With the rise of social media as the new frontier of information and news, hoteliers have been pushed to adapt to this new marketing landscape. The days of using printed guides and visiting tour operators to plan trips are mostly gone and guests are now relying on other guests’ opinions as to what makes a favourable destination. As such understanding how to approach customer acquisition through social media is now vital to building a successful hotel marketing strategy. Here are some valuable tips on where to begin:
- Using Social Media to Establish Brand Presence
- The core of any successful hotel social media marketing strategy are the guests. They are the ones who will decide the outlook of your entire campaign, which is why your first priority is to determine who your guest prospects are and what content they wish to see. If a viewer is intrigued by your posts they are exceedingly likely to share it with their friends and followers, even if they have never been a guest at your establishment.
- This can help you gain the exposure that you need in order to establish your brand but to do that you must first generate the sort of content that your future guests are most likely to respond to. Luckily social media marketing for hotels has long gone past the days of clumsily putting together discount offer posts which generate next to no buzz.
- Instead, the focus has been shifted to visual aids such as pictures or video footage of the rooms, the local area and attractions, and any events that might draw viewers’ attention.
- Creating campaigns that revolve around viewer contribution is now the go-to strategy in hotels social media marketing. A photo taken by a single guest, shared and tagged appropriately can have a ripple effect in a given social media platform.
- The devices your guests use to view your hotel’s social media can further affect the cost of advertisements. Over half the world’s population now has access to the internet but only a quarter of them use mobile devices for the same purpose. This gap is quickly closing but in the meantime, advertising on mobile devices costs much less than their traditional counterparts, a fact that many hoteliers are now using to their advantage.
- Managing Reviews to Ensure Customer Loyalty
- Social media has made guests more aware of the impact their voice has on the service they receive and they do not shy away from using it. Guest reviews now have more impact on a hotel brand than even the most expensive of campaigns. This has given small and medium businesses a competitive edge against the established giants in the industry but it has also left them vulnerable as any complaint and low rating can become a deterrent to potential guests.
- In order to ensure the brand health, you must first establish which are the social media platforms most frequented by your guests. Be it Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, effective brand management requires that you make your business available to feedback. In this way, your staff can take the measures needed to ensure guests satisfaction and help drive repeat business. Two-way guest engagement is key to establishing customer loyalty.
- Turning Views into Bookings
- Exposure is not the end goal of hotel social marketing, rather it’s about guaranteeing that viewers take that final step to becoming guests. Often that would mean clicking away and having to additionally search for your hotel’s website or the OTA listings and that is far from ideal. If a potential guest moves away from your offer they are significantly less likely to actually go through with the transaction.
- Bridging a gap between your social media and your booking engine could resolve this issue and help increase revenue. A Facebook booking button does just that. It is essentially a version of your booking engine which has been integrated into your Facebook page for the convenience of your potential guests. It is mobile friendly and it allows the guest to make direct bookings through your facebook page, and with no commission involved your business gets to keep the full revenue from the rooms booked.
- Most hoteliers are well aware of the fact that bookings are not the main source of their revenue but rather a gateway to it. Upselling guests on services is how you can truly tap into your hotel’s revenue potential and the booking engine has been built to help with this task. It lists all the services provided by your establishment and it allows the guests to customize their stay in advance by booking anything from a spa day to a dinner.
- Maintaining Brand Stability by Listening to Your Guests
- Social media for hotels has made it easy for guests to both give praise and to raise concerns about any issues they might have had with your business. But it is important to remember that this is only a fraction of what is being said about your business online.
- Think of restaurateurs, not every happy diner will ask to shake the chef's hand, and not every dissatisfied customer will ask to see the manager. Your guests will have a host of platforms at their disposal to voice their thoughts on their stay and as part of proper property reputation management, you should keep tabs on all.
- The negative feedback you receive can be one of the most useful pieces of data at your disposal. Comparing mentions of your hotel across different channels, be it Facebook, OTA listings, Twitter mentions or Reddit threads can help you spot any overarching issues which might have seemed like isolated incidents before.
- On the other hand, positive feedback has been used by many social media hotels to reach different guest demographics. Influencers have major pull with both the current Millenials and future Gen Z guests of your establishment which can be leveraged at your favour. Either way what is being said about your hotel matters only as much as what you choose to do with it from the on.
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About Clock Software
Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based property management systems (PMS), integrated online distribution, online & kiosk hotel self check-in solutions and mobile & in-room guest engagement systems with customers in more than 65 countries.