Gone are the days when customers book hotels by browsing the web, clicking through comparison websites or maybe even seeking recommendations from print or television experts. It's a thing of the past and now most prospective customers devour themselves on different social media platforms before choosing a place to stay.
It is no cakewalk when it comes to social media. It can be really tricky to find out the right strategy between ever-changing algorithms and hashtag planning to sift through.
Today in this blog, I will provide a couple of ideas on how to use social media marketing for hotels.
First and foremost, let's talk about what all social media platforms you can use :
Even though Instagram and LinkedIn have continued to grow their popularity in the social media sphere, Facebook still maintains its dominance with useful features for hotels. These include targeted advertising, response to enquiries, sharing events and promotions, the ability to feature reviews, join relevant Groups, post live content and perhaps best of all, the feature of relevant Call to Actions like ‘BOOK NOW’/ 'CALL FOR RESERVATIONS', which takes the user directly to your website or your booking platform.
In short, Facebook should be the cross-pollination of your entire online presence - engagement, photos, marketing campaigns, links, videos, and your website content.
Instagram is all about aesthetics. The visuals in both photo and video format can appeal to the targeted audience and showcase the details of your property. Follow the latest video trends and use tags and hashtags so that your potential guests can locate and identify you. Top these all with geotags, boost posts and market through increasingly popular IG stories.
When it comes to the Gram, it is also worth keeping in mind that, content about the place that is organically featured is more influential than your own polished content. It is how the new age audience takes consideration of places rather than textual reviews on booking sites. Therefore, your role is to understand your audience enough to know what they value. Use strong images and clear visual aesthetics that your followers look forward to and then build connections, nurture interactions and drive a satisfactory experience that will perhaps sway your customers to become fans and share their authentic experience over the Gram!
After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine. So it is wise to utilise this platform as a means to showcase professionally shot and edited video content. Provide tours of different parts of your hotel, showcasing what the holiday experience is like or what kind of features there are available for conferences. This will surely help you to boost your bookings and expand your brand outreach.
User-generated content - The Heart and Soul of Hospitality Industry
When assessing the social media strategy you put in place, perhaps the most important is to share User Generated Content. With the ongoing trend of personalized interactions, your posts should have insider stories that can inspire viewers to imagine their own experiences based on these authentic experiences of others. Armed with the best platforms, combine these interactions with innovative storytelling techniques. So that your hotel can reach more audiences and engage with your community in meaningful ways that will result in increased visits - and raving reviews!
Hashtags, when used strategically, can effectively make an impact on your hotel’s social media reach. Push your content to a higher engagement level by adding up relevant hashtags to your copy. By maintaining relevance your audience will be able to find you easily and foster a community with potential present and future guests.
Pro tip: Try and mix your own branded hashtags with relevant hashtags to gain more exposure. For example, using branded hashtags to show “Behind the Scenes” or introducing your property and the staff to your viewers can really help to build trust for your brand.
Captivating captions to up your game!
An excellent copy needs to be eye-catching especially when it comes to a business account. Your captions should hook your reader, point to your messaging and showcase your brand’s personality. Go select the perfect image or video from the gallery, make edits and add that winning caption!
Be RELEVANT, ENTERTAIN and DRIVE CURIOSITY.
To make it more compelling don’t forget to include clear CTAs!
So, what are you waiting for? Start writing those captions. Your followers will love you for it and who knows? You might even have new ones out of it!
Now that we talked about what should be considered in social media marketing, let's lay it down altogether on how to start with those strategies.
Because knowing the strategies can be really easy but knowing how to carry out holds a major significance!
So here are some essential points to consider bringing fruitful benefits to your Social Media marketing strategies -
Take one step at a time: Have clear-cut goals and achieve them one by one rather than going full in with all the social media strategies. For instance, your initial goal can be increasing your followers to 10K or maybe increase lead conversions through these platforms.
Interlink your social media sites: Always cross-pollinate your social media accounts to save time and effort to maintain a balance in audience and traffic. All links to your hotel website, different pages and your corporate information should be correct and same on each and every platform.
Maintain a content calendar -Procrastination is a trap that you can easily fall into. So, to avoid turning this into a habit, lay out your content calendar one month ahead to plan when and where you publish your upcoming content. It can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be, with the option to include Upcoming content pieces, Stories, Promotions, Partnerships and Updates to your existing content.
Take advantage of paid advertisements - Most social media platforms are offering paid ads and for hotels, this can actually be a boon to a vital revenue stream. Initially try running Facebook or Google Ads campaign for a month or so, do experiments and then decide when you see the desired results.
So, in the end, to sum up we can all say that in the hotel industry, social media marketing is always the most talked about subject since hoteliers from all around the world are always on the lookout for ways to get recognized over the internet.
So, bring your A-game on. Witness it for yourself what social media can do for you.
If you are rethinking your current approach to social media, we would be happy to help you out with a free strategy session. Or if you are ready to dive in and start experimenting right away, connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn to get entirely free digital marketing insights!