Harnessing Social Media Through Paid Ads

LOS ANGELES—For Steve Weiss, co-founder and CEO of MuteSix, social media marketing fell into his lap. As an affable teen, Weiss often found himself sitting in detention and, while there, he dove into learning everything he could about online marketing.

“I couldn’t stop learning and researching new tactics and strategies—and I couldn’t wait to put my new skills to the test on a real project,” said Weiss. “Once I felt capable enough to start risking my own hard-earned cash on an internet business, I started my first business right out of my high school computer lab at age 16. By the time I was 17, it was a multimillion-dollar business.”

MuteSix helps companies develop and grow paid social campaigns for a variety of industries, including hospitality. The company does direct response video ads that help engage and convert new customers, and it determines the ads and audiences that will ultimately drive the highest return on ad spend.

“In the hospitality industry, hoteliers are looking to social media to see what guests think of their experience. Social media is all about creative that disrupts users and stops them in their tracks and engages them,” said Weiss. “Hoteliers can target consumers in high-income areas of the country, people who travel for business more than once a year and more. They can create an eye-popping video of their hotel and offer specials like free WiFi to people who book through social media or other deals.”

Social media users are savvy and the way they book hotels is changing; as a result, sales and marketing campaigns must also shift in strategy. “They are reading social media comments on hotels and they are doing their homework on where to book. Social media ads allow you to communicate your message to specific audiences and have Facebook optimize your campaigns to reach specific conversion goals like video views, sales and leads, etc. Facebook also allows you to measure your campaigns and see real return on ad spend,” he said.

Weiss outlined a few tips and best practices for reaching new customers via social platforms: 

  • Exclude your current customer base from your new customer acquisition campaigns
  • Produce creative that disrupts the finger on the newsfeed and is a square video.
  • Target people who could afford your product
  • Exclude placements that won’t generate a ton of conversions like audience networks, instant articles

Here are some rookie mistakes Weiss says people make when it comes to advertising on social media:

  • Not turning off the audience network
  • Not running video ads
  • Not duplicating the most engaging Facebook posts and turning them into ads

If a hotelier had to choose just one platform to focus time and money on, Weiss recommends starting with Instagram and Facebook for the greatest audience reach and the best targeting. In terms of budget, Weiss says that depending on vacancy, starting off allocating roughly $10,000 is sufficient.

“We are building out our creative team to work directly with hotels, in shooting amazing Facebook ad videos specifically to drive conversions during off peak times of the year,” he concluded.