FaceBook Vs Adwords (Updated)

In the past we have tentatively proposed that hotels should be using Google Adwords and possibly FaceBook as marketing tools, but time marches fast in the Online Marketing Industry and we would now use stronger language;
‘If you aren’t investing in Adwords you are losing money, and if you aren’t investing in FaceBook you are missing opportunities’.


The most successful way to use Adwords is set an Ad to appear when someone searches for your property name ie 'cedar hotel bath'. If you are wondering why your website isnt already top of the search results it is because once you have contracted with the OTA's one of the first things many of them will do is set up an ad to appear when someone searches for your property. (We will set aside a discussion about the rights and wrongs of that for the moment). By having your own ad at the top of the page it can prevent your customers being syphoned off by the OTA's.

One good thing about Adwords is that the results can be measured. Your web company will be able to tell you the cost of the click and the value of the room sold. In our experience Adwords will convert at a rate of 10:1 ie for every 1€ you invest you will get 10 back. This has to be compared with the ROI of the OTA's which at a commission rate of 15-20% is in the region of 6 or 5:1, considerably worse than Adwords.

But you have to know that the conversion of Adwords (measured using Google Analytics) is almost certainly an understatement. If a customer finds a hotel website through Adwords, and then books by phone, or e mail, or on a different computer this cannot be measured by Analytics, so any results are always an under-estimate of the benefit of Google Adwords.
in short, unless you have money to waste and burn, set up a Google Adwords Campaign!

The key to all this of course is to capture people who are ALREADY SEARCHING for something. But what about reaching out to people who not necessarily thinking about going anywhere and are not yet doing any searches on Google?


5 years ago we often heard hotels say 'I would really like to promote to the Golf/Walking/Cycling/Golden Years/Stag-Hen Party market', but i dont know where to get a customer database from'. The answer you might guess is FaceBook, their ability to allow you to target specific users is almost downright scary.

For example, if you want to promote your property as a Wedding Venue you can actually promote your FaceBook ad to people within a certain radius for your property who have become engaged in the last 3 mths, 3-6 mths, 6-9 mths etc etc. (AccuBook is always inundated setting up FaceBook Wedding Promotions shortly before Christmas ready to go live on December 25th,.....a time many engagements happen).

As a further example one of our customers wanted to attract more Golfers to their hotel. So they used FaceBook to target a promotion to;
  • Men
  • Over the age of 40
  • With the interest 'Golf'
  • Who lived with a 50 mile radius of Stanstead Airport
  • With the offer - 'Free collection and return to the airport for groups over 12. Ring and quite xxx to avail of this offer'.
(Flights from Stansted flew twice daily into their local airport)

Not only can you target specific audiences, but you can also target users as they enter specific locations. It is becoming quite common for hotels to have a FaceBook campaign targeting users who arrive at a specific airport for example.

Overall for most properties we imagine Google Adwords budget increasing over summer when people are actually searching for something, then tailing off over winter and the FaceBook budget increasing as the FaceBook Marketing tools are used to put promotions in front of people who were not actually searching for anything.

Facebook vs Google