The dominance of social media is more evident than ever before in the current landscape of hospitality. With over 70% of adult internet users on some social media platform or the other, these sites provide businesses with the ideal environment within which to build their brand. Large hotels and even OTAs dedicate significant resources to improving their standing on these sites, and the results have been impressive.
But spending large sums of money on your social media campaigns isn’t the only way to get results – independent properties can boost their social media marketing by spending a little time evaluating their strategies and implementing the ones that are more specific to their needs.
Establish a multi-platform presence
While Facebook may be the biggest social media platform in use today, restricting your marketing to only this channel can be a big mistake. With over 60% of the global adult population on the platform, Facebook is indeed one of the most popular social sites. However, platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and even LinkedIn are potential marketing goldmines – these portals allow hotels to interact with different segments of the audience and broaden their overall reach. For instance, Instagram’s largest audience (55%) comprises of young adults between the age of 18 to 29, while Pinterest is predominantly used by women, with 44% of online women on the platform. This enables hotels to tailor their approach for these markets, improving engagement and conversions.
Encourage crowdsourced content
Updating content regularly is a critical step towards driving social media engagement. However, coming up with fresh content on a frequent basis can be challenging without a dedicated content team – crowdsourcing material is a great way to keep your social media content new and interesting. Studies have also proven that when it comes to credibility, guests tend to favor the opinions of other guests over the hotel’s team. The biggest asset to this method for hotels is the fact that it costs nothing and most guests love to share their experiences online – 76% of travelers post their vacation photos on social media platforms!
Invest in paid promotion
Posting regularly on sites like Facebook is a surefire way to reach more of your followers, but Facebook’s modern algorithms mean that you will need to invest in some paid promoting to reach the bulk of your audience. The good news is, since this is your own brand’s audience, engagement and conversion rates will generally be better than regular paid ad campaigns. Including vivid imagery and attractive packages in these posts can help nudge users contemplating travel to go ahead and complete a booking.
Incorporate social media in other campaigns
Confirmation emails are a great way for hotels to get guests to take actions, since they’re almost certain to open and read these emails. Post-departure emails are also a great place to insert links encouraging guests to follow your social media channels. Integrate your social media marketing strategies with other marketing channels like the Google Display Network and search engine marketing strategies.
Social media communication is driving higher occupancy and more importantly, it’s helping hotels build their online presence – a critical aspect of remaining competitive in today’s highly congested marketplace.