Your hotel social media should be an integral part of your hotel’s marketing plan. However, it can be an overwhelming topic of discussion. It’s easy to get caught up in the sea of aesthetically pleasing feeds, clever captions or thought provoking blog posts and just give up because, in all honesty, unless you have someone hired to manage all your social accounts, who has the time to shoot, edit, and write on-brand content?
Most limited-service hotels operate with a GM, AGM and, maybe a Sales manager. The three typically work together and disperse the marketing duties while larger hotels and chains are able to allocate resources to a specific marketing position or team. If you’re unable to dedicate an entire role to marketing, be sure to delegate the social media responsibilities to a specific person because, at the end of the day, consistency and compelling content are key to a successful social media marketing strategy.
Once you know who is responsible for writing and posting your content, you can start building a plan. Here are 5 ways that you can improve your hotel social media.
STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE YOUR HOTEL’S SOCIAL MEDIA
1. DEFINE YOUR BRAND VOICE
The goal of social media marketing is to engage with your current and potential customer base, show off your property and city as a desirable destination, and increase the clicks to your website which should increase your overall bookings. The tone and language that you use are effective ways of showing off your personality and who you are as a brand. To ensure consistent communication to your audience, you will want to develop a standardized brand voice.
When creating your guidelines for your brand voice consider how and who you are communicating.
So what is your hotel’s personality?
This may seem like a strange place to start but ask yourself “if my property was a person, how would I describe them”? Are they trustworthy, creative, business-minded? Choose up to 5 different personality characteristics to describe your property and start thinking about how someone with those traits would communicate. Are they formal or informal? Do they use colloquial language or long descriptive text? By personifying your hotel, you’re able to find your tone and communicate your messaging more effectively so guests know exactly what to expect when they book.
Next up, who exactly are you talking to? You need a solid understanding of who exactly is reading your messaging. All hotels have more than one type of person staying at their property. Find qualities that are shared across the different segments that you see at your hotel. You can get to know your audience through surveys, past data, and online reviews or referrals. This will give you a holistic picture of your audience and will make writing content easier because you know their specific needs, personal preferences and any potential pain points.
Once you’ve established guidelines for how and who you are communicating to, make sure you put them in writing and share them with your team. This will ensure consistent content being communicated to your community and, as a bonus, can be used as a resource for any new employees to read and have a better understanding of the company that they work for.
2. FIND AN APPROPRIATE PLATFORM
There are a plethora of platforms to post your content on. How do you decide which ones to use? Start by choosing a main platform. This should be where your target audience is spending the majority of your content. Are they typically on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube?
Each platform requires different types of content. We recommend starting with the platform you think will make the biggest impact on your business and then slowly add a new one each quarter when you feel like you can commit to consistently posting on it.
3. BUILD YOUR OWN CONTENT CALENDAR AND STICK TO THAT SCHEDULE
A content calendar is an outline of information that you want to post on your social media platforms. It’s the optimal way to organize and schedule your content. As we’ve mentioned above, consistency is key when it comes to social media. Set a weekly goal and stick to it. It’s okay if you’re only able to commit to writing and posting once a week. Plan your content with that cadence for the first quarter. As you get into a rhythm of posting and writing content becomes easier, you can ramp up the number of weekly posts but start with an achievable goal so that you don’t become overwhelmed and stop posting altogether.
Build your content calendar quarterly. Start by choosing an overarching theme. If you’re heading into Q3/Summer, you might choose to focus on tourist and family travel. Have all your posts reflect that theme one way or another. At the end of each quarter, reflect on what content worked and what didn’t. This will help you refine the information that you create and ensure that you are always improving your audience reach.
4. INVEST IN INFLUENCER MARKETING
Influencer marketing is taking over the world. We’re seeing less and less businesses spend large amounts of money on celebrity endorsements and replacing them with multiple smaller influencer campaigns. Why? Because marketers have found influencer marketing is more than 80% effective and businesses can spend less while having a targeted ad campaign to their desired audience. It also feels like a more authentic form of marketing because they tend to be everyday, common folk and relate to the general public more than a celebrity.
Influencers play an important role in consumer decision making. Millennials are more likely to purchase a product endorsed on social media than on any other platforms. In fact, 62% of millennials said they would purchase a product they saw on an influencer’s YouTube channel rather than from a celebrity.
How to get into influencer marketing?
Start by identifying the campaign you want to run. What is the goal of the campaign? Do you want to increase your following, increase email sign-ups, or highlight a promotion you’re currently running? Set guidelines and goals for the campaign and then reach out to potential influencers. Ask them for their media kit and rate sheet. This should have information on their audience demographics, their account metrics, and pricing for different types of campaigns. Most influencers have tiered pricing and bundle packages to fit a wide range of budgets.
Once, you’ve identified the influencer, budget, and campaign deliverables, they will do the rest. Make sure you ask for final approval on any content shared as well as a recap on the performance of the campaign. After the campaign is complete, review the data supplied by the influencer as well as your own data and determine whether or not your goals were met. This will determine if this form of marketing is suitable for your business and if you should work with that person again.
5. FIND TOOLS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
Social media marketing for hotels can be exhausting especially if you don’t have a full-time person dedicated to the job. Thankfully, there are tools and technologies available to you to save time and improve your overall efficiency. Look for tools that replace the tasks you don’t enjoy or that take too much time. Some main features to look for are photo editing, content scheduler, auto-posting, influencer search, social inbox management, and team management. Different tools and technologies will have different features, packages and pricing. Research the different types of tools available and choose a package based on your budget.
Hotel social media marketing can help a brand reach a larger audience on a global scale. By identifying how you want to communicate (your brand voice) and who you want to communicate to (your target audience), you can begin to build a content calendar to outline the content that you want to post on your preferred social media channels. Having a strong understanding of your audience through online reviews, surveys, and past data, can help you find appropriate influencers to work with on campaigns. These campaigns in turn should increase your overall following and hotel’s profitability. Finally, there are some amazing tools and technologies available for you to save time and increase your effectiveness.
The most important thing is to start creating and posting content and regularly assess the success of those posts so that you continually improve and serve your audience better.