Beginners Guide To Social Media Marketing for Hotels
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No one in this century has managed to escape the power of social media. It is an integral part of everyone’s life at this point. According to a recent research, “Approx. 4.48 billion people currently use social media worldwide, up more than double from 2.07 billion in 2015”. Since then, “the social media growth rate…is an average of 12.5% year-over-year.”
It makes sense that the hospitality industry has joined the race as well. Before any trip, it is the anticipation that keeps people on social media. During and after, it is sharing the moments from the trip on social media that keeps them online. About 97% of guests use social media to share pictures of their trips.
Social media marketing for hotels has provided the hoteliers an easy way to attract more guests by visuals of their property.
Most often than not, it is the picture of a hotel on the internet that makes people intrigued enough to visit the establishment in person. These potential customers make reservations, as they can imagine themselves living in a specific destination – and that only happens when the use of the right social media marketing for hotels software is being made.
Understand social media marketing for hotels as selling a fairytale-come-true life to people. You’re not just selling a room and a place to wine and dine anymore. You’re selling them a lifestyle; even if it is for just a few days.
The hospitality industry has taken hotel digital marketing up a notch with constant advertising, queries correspondence, online booking of rooms and car rentals, a welcome email with WiFi details, a farewell email, and whatnot.
And it doesn’t end there; the hotels now are speedily coming up with new ways to engage their customers in innovative ways that help them stand apart from the rest. ‘The majority of travelers expect hospitality providers to engage with them before and during their trip to enhance their experience.’ In that retrospect, it is good that the hospitality industry is growing with the changing times.
However, hotels are not just about vacation stays only; sometimes they are about business stays, and that only means that your social media marketing for hotels needs to be wholesome and catering to all kinds of crowds.
Social Media Marketing for Hotels | Famous Platforms to Know
Like most social media marketing strategies, social media marketing for hotels also looks more or less the same. It too works on the better positioning of a brand by creating an alluring online presence through the right content in all the right places using all the right marketing strategies.
Truth be told, there is no one-size-fits-all hotel social media strategy. So, it doesn’t matter what the Hilton’s social media strategy is or what Marriot’s social media strategy is; at the end of the day, as a hotelier, you have to see what works for you and what doesn’t.
Speaking of the right platforms, Facebook, according to Newswire, had 1.84 billion daily active users in December 2020. While it may seem redundant to many millennials, it simply can’t be ignored as a channel for social media marketing for hotels.
Simply because there are no restrictions. You can upload as many pictures and videos and write as many words as you want and that’s what makes it so great. All you have to do is create a profile and start promoting your hotel with ads!
Instagram is a great way to keep your customers or online audience constantly engaged with interactive stories and dreamy posts. You can also use it to promote your events, deals, discounts, and collaborations with influencers.
It is especially used by customers when they are in the pre-trip phase. Make use of all the latest features like reels and IGTV to remain relevant to your audience.
This might surprise many of you but LinkedIn is just as important as any social media platform. It is great to share your professional and industry-related content there to build a community with all the business professionals there. It can be also used to promote your brand, special events, and conferences.
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If you’re a hotelier, you simply can’t forgo having TripAdvisor as a part of your social media marketing strategy for hotels. With its unique 463 million unique visitors each month, they have become an indispensable tool for travelers and everyone in the hospitality industry.
You can reach customers organically there and they’ll be able to book you according to their schedule. The more bookings you have, the more reviews you will feature there, and the more reviews you’ll have, the more people will be able to view you as a brand and trust you more for their plans.
With over two billion users, no social media strategy is complete without a plan for YouTube. It is used to drive traffic to direct channels, reach potential guests, and showcase your brand’s amenities and services properly.
The level of excitement in the customers is known to increase after they see room tours, time-lapses, testimonials, etc.
A less prominent social media platform in the hospitality industry, Twitter has over 340 million active Twitter users globally. Most big names in the industry use Twitter for customer service purposes: to answer questions and address queries of their customers.
Eventually, that feedback helps them improve their services and cater to their customers better. So, when you think of Twitter while planning your social media strategy for hotels, think of it as a customer care platform.
8 Social Media Marketing for Hotels Tips to Use In 2021
Now, that we’ve covered the importance of hotels and which social media platforms to use, let’s cover the tips one should follow as a hotelier while carrying out his social media strategy.
1. Build a Community
Social media is built to allow people to interact and be ‘social’ which is why every time any business has ever acted like a human and made the person on the other end i.e. the audience feel like they are a part of a community, something real. Engage with them as much as possible through comments, DMs, live sessions, etc. Make them feel seen and heard as you set a better tone for the hotel’s brand.
2. Use Videos As Much As You Can
The content being produced is 80%, if not more, videos. For hoteliers that means getting their brand across in a much better way than before.
Still, photographs have never been able to capture the true essence of a hotel the way videos can. It’s an opportunity for hotels to shine, ooze personality, and sell a lifestyle through visuals.
3. Crowdsource Interesting Content
Crowdsourcing has always been known to generate a certain amount of enthusiasm and competitiveness that can’t simply be replaced with the usual content. Always to be coupled with a witty hashtag, crowdsourcing can be a source of trust in the crowd. Do you see what we did there?
4. Showcase Testimonials & Reviews
Another thing that increases the level of trust people have in your business is testimonials or reviews. While most people are only inclined to write a review when it’s a bad one, filled with a complaint; you will have to be ultra vigilant about this and make sure to gather reviews that give a boost to your brand.
5. Offer Incentives, Discounts & Group Deals
This remains a fan favorite since the beginning of time.
Discounts and deals have always worked for the hotels and the customers. On one hand, the hotel is getting exposure and on the other hand, the customers can save a few bucks or enjoy a new thing. That’s a win-win situation in everyone’s eyes.
6. Automate Your Socials
Maintain consistency, be authentic and trustworthy but don’t overcomplicate the process by posting everything, everywhere manually. Social media management tools like Buffer, TweetDeck, and Hootsuite are the norm.
7. Add a Compelling Call-To-Action Strategy
Never in your lifetime are you supposed to treat your social media separately from your entire digital presence; it constitutes 60-80% of the latter. How do you imagine that working out for you if you made this mistake? Connect the two through compelling call-to-action (CTA) that are simply unignorable.
8. Set Your Goals and Target Audience
Set your target audience that you think will be most interested in your hotel by researching properly and then start setting goals. Be flexible when you’re setting your goals and divide them into two categories: short-term and long-term. Next, set a range of the growth you want to achieve using those goals.
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Ain’t no such thing as the “Ultimate Guide” to achieving XYZ effect in your business. However, we have come pretty close to cracking the code on social media marketing for restaurants and all there is to it. Find out why it’s super important for you to get started today!
Here's The Conclusion, For Now...
The best hotel social media campaigns of 2019 or 2020 mean nothing if you don’t know which method and which platform suits your brand the best.
Like in most businesses, social media simply can’t be ignored as it is a way for people to sample a brand before booking it. This is why you need to know what and why you’re doing this and what is and what is not working for your brand.
One thing is a must in any social media marketing strategy for a hotel and that is high-quality on-brand content. So, make sure you don’t skip out on that while focusing on other “less important” things.