Hotel banks on social media to drive up occupancy rate

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014


ATTESTING to the power of social media in business, a budget hotel in Cebu City reported that they get a high occupancy rate the whole year round even without adopting traditional forms of marketing activities and promotions.

“We adopt 100 percent digital marketing for (The) Center Suites,” said Johnn Mendoza, whose family owns budget hotel located inside the N. Gonzales Compound on Escario St. in Barangay Kamputhaw.

The Center Suites only allots a marketing budget of less than P20,000 in a month, Mendoza said.

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Because of the tight budget, the company has to make the best use of it while making sure that they do not compromise the reach of their marketing efforts. With that, digital marketing became an alternative for the company, putting high emphasis on social media and the use of Google tools and blogs.

“The idea is with so little amount of money, we were able to yield large amount of results,” he said. When the company opened in 2012, Mendoza said they were getting a very low occupancy rate.

From October to December last year, the budget hotel registered a 100 percent occupancy. It has 46 rooms with rates that range from P855 to P2,550.

Mendoza, who was also one of the speakers during the Social Media Day celebration on Saturday in Mandaue City, said other businesses can also use social media for marketing, especially small and medium enterprises.

Social, mobile

He said that with the large number of Internet users who are now in social media and with most of them on mobile, SMEs should grab the opportunity of making their business known to many.

Mendoza said that although businesses have adopted social media, many are still doing it the “wrong way.”

He said the tendency of most companies running a social media account is to just talk about themselves, their products or their services, without encouraging their customers or the market to get involved in the conversation process.

“Social media (communication) is not a monologue, it’s a dialogue,” Mendoza said. He said businesses should ask for the customers’ suggestions and insights rather than just talk about what they can offer to them.

He said that although companies can run their own social media accounts, there remains a need to consult social media managers or experts to guide them on how to run a successful social media campaign.

Mendoza said he will open his digital marketing agency, the Creative Republiq, next month to help businesses with their digital marketing and creative needs.

The Social Media Day is an annual global event celebrated every June. The event was launched by Mashable in 2010 “to recognize the digital revolution happening right before our eyes.”

Other places in the Philippines like Davao, General Santos, and Manila also celebrated the SM Day last Saturday.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 03, 2014.

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