Long gone are the days when people used to meet in person to share their happiness, sorrow, achievements and other things with their friends and family. The rise in digitization has made people communicate over social media platforms every day. Sharing of pictures, messages and videos are done in a fraction of a second, to anywhere in the world. This advancement in technology has proved to be beneficial for the service industry. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest have been successful in keeping people engaged and this has made it possible for businesses to promote their services on these platforms. In addition to this, the increasing reliance of people on devices like smartphones has been utilized by businesses in the service sector to increase their reach in a very short time. Thus social media marketing has proven to be an ideal method for businesses to pitch their services to millions of people.
The primary benefactor of these platforms is the hotel industry. A few years back, people needed to personally go and book their accommodation in a hotel as a remote booking was not possible at that time. Because of this, only those multi-national chains of hotels used to benefit who had already established their names in the market, which meant the less popular and newly opened hotels suffered. But today the social media platforms along with smartphones have made it possible for a business of any size and name to reach to several people without much effort. Hence making reservations from anywhere in the world can be done in a few minutes due to these platforms. These days, travelers rely a lot on social networks to find hotels that they can trust. This is because people who have previously stayed at such hotels post their reviews online so that other people are aware of the quality of service and amenities that the hotels have to offer. Hotels have started leveraging the online resources to drive traffic on their websites by increasing the interaction with their customers over Facebook, Instagram, etc. A study has shown that the people who spent more time on the social media pages of a hotel tend to make reservations directly from the hotel’s website rather than going through a third party. This happens because hotels have started offering discounts to people who follow them on social networks.
The hotel industry is just one example of how social media marketing is being utilized by the service industry. Other sectors such as educational institutions, communication services, financial services (Insurance and Banking) and social services have started taking advantage of these marketing strategies for their benefit. The key points to be considered while implementing these strategies are as follows:
1. Create engagement of target audience through popular mediums like Facebook page, Instagram handle, etc.
2. Promote your service through interesting blogs that would also help to drive traffic on the company website.
3. Mention case studies on the website or reviews from the people who have already utilized your service. Also always address negative reviews and try to figure out what went wrong.
4. Offer discounts or other benefits to your loyal customers.
5. Do detailed research to choose the perfect social media platform that will benefit your business.
Social media marketing is an economical and easy way to promote your business or service globally and develop your brand image. However, only after a careful study of such platforms is it possible to generate leads and increase brand awareness.