the perfect opportunity to show the world what makes your property unique and special.

So, instead of boring stock images people have seen a thousand times before, hire a photographer to take original imagery of your hotel; it’ll be worth the investment.

4. Poor timing

The more you know about your audience, the more you should know when to push ads their way.

Think about when your potential guests are more likely to book their holidays or short trips away. Facebook does some of the legwork for you here by optimising delivery times based on engagement and interests, but you shouldn’t rely solely on that.

Instead, pick a theme or offer that befits the time at which you want the advert to run. For instance, a ‘sleepy Sunday’ romantic package will probably be far more popular during early February than it would at the height of summer.

5. Forgetting to measure results

“We got nothing from that last Facebook campaign!”

If you’ve said that in the past, did you base your opinion on the metrics Facebook offered once the ad finished, or just a hunch?

Always remember to check your metrics for every Facebook Ad you run. They’ll reveal how many people were reached, how many clicked and will provide key insight into what you may have got wrong (or right).

Wrapping up

Now you know the common Facebook Ads mistakes that are made by hoteliers, you can avoid them.

Our advice is to start small with minimal budgets and ad durations and experiment with your audiences. The more you invest time in trial and error, the more likely Facebook Ads is to become a key marketing channel for you.

CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. CMS offers the most complete solution in hospitality software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry and will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at sales@cmshospitality.com. We will be happy to guide you to the CMS Hospitality solution that’s right for you.