|Photo credit: Johan Fantenberg|
But this state of affairs unexpectedly benefit both the smaller operators and independent hotels in Thailand and the independent travel agents in the originating markets as the field is left wide open by the large travel brands as they sidelined destination Thailand to shift their focus on other destinations. In good times, it is very difficult and expensive for the small businesses to compete effectively for market share against their larger competitors, so the misfortune of Thailand tourism becomes an opportunity to reach potential visitors who would normally be drawn to the major travel brands by their highly visible marketing.
Give your guests the opportunity to help you!Social media, SEO and all the trendy internet tools are indeed useful, but past all the hype, the reality is that building an audience sufficiently large to translate into sales within a reasonable time frame is seldom practical or affordable for the smaller businesses. The time and resources required to reach “market level” are not within the human resources capacity and knowledge typically found at a small or medium size independent hotel or local operator.
However there are ways to make good use of social media without devoting your life, or that of your staff to it. You do have develop a familiarity with the different flavors to devise some simple recipes that will work for you. Each channel has a different audience, or a different ear of the same audience, and a span of attention that is 99% of time measured in milliseconds and 1% of the time long enough to serve your purpose.
Obviously you want to create a page about your business on Facebook and at least once a week add pictures with brief paragraphs showing activity with your customers. But don’t be misled to believe that this page will bring you much business because for all practical purposes you are mostly talking with your own customers, you are “preaching to the choir” not engaging new visitors. However, if you post something interesting or funny, funny always gets a bonus, then your own fans are more likely to share it with their own friends bringing a new visitor now and then. If you can get your own customers to post on your page, then you are going to reach that customer’s friends as a first hand account, a personal endorsement, that is far more valuable than any post you make yourself.