The increasing dominance of mobile internet use has been the catalyst for a huge change in search habits and consumer behavior. This has been felt across a multitude of industries but none more so than hospitality. In the hotel sector, mobile internet use has meant a shift of epic proportions.
Today, it’s common for travelers to research and plan each component of their trip from a mobile device – and this includes searching for, checking reviews and booking their hotel stay.
According to eMarketer, 51.8% of travellers use their smartphone or tablet to complete their travel booking. Google says 49% of all hotel searches it handles originate on a smartphone.
The convenience and always on capability of mobile means that now more than ever, social media marketing is key. If your social media strategies haven’t yet developed past a traditional approach, now is the time to consider updating and adapting.
Why you need a hospitality social media marketing strategy
According to figures from industry leader, The Drum, 97% of millennial travellers share content relating to their trips (primarily in the form of images and videos) online. 89% of their connections will consider this information when planning their own upcoming travels.
This means that your hotel will need to have a plan in place to ensure that you’re making the most of this user generated content. You’ll also need a strategy in place to deal with any negative images or videos too.
Social travellers can check in to a location on Facebook or Instagram, tag your hotel or resort in images, posts and content and share their opinions with the swipe of a screen. Reputation management dictates that you need to be prepared for that engagement, have a plan ready to respond to and engage with guests and handle fallout from complaints.
Owning the conversation
Billions of people use social media every day. Facebook has 2.07 billion monthly active users. Instagram has 800 million monthly active users. These platforms provide an incredible opportunity to interact with travellers and to showcase your own best features via carefully curated images, videos and posts.
With so many social networks to choose from however and so many different features, opportunities and challenges to overcome, cohesive social media marketing strategies become essential.
Having a documented strategy which allows for measurement and strategic use of the chosen social media channels is proven to deliver a better ROI. If you’re managing multiple accounts, it also ensures consistency across varied platforms and helps you to keep content on brand, measure impact on revenue and occupancy rates and calculate effectiveness.
Video is consistently recognized as one of the most engaging of all content formats and studies show that video consumption on social media is growing at an incredible rate. Many hospitality brands however fail to tap into this potential.
Facebook data shows that live video consumption quadrupled between 2016 and 2017. A recent Google report calculates that 66% of those planning a trip watch travel related content.
As a new medium, experimenting with video and live video should form part of your social media activity. Use your social strategy to identify prime opportunities for video content and live video streams.