Many accommodation owners and managers wonder how to increase their direct bookings so that they can save on commissions payable to Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). One of the best opportunities that Facebook and other well-known social media networks allow us to increase our brand awareness, gain new clients and become popular for your business/passion, is going LIVE. Facebook Live is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd and reach thousands of people in minutes. The best part of it all: it is free. You can go live any time during a day. There are no limitations, there is no fee to pay, and you can do that as many times as you want. To increase your direct bookings, you have to leverage that service. It will significantly boost your brand.
Some of the benefits of going LIVE are:
1. You provide unique content - the video that you share is live, so make sure you are prepared. Know what you will talk about, if you are not sitting in your office or at home have in mind that anything can happen while you are recording a video outside on the street. Be flexible and behave calmly if something happens that you did not expect at all. To be honest, live videos are exciting and challenging if you are not used to it. Also, you uplift yourself with it, and your self-esteem will increase video after video until you are entirely comfortable with going live. Perhaps you are very confident as soon as you shot your first video or after the sixth time. Either way, I am confident that you will see how easy it is and that is fun too.
Regarding the comments: there are always more likers than haters. Don’t worry about people talking trash about your video. I recommend not to focus on the haters instead on the likers. Reply to the supporters and provide them more information so that they know what to do next or how to continue with the content that you provided them in the video.
2. While going live, you can create excitement for a product, a service, a new position in your organization, or anything else you can think of. Be open-minded how to use FB-Live. It grabs the attention of FB-users quickly, and it is useful.
3. While going live, you are probably authentic. Your audience sees you as you are. They see your personality, character, and drive. That is the way how to connect with your fans more directly. They will appreciate that you take the step to connect with them on Facebook to provide them more value. A live video enhances your authority, and people will automatically trust you even more. After some live videos, you are not only a name and a picture anymore. Instead, you are a person to follow and to look for.
4. A live video has a significant impact on your audience. I am sure you read and heard about it already a couple of times, but maybe you did not push yourself to go live yet. If that is the case, then let me ask you the question -> how bad do you want that your business reaches a higher plateau? How bad do you want to succeed? How bad do want to be known for what you do and offer? To be successful has to do with commitment, accepting challenges, stepping out of one’s comfort-zone, trying out strategies that you have never tried out before. In fact, now you can use that excellent service to expand and grow for free, so push yourself and leave your fear behind you. People fail, but if they don’t fail, they don’t become better and better. If you are convinced of yourself and you know what you are going for then get out there and show the world what you are about. Enjoy who you are and let others enjoy you too.
If you dive into this topic increasingly, you will understand that if you are not part of this movement and essential marketing strategy, you miss out big time. Compared to a well-crafted email that you send to your subscribers, an FB-Live video is that well-written email x10. Just think about that your video is available on your FB-page, your audience can share it, people can like it, people can comment on it, and they can start a conversation with you in seconds. The more people get involved, the more attraction you will gain with it. To bring it to the point - the communication with your fans, potential new guests, clients is much more powerful.
5. The more often you show yourself live on FB, the more people will have a look at your FB-page. As soon as they see what you post and what your business is about, they want to know more about you, and so they will check out your homepage. If you regularly encourage yourself to go live, you will experience a steady traffic increase on your FB-page and own website.
Back to accommodation owners/managers that are looking to increase their direct bookings. Now, that I conveyed how vital it is to go live, I want to tell an excellent strategy to increase your direct bookings.
Imagine that Justin Timberlake will perform in your city in a month from now. Out of experience, you know that people come from all around the world to see him perform his best and newest songs. Why not use that opportunity to grab the attention of some new potential guests?
To do that, you just go to a location or even to the event hall and let your audience know that Justin Timberlake will be in your city in a month. That is not all. Invite your audience to stay in your accommodation and give them a discount code if they book on your website. Provide as much information as possible. For instance, my hotel is just one train stop away from the event hall (15 minutes). The location of the hotel is perfect to visit the event hall or fair.
In general, use the popular and eye-catching locations that your city has to offer to make people want to know more about it. If you are eager to succeed, make your city even more popular than it is right now. Each time you talk about your city/town in your videos, do not forget to connect it to your lovely accommodation.
Look at the following video that I shot at the David Guetta event:
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