Social media key to mid-market expansion
As mid-market hospitality groups embark on further expansion strategies in the Middle East, social media is consistently highlighted as a primary driver in achieving occupancy targets
As mid-market hospitality groups embark on further expansion strategies in the Middle East, social media is consistently highlighted as a primary driver in achieving occupancy targets.
Social media now has 2,307 billion active users globally (up from 2.078 billion in 2015), and is transforming in the way hoteliers interact with guests.
“There are about 5.4 million active social media accounts in the UAE. This represents enormous business potential and is a great tool for sharing and connecting with consumers in a visually engaging way,” says Citymax Hotels head of marketing Rohit Challapalli.
Social networks worldwide, ranked by number of active users as of April 2016, sees Facebook in pole position with 1.59 billion monthly active users, according to Statista.com
“We have a great number of conversions from such online platforms, I believe 100% it can tip a potential customer into a becoming a confirmed booking,” says Dunes Hotel Apartments general manager Faisal Abdul Rahman.
“This is a continual learning process [social media], especially for hoteliers; but we realise how important it is to keep updated directly with our guests – they can communicate directly with us and we can respond directly to them too,” says Al Khoory Hotels group general manager Pierre Sokhon.
Cloud.7 Hotels CEO Marloes Knippenberg said: “Our strategy will target key social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat – because that’s the platforms where our market is.”
“We build around a community of people, and our people are our brand ambassadors; they push our brand on social media,” she added.
With more than half of the world’s adult population now using the internet, and well over one-third of the adult population using social media at least once a month, mid-market hoteliers in the Middle East are swiftly adopting the platform as a central aspect of their digital marketing strategies.