The importance of social media in business is growing at dramatic speed. With more and more people joining social media sites and using them regularly as well as efficiently, the social media industry is bound to become bigger in the coming years! It’s booming in an unprecedented manner and the social media wave isn’t ending anytime soon. And your hotel business should take advantage of it if you want it to survive in the long race.
With such amazing growth, every business including hotels today needs to leverage proper social media channels in the best possible way. Not because it’s the “in thing”, and not because it sounds simple, but because a hotel’s target audience is hanging around the popular social media networks. And they’re engaging with their favorite brands and connecting with them on different levels. By giving your hotel the social media touch, you are not only generating more business but also you’re connecting with the customers better and serving them on a higher level (simple, exceed their expectations). It actually makes your digital marketing stints easier.
According to an infographic published by Ambassador, 71% of guests are more likely to recommend a hotel to others if they have a positive experience with it on social media. So, here are some social media statistics that prove beyond doubt the importance of it in business. Your brand needs to leverage sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to keep up with the competition.
1. The number of social media-using adults has gone from 7% in 2005 to 69% just ten years later.
2. Social media use on mobile devices is seeing a 30% growth every year.
3. 2 million business today use Facebook advertising for promoting their products and services.
To some hotel marketers, social media marketing is the “next big thing,” a temporary yet powerful fad that must be taken advantage of while it’s still in the spotlight! To others, it’s just a buzzword with no practical advantages with a steep and complicated learning curve.
Because it appeared so quickly, the scope of social media has developed a reputation by some for being a passing marketing interest, and therefore, an unprofitable one. But is this the truth? The statistics are illustrating a different picture! According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2017 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. And according to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media—but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.
This demonstrates a huge potential for social media marketing to increase sales, but a lack of understanding on how to achieve those results is what hampering the positive outcomes. Now, saying why social media is the crux of the matter for your hotel let us see how to skyrocket your social media presence so your hotel can attract more millennial travelers thus improving your hotel sales, booking, occupancy, and revenue.
1. Hashtag Your Local Events: Your guests aren’t just searching for a hotel, but a hotel in the area they are traveling to for work or play. These trips are often scheduled around local events, tourist attractions, city-wide conferences, and niche interest areas. While your gut instinct may be to hashtag all of your posts on hotel topics, or your city or state—utilize year-round, one-off, and recurring events as a method of generating engagement through hashtags. This can bring about a new level of brand awareness with event goers who have never stayed at your property.
2. Say Hello to Instagram! While Pinterest is all about the creative process, Instagram is about the seductive end product. With a photograph being its main medium, this social network is picture-perfect for setting up the tone and building an aesthetic around everything that’s unique, glamorous, and artistic about your hotel. Think of Pinterest as your comprehensive portfolio, and of Instagram as your sleek business card.
This means that your main point of interest on Instagram should be an Instagrammable photo. Whatever you’re photographing, do your best to find beauty in simplicity, to get quirky and creative, and to appear stylish and captivating. Keep your aesthetic consistent enough to tell an inviting story.
3. Build a Photo Incentive: It goes without saying but communicating visually with planners and guests is a must. Consider this fact: it’s been proven that social media posts with relevant images get 94% more views than content without visuals.
But, what are planners and guests looking for when they peruse your hotel’s visuals? More often than not, they’re looking to see what other planners and guests experienced when they were at your property. Planners and guests alike are sure to snap a ton of photos of the meeting rooms, event spaces, or of your standout lobby. In most cases, they don’t think of sharing to your social media—or even using your branded hotel hashtag.
So how do you leverage these visuals for your hotel social media? Create a photo incentive. Incentivize guests to show off their experience on social media in exchange for perks during their stay or entice event planners with special catering options for their next event.
4. Reach Out to An Influencer: First things first, celebrities aren’t the only social media influencers! In fact, there are tons of event bloggers and influencers whose social media following is envious. But how do you get them to post or blog about your hotel? Offering them a free weekend at your hotel or resort, all expenses paid (including airfare if you’re not in the same city).
In exchange, have them post photos or write blog posts that highlight all that your hotel has to offer. Cross-post their photos and blogs across your social media accounts to show off your property. Never worked with an influencer before? Use our hotel digital marketing guide to get started with leveraging hospitality influencers for your hotel’s next marketing campaign.
5. Involve the Staycation Travelers: Not everyone who stays in your hotel is traveling from afar. Some are from just a few towns, or an hour or two away—others are locals who want to enjoy a weekend staycation. Snap photos and create posts geared toward the staycation travelers, and their top reasons for a night or two away.
This could include: Walking distance to and from a festival, fair, or local event. Concerts, sporting events, or seasonal event. Holiday accommodations for family and friends. Celebrating an anniversary or a romantic night away.
6. Take Care of Your Aesthetics: The best looking, and most popular pages have a certain look or tone to them. It’s good not only for consistency, but also to make your page look more professional. This is especially important for Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, if you decide to use these platforms.
One of the best ways to create a look for your page is to stick with a color scheme. This can be accomplished by editing the photos, or putting filters over the images so they all look similar. Providing a beautiful page that people can scroll through makes your hotel seem much more “alive.” Again, there is an obvious difference between amateur and professional photography. This is not the place to cut corners, so don’t even think about using your phone!
The great thing about social media is that it provides the perfect platform to represent your brand directly to the client. Through a smart combination of the tricks mentioned above, we can target the specific markets with customized advertisement to their mobile phones, create a close relationship by responding to their posts on Facebook and Twitter and create a following through an event page. It’s a very personalized and close way to relate to clients which will create trust in your brand and service.
7. Utilize the Untapped Potential of Pinterest: Social media campaigns go hand in hand with content marketing – in order to attract and retain on any network, you’ll need to delight your clientele with irresistible promotional material. This includes insightful articles, updates on local events, polls and contests, and most importantly, photographs.
Pinterest is a great network to start building your portfolio on. Just like Instagram, it provides a platform for visual delicacies, but unlike its main contender, it allows for more than just pics and videos. The neat board layout is ideal for any type of content, from bridal inspiration to DIY tricks. People come to Pinterest for inspiration, and that’s exactly what you should give them.
If your hotel takes pride in its culinary crafts, capture their imagination by sharing tips and instructions from your best chefs. Or, show them how much attention to detail goes into your room décor and flower arrangements. Whatever it is that you do best, Pinterest is the right network to brag about it.
8. Start Live-Streaming Your Hotel Property: If you have a special event that is open to the public, live-streaming is an excellent way to generate buzz. For example, if you’re hosting a well-known conference or event in your hotel property, live-stream parts of the event. Or, if have an expert mixologist in your bar, record them mixing up your hotel’s signature drinks in real time. This can help to attract locals, prompt current guests to head down to the bar, or entice planners who are on the fence to book with you. The options for live-streaming happenings at your property are endless and give planners and guests alike a way to evaluate your venue online, in real time.
Have no shame when it comes to self-promotion. You absolutely cannot be timid when it comes to ways to promote your hotel with social media. If you want attention from the public, demand it. Encourage people to follow, like, or pin you by offering incentives. For example, on Facebook or Instagram, if people check-in or geotag your hotel, give them a discount or a freebee for promoting your business. Also encourage people to post to their social media using your unique hashtags that you can later repost onto your site.
9. Proper Timing is the Key! Although it feels like everyone is on their phone 24/7, there are key points throughout the day and week that get the most social media traffic. For example, posting a video on Instagram at 9:00 PM gets 34% more engagement than any other time of day! Not surprisingly, weekends are generally best since this is usually when travelers will have more time to peruse your hotel’s website, and plan their next trip. Bear in mind that 80% of the population of the U.S. lives in the Eastern and Central time zones. This can be important to properties with multiple locations throughout the country.
Many platforms like Twitter have a trending topics section, which makes it really easy to find out what people are talking about. Instagram and Facebook have similar features that are easy ways to keep your business relevant. Using popular hashtags or mentions is the easiest way for people to see your posts. This is also a useful feature for local events that will be happening near your hotel to motivate people to not just find a hotel, but plan a vacation.
Integrating current memes into your social media pages is also a great way to attract people’s attention, and might even get you an “in” with the millennials. But please, for everyone’s sake, make sure it’s current, and still a relevant meme. There’s nothing more cringe worthy than finding an old meme on a recent post from a business, so make sure to keep up with the latest meme culture.
10. In Time, Boost Your Social Media Posts: Have you ever boosted a post to your Facebook or Instagram page? This technique helps your post get more visibility to a targeted group of people. I’m not talking about clicking the “Boost Now” blue button that Facebook tricks people into using so they will spend more ad dollars; we’re talking about building the ad set inside Facebook Ads Manager. Inside the Ads Manager, you can select more detailed targeting and build lookalike audiences to grow your target market. You can boost a post for just a few dollars and have it run all day or several days.
You can target people by gender, age, city, job title, school affiliations, employer, interests, and more. For boosted posts, a healthy cost per engagement is $0.30, which includes likes, comments, and shares; for popular post topics, we have seen engagement in the pennies. Hoteliers can spend $10-$25 per week and boost their important posts to their target market within the specific topic of that post.
For example, if you were promoting an upcoming local Coldplay concert and a special rate for concert accommodations, you can target people by feeder markets, age, and interests in Coldplay, among other things. Other than social media, where can you spend $40-$100 per month and get targeted eyes on your message? Boosted posts offer unparalleled advertisement by increasing engagement rate, expanding your audience, and precisely targeting your customers.
So, now you know how you can easily boost your social media presence! Download this FREE and exclusive eBook on- The Dummies Guide to Hotel Digital Marketing Strategies and boost your overall online presence with the right set of tools! Also, this eBook will unveil the secrets to amalgamate digital and social media to achieve the desired results and exceed your guests’ expectations every time they visit your hotel.