Are you looking to take your hotel or resort to the next level through social media? It’s a good thing, because social media plays a fundamental role in connecting your brand to prospective guests and, done well, it provides access to an untapped source of prospects. Whether you’re targeting new or existing guests, engaging with them via social media is proven to increase awareness of your brand and get your potential guests excited about their next vacation.
Brands that leverage social media today are driving greater awareness, developing stronger guest relationships, and differentiating their businesses – often creating tremendous advantage over their competition. Because it’s one of the fastest changing technologies, social marketers must understand the various platforms and methods of content delivery, as well as the latest advancements and how these newer technologies affect other areas of digital marketing.
How do these savvy hospitality marketers leverage the latest social media trends to generate interest and increase bookings?
- They create experiences.
Special offers and promotions have their place, but alone they aren’t enough to influence the modern-day traveler anymore. The most powerful approach to increase bookings is to create digital “experiences”. Deep-rooted in the decision-making process is a desire to experience not only the caliber or unique features of your property, but also the activities, dining, events, attractions and shopping either in the vicinity or on property. Digitally you’re promoting all aspects of your brand. This means creating and conveying the look and feel of these amenities – giving a sense of what visitors may expect to see and feel during their stay. Stirring their curiosity. Word choice and imagery play a critical role in creating appeal.
- They use visual content
Written descriptions are great, but to capture the attention of your audience you need quality visual content. We all prefer easily digestible information and what better way to tell your story than sharing videos. There are several video platforms used to engage audiences. Visual imagery and videos not only tell a story, but they’re the best way to show off your assets. Bring your property to life with social media posts that capture 360° views of your top-rated features, such as the premiere golf course, well-appointed guest rooms and elegant spa. Videos can be done affordably these days, but if you still find costs are too far outside your budget you can choose the next best thing which is to create and maintain a library of hi-res still images. Whether you have still images, videos, or both, keep them as current as possible. Prospects will quickly skip over imagery with poor resolution, or those that appear to show an outdated property feature.
- They leverage existing content
Whether on vacation with family or friends, traveling for business or at dinner with your spouse, most of us end up posting our experiences on social media. Savvy marketers are using this content to their brand’s advantage with hashtag campaigns that allow guests to post their own pictures and content. By creating a user-generated content campaign, they receive priceless guest feedback, instant loyalty and a wide variety of free marketing content!
Check out this example:
- They’re active and engaged
Arguably more than any other industry, hospitality is significantly impacted by online reviews, both positive and negative. We’ve all read them – negative reviews that are poorly conveyed by a dissatisfied guest who simply wants to be heard. Treat this feedback like a gift. It’s an opportunity to embrace the situation, learn from it, with the hope of earning and retaining customers. Monitor, listen and join the conversation. By monitoring all feedback, brands can identify and proactively resolve issues before they escalate out of control. Doing so will elevate your reputation as a concerned and involved brand, and ultimately boosts guest confidence. When you respond promptly and courteously to comments, you are displaying superior service to literally millions of prospects. Gathering feedback, understanding what’s being shared and communicated, and responding in a timely manner will drastically enhance your brand’s reputation.
Social Media is an effective tool to engage, listen and have a 360-degree view of the guest. Now it’s your turn! We hope you found a few interesting takeaways to use in your social media marketing strategy.