Scandic hotels gets 640,000 views on Facebook and Google in the Swedish market - every single day, without spending a dollar on ads. Hotels are particularly well suited to taking advantage of viral and organic exposure on search and social media. People’s natural desire to tell their friends they are on vacation, on a business trip, or just taking a weekend getaway results in large volumes of views.
“In a big chain like Scandic, it is important that all of our hotels and restaurants maintain brand standards - as soon as we start deviating from that, we go down a path where the individual properties can get too far away from the central brand and also each other. This creates a risk that our customers suddenly will not recognize us when they see our content in a given channel.” - Philip Johannessen
Viral activity, as well as all marketing activities, can backfire however when customers find misleading information online or worse yet, none at all. When properly set up, those views can translate directly into increased reservations. In addition, since most people visiting a hotel are generally away from home, having locations properly set up on Google My Business and Facebook is a must. It is also important that the Brand is consistent and recognizable no matter where a customer looks.
Scandic Hotels is using PinMeTo technology to take control of their digital presence and ensure that each and every hotel is properly branded, has correct contact information, and shows up in local searches across multiple search, maps and social media networks.
Results from Facebook and Google after the first 30 days using PinMeTo: Over 19.2 million online views of their hotels in only 30 days. That’s over 640.000 unpaid organic and viral views every single day or 223.000 views of each hotel a month. Of those views, 11.400.000 came from Facebook (see Fig.1 below) and were created in part by 20.300 new Facebook check-ins at the hotel's Facebook location pages.
Since each local page has the “Book Now” call to action button, Scandic can directly capitalize on page views by directing Facebook users to their own booking service and skipping third-party provider fees (see Fig.2 below).
According to a study by HotelMarketing.com after the obvious price and location, the only factor that is more influential in hotel selection than a friend’s recommendation is the person’s own experience with a brand. A friend’s recommendation trumps loyalty programs, promotions, and is over twice as important as online reviews from strangers. Facebook is a particularly powerful platform for leveraging this “friend” influence as it combines social influence with business presence.
By publishing each local hotel to Google, Google Maps, and Google+ Scandic has ensured that search results, driving directions, and phone numbers are always correct and their guests can get the information they need to book a room and find the hotel. In a single month, this Google presence resulted in 8,400,000 views of locations across search and maps as well as an increase of 52,000 website visits and 179,000 requests for directions (see fig.3 below). In every case, Scandic can be confident that the results their customers received were correct and up to date.
In addition, they now have hotel booking options displayed directly in the Google search results (see Fig.4 below)
While there are many factors involved in how much exposure a hotel chain experiences online there is one thing that is constant: None of those factors matter if the customer can’t find the information they need to book a room or find a hotel. Worse yet, misleading information can sour a customer on a brand for life.