Why social media works for us.

We thought we were ahead of the rest in creating a Facebook group (The HWY), then a Facebook fan page (The Highway) and finally a Facebook profile (Hwy Highway).  That was until Kelly Noble from Glam Digital came along and gave me the heads up.

Little did we know, a profile page for a business violates Facebook’s T&C’s and what’s the point in having a group and a fan page for the same purpose?  The problem was, like so many venues, we’d left our social media strategy to our IT guy who wasn’t really interested.  We certainly didn’t realise the potential impact social media could have on our business.

After; creating the Highway’s twitter account (HWYhotel), cleaning up our Facebook mess, taking advantage of Foursquare and now starting a blog, we’re finally getting used to social media.

I am lucky to have a General Manager and the owner of the Highway who although are not at all Twitter savvy, trust me when I tell them social media is a great marketing tool for us.  They let me sit at my desk and (among other things) tweet, Facebook, foursquare and blog away hoping to see it reflected in our monthly figures.

After 9 months, it finally has. Our marketing bill is way under budget and our turnover has increased across all departments.  We no longer feel the urgent need to spend thousands on radio campaigns, flood the city with posters or give in to the constant phone calls offering advertising space.  Although these mediums have their place, I feel much happier knowing only those who wish to know about us, do know about us.  We’re no longer throwing very expensive mud at a wall hoping some of it will stick.

Where did our success come from?  Is it because we engage our guests and answer their questions? Is it because users can put a face to the tweets & posts? Or is it because we’re one of the first venues to embrace social media?

I think it’s mix all the above, as well as having a social media strategy & policy that works.  Taking advice from people who have used social media for longer than I have, not spamming our followers and rewarding those who show interest seems to work for us.  Why don’t other venues give it a shot?

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About hwyhotel

Australia's Best Outdoor Area, SA's Best Bottleshop, confusing bathroom taps, great hand dryers, rad food & damn good cocktails.
This entry was posted in Hospitality, Marketing, Social Media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Why social media works for us.

  1. Ash Simmonds says:

    You guys do a great job, and whenever someone asks me about Twitter/social media/etc with regards to capitalising for business, I tell them to use The Highway as a case study – and for drinks.

  2. Prakky says:

    Congrats Hwy, on your first blog post. And what good reading it is! You continue to be a leading example of how the hospitality sector can utilise social media.
    (And congrats to me, for being the first to respond on your blog).

  3. Incognita says:

    Because social networks are frustrating, and the biggest one does nothing to eradicate its reputation as a site mostly for kids.

  4. Ash Simmonds says:

    @Prakky

    (And congrats to me, for being the first to respond on your blog).

    Pfft. :p

  5. enovapr2 says:

    Good to see you adding a Blog to your Social Media mix…. now time to focus on LinkedIn too …. lots of Adelaide people who book functions lurking there !!

    Yours is a great story that shows others what can be achieved by placing trust in someone and giving them time to deliver on their promises.

    I look forward to future posts as the journey continues and the benefits build. At the end of the day there is only one way to sell Social Media and that is bottom line impact and you certainly have shown that!

    And its a great venue too (much better than when my Grandfather owned it as The Halfway Hotel in the late 40s) … one I would not have re-discovered if not for Social Media.

    I have included some quotes and images from this blog in my “Is Social Media Right for You” presentation. …

  6. Pingback: Connecting with customers using Twitter. « Netforge Blog

  7. I’m looking forward to the Highway’s iPhone app being released…… If there’s one in the pipeline?

  8. Hmmm… What to request in an iPhone app…

    Upcoming Events
    Links to Facebook/Twitter/Foursquare
    Highway Blog
    Special Offers
    Bistro Menu
    Competitions
    Comments Page

    Everything that’s already available, but all in one place, and no need to switch between website/social media etc

    Just a thought. Have seen a similar one, and really liked the idea, but think HWY can do a better one!

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