Did you know?
‘Instagram grew 50% in the last 9 months and is now bigger than Twitter and gets 50x more engagement than Twitter.
In June 2014, for the first time ever, Facebook had more video views (12.3 billion) than YouTube (11.3 billion).
There are 347 million users on LinkedIn and 2 new users join per second.
By 2015, one fifth (20.5%) of internet users in the US are expected to have Twitter accounts. This figure has grown from 15.2% in 2012 and will rise to 24.2% by 2018
Tumblr is still signing up 120,000 users….everyday!’
(Source: Our Social Times, Expanded Ramblings, Lorir Taylor)
Hospitality industry largely depends on good reviews and word of mouth advertising to attract guests from all the possible geographies. What better than a social media platform that is considered as a free marketing tool for businesses to promote and build their customer base?
Here’s how hotels can make most of social media:
Tap on Influencers: If your colleague or peer likes a page on Facebook, chances are that you will also like it as it comes from a trusted source…right? Hotels can take advantage of this through guests who are actively present on social media to like your page or leave good reviews. Since then you’re likely to welcome their circle of friends and families. Recommendation from a popular friend is more impactful than a brand.
Trust-building Activities: Hotels often come out with various promotions and offers to entice guests. Mentioning a guest’s testimonial or participation in a specific deal might turn your guest into a loyalist and build credibility in the eyes of other followers. Hotels can reward the loyal guests for their contribution.
Show that you Care: During the stay or check-out, hotels can get their guests’ social media handles and use it to get feedback from guests. Simple posts like ‘Rate your stay in our hotel’ or ‘Tell us how we can better your experience’ add a lot of value to your hotel as well as make your guests feel that you care. Once they share their feedback or rating, you can use it as a message in marketing campaigns.
Always Respond:Guest reviews are gaining popularity by the day and they play a big role in influencing others on social media. A positive review can generate business and attract more guests and a negative review can bring serious damage to the brand, driving away guests to your competitors. Hotels must always respond to negative reviews as that is looked upon as a great gesture from the hotel’s side. Lodging Magazine Survey also reveals that the properties that increased their responsiveness on social media by more than 50% earned double the occupancy.
Social media is indeed a tough platform to be handled by any business, especially for the smaller independent hoteliers who can’t afford to hire a social media specialist. And if you thought social media advertisements can attract and engage the guests… you may be wrong. The victory lies in knowing and understanding the platform and the guest behavior. A survey suggested that 52 percent of people change their travel plans after researching about it on social media. Another 52 percent feel that their friend’s holiday photos inspire their vacation. (Source: Adweek). Therefore, social media plays a big role in influencing and changing people’s decisions.