Social media has grown into its own universe, where people go to express themselves, connect with friends and family, stay informed, be entertained, find inspiration, and, of course, shop.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have become so ingrained in society, particularly in Western society, that they significantly impact culture, activism, and even governing regimes.
That’s how loud and large the crowd is! But, it’s also a fantastic way for businesses like hotels and resorts to reach out to new customers and expand their brand.
This article will show you how to make the most of social media for your hotel, resort, and motel.
What you need to know about hospitality social media
The first thing to know about social media is that most users are engaged regularly. For example, Instagram has over one billion monthly active users, compared to roughly three billion on Facebook (although, as announced today, numbers are falling)! Twitter has 340 million active users if that’s your thing.
This means that your business can reach, influence, and acquire new clients consistently using social media.
When people travel, many utilise social media to help them decide where to go, where to stay, and what to buy. According to an Expedia survey, 30 per cent of Americans are influenced or inspired by social media while planning a vacation.
When it comes to the trip itself, 97 per cent of millennials say they will post photos and videos from their vacation on social media. In addition, these posts influence other millennials’ decisions regarding their future trip plans, with two in five saying that travel photographs on social media influence their choices.
As a result, having a solid presence on the platforms where your potential guests spend a lot of time planning and making travel decisions makes a lot of sense. Still not sure? Consider this: over half of hoteliers currently consider social media one of their top two sales and marketing priorities.
Even if you don’t spend money on ads or promotions, you may still grow your company page’s following and participate with the travel community. It’s never too late to start with direct internet bookings, which are increasing yearly.
How to create a hotel or resort social media strategy
But where should one begin? Creating a social media strategy takes effort, research, planning, and some trial and error. Because each property is unique, no one-size-fits-all plan will work for everyone. How you portray and advertise your property on social media channels will be influenced by factors such as location, size, services, target market, price, and more.
Similarly, every social media site is unique regarding its algorithms, how travelers use it, what users anticipate from the material, and the business tools provided.
Your first actions, like any marketing initiatives at your hotel or resort, should be boiled down to a few fundamental points:
What is the personality and brand identity of your company?
This needs to be done consistently. While separate channels will cater to various tones, the overall effect must be consistent. For example, don’t be outgoing on social media but stiff, corporate and over-professional in your emails and correspondence.
Who do you want to reach out to?
Naturally, your hotel and resort’s ideal audience exists. Still, you can narrow it down even further by targeting people at different stages of the purchasing process or even capturing the attention of new, more valuable audiences.
What exactly is your goal?
Are you simply trying to raise brand awareness and establish an audience, or are you actively pursuing bookings through social media?
How will you keep track of your progress?
It’s critical to monitor the influence of anything you do on social media on your hospitality business. You can make tweaks and improve your plan this way.
What is your financial plan?
Will you achieve your goals by organic means, or do you have a budget for social media ads?
Once you’ve figured out all of this, you can select which platforms you want to be active on, if you have the time and resources to devote to them, and what sort of material you’ll create and distribute.
One of the most important things to remember is that your social media account is an opportunity to wow guests before they ever arrive at your property.
So make sure your material is positive and highlights the best of your destination, resort, and employees.
Recommendations for luxury and boutique properties
The benefit of social media marketing is that it makes it simple to contact your target demographic, such as luxury travelers.
You can target readers with your postings based on age, income level, interests, geographic area, demographics, social circles, and more. This enables you to be quite specific about how you design your content.
For example, launching social media ads targeted only at couples shopping for luxury resort properties. When it comes to luxury travelers, knowing your demographic is very vital, as they can be difficult and costly to convert.
Make sure seasonality is factored into your plan as well. For example, the more extensive choice of leisure activities available in warm, clear weather makes luxury travel highly popular in the spring and summer.
The types of activities and services that your guests are interested in should be the focus of your social marketing.
While your hotel or resort is full and guests are having a great time, these high seasons are the ideal time to market your property as the place to be. In addition, like-minded travellers may be inspired to book early for the following year after seeing this.
Consistency is another priority. Audiences prefer regular content and consistent messaging to irregular postings and promotions once they become fans or followers of your business.
It would help if you kept your luxury visitors interested and thrilled about your business so they feel like they’re part of a club or community that always gets the best. It’s a good idea to make a schedule or content calendar ahead of time, so you’re never caught off guard.
Suggestions to help your luxury hotel or resort
Encourage your guests to leave five-star reviews and recommendations – they’re essential for acquiring new consumers and sustaining long-term success.
Establish relationships and always provide personalised service – share this on social media to increase FOMO (fear of missing out).
Allow your heart to shine through — the amount of care displayed at your luxury property, not only to your guests but also to your employees and suppliers, must be honest. This will create a positive atmosphere while increasing your brand’s online momentum.
Present your individuality wherever possible – premium properties are often one-of-a-kind; therefore, emphasise this whenever possible.
Take advantage of user-generated material — your guests will want to share their incredible experiences. You can help them by encouraging them to use specific hashtags and location tags and participating in any online conversations directed your way.
The best social media marketing platforms
It may feel like a new social media network emerges every day. Individuals and businesses have many options at their disposal, and it would be challenging to engage and participate successfully on all major platforms simultaneously.
Even if you could, it wouldn’t be worth it because many platforms aren’t designed with travel and hospitality brands in mind. That isn’t to argue that you can’t succeed on any platform with the proper plan, but you must choose your platforms carefully.
You may be familiar with the following:
Although all of these platforms have large audiences, some are pretty niche. For example, WeChat is only available in China, but LinkedIn is used mainly by working professionals, so keep this in mind when you plan your strategy.
Is your material appropriate? Will your target audience be interested in interacting with you?
If you’re just getting started, stick to tried and true models. Given how popular video content has become, you’ll probably want to focus most of your attention on Facebook and Instagram, with YouTube also playing a part.
Marketing on Facebook
Regarding social media, Facebook is still king and can virtually act as a second website and search engine for your hotel and resort.
On Facebook, you have a vast potential audience. This will grow when you start using sponsored advertising to target specific audiences. Then you can take advantage of your traffic to take direct bookings on Facebook using an online booking engine and your Book Now button.
Facebook is not only a valuable tool for reaching out to travelers, but it’s also a gathering spot for family and friends to exchange experiences and information from their travels, inspiring others in the process.
You must create a strong Facebook profile that feeds into all of your other online profiles and where all of your information is shared, especially if you have a blog or a fantastic photo gallery. You need to provide your readers with as much information as possible in one place.
There is no more popular medium for posting travel-related photographs and videos than Instagram. Guests enjoy curating properly framed images, writing beautiful descriptions, and using clever hashtags, inspiring others. So joining this network, sharing your brilliant property and destination content, and connecting with potential guests makes perfect sense.
According to a survey, Instagram is the preferred social media platform for 48 per cent of those looking for new places to visit, and 35 per cent use it to get inspired and learn about new areas.
Businesses can now include “Book” and “Reserve” buttons on their Instagram profiles, and you can establish your profile the same way you would on Facebook.
Instagram marketing ideas
Always utilise hashtags – postings with hashtags receive 12.6 per cent more engagement than those without hashtags.
Set location tags — adding a location to your post might increase interaction by up to 79 per cent.
Create or use areas in your hotel or resort for selfies or photo opportunities – you want your guests to give as much information as possible.
Encourage guests to use your branded hashtags – this will aid you in working with influencers and tracking how many people are talking about or sharing your material.
Focus on quality and understanding your target audience – Instagram’s algorithm displays material to users based on how engaging it believes they will find it.
Variety is essential – highlight your property’s best features, have workers snap behind-the-scenes selfies, and use your location in your material.
Re-post – Because user-generated material is free advertising for your company, make sure to acknowledge and reshare everything your visitors’ post.
Remember, Instagram is a perfect example of being active where your most likely customers are.
YouTube advertising and marketing
YouTube has become so ingrained in consumers’ video content and entertainment consumption that it is likely more influential than television commercials.
It can potentially expose your business to many potential customers, and we know that video is more compelling than still photographs.
By this year, video is expected to account for 82 per cent of all consumer Internet traffic globally (2021). Furthermore, video is an excellent approach to bringing your destination and hotel to life, capturing travelers’ imaginations and enticing them to book a vacation.
- Here are some ideas for different types of video material you could make:
- Virtual tours of your property
- Tours of your destination via virtual reality
- Staff testimonies and behind-the-scenes footage
- Montages of any upcoming events or festivities
- Travel tips and tricks
- Emotional or aspirational features
- Highlights of promotions or prospects for advancement
Top social media advice for the hospitality industry
Getting creative with your material is essential, and variety is the spice of life. You want your visitors to interact with what you write, or your time and work will be wasted.
Sometimes a gorgeous photograph is all you need, but other times you’ll need to think outside the box to stimulate social media activity and sharing.
Suggestions to get you started
Write blogs to advise travelers on where to dine, what to see, what to bring, and what events to attend.
Share fascinating or obscure facts or information about your vacation or accommodations.
With permission, conduct a survey of guests to learn about their favourite aspects of their vacation or stay at your resort, and post the results on social media. Of course, the same can be said for amusing, unusual, or exceptional reviews.
Promote your contest over several weeks before the awards are distributed to generate excitement and promote sharing.
To expand your reach and acquire the trust of additional travelers, try collaborating with influencers or bloggers.
Encourage followers to participate in the conversation by asking them questions and urging them to share their thoughts and opinions. You can make your inquiries as informal as formal as you want.
Collaborate with other local businesses in your area to improve your content, increase visibility, and generate appealing social media offers.
Be a local news and information source – if something new happens in your town or city, ensure your followers and visitors are aware of it so they can see how useful you are.
If you require any social media assistance for your property, then check out the marketing specialists in the IHS Supplier Network.
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