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Social Media

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.

the importance of a hospitality

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.

Using video

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.

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Social Media

The declining organic reach of Facebook posts has been a source of frustration for marketers for the last couple of years. With changes to Facebook’s algorithms and News Feed, brands have found that the content they post on their business page is displaying to fewer and fewer followers. In fact, studies show that on average, just 6% of your page content will display to followers.

Increasingly, content does not show to fans unless it is boosted or backed with some kind of advertising budget. So, how can you increase the organic reach of your hotel’s Facebook posts and ensure that more potential guests see your hotel content, special offers, and updates? Read on to discover a few proven techniques to improve your social media marketing and start running a more effective Facebook campaign.

Strategy 1: Step away from the paid fans

If you’ve artificially boosted your hotel’s Facebook page by buying followers, your page performance might seem even worse than it would otherwise. Why? Simply put, the fans you are buying might make your page likes numbers look good (and there is some merit to this if you are right at the start of your hotel’s Facebook campaign) but they aren’t genuine fans who will engage with your content and visit your page over time.

Strategy 2: Understand the algorithm

Facebook has gone on record about its algorithm changes and how it decides what makes it on to news feeds. It says that its priority is serving users content and news from people and pages that matter to them, about topics that interest them. This means that your social media marketing should incorporate an element of analysis – the more you can create posts that fans do engage with, the more likely it is that your future posts will show in News Feed.

facebook strategy

Strategy 3: Know what type of posts work well

44% of all adults use Facebook as their primary source of news, according to a Pew research study in 2016.

Video consumption is also rising, with Facebook data confirming that daily watch time for FacebookLive broadcasts quadrupled 2016-17. In its Sight, Sound and Mobilization analysis, Facebook says, “People surveyed in the US and Canada indicated that they are drawn to mobile video on Facebook and Instagram because it connects them to a community, offers them personally relevant content and makes them feel excited and engaged.”

You can use this knowledge to improve your Facebook post reach by ensuring you are serving up content that Facebook users actually care about. Consider how you can incorporate video into your hotel’s Facebook campaign. Why not plan a LiveStream where viewers can ask questions about the area or get recommendations from a destination expert for example?

Strategy 4: Host a Facebook contest

Facebook will show posts with higher engagements more often in News Feed because it knows that its users are interested in that particular piece of content. A contest is a great way to get comments and likes flooding in, giving Facebook a more favorable view of your content and helping to increase your organic reach for subsequent posts.

Running a content doesn’t have to mean giving away a free stay – mix it up and partner with local bars, restaurants or attractions for free tickets and meals out to keep costs down.

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Social Media

A little over a decade ago, social media was barely mentioned when talking about marketing but it’s become an integral part of any modern hotelier’s business strategy. Used as a way to connect, drive interest and deliver a return on investment, engaging in social media is a powerful tool. Today there are numerous social channels to choose from but how do you pick where to focus? The Conversation Prism can help.

By 2022, the number of active social network users is projected to reach 4288 million people in the UK alone, a significant slice of the travel market. The growing prominence of social media means it’s become an essential channel for hotels to use. If you’re targeting the millennial generation, it’s even more important to get to grips with the latest social media trends. In 2016, nine in ten adults under the age of 35 had set up a new profile in the last twelve months.

While there are some social media platforms that continue to be popular, performing well in hotel social media marketing strategies as a result, there is also an increasing number of new market entrants. With so many different options, focussing on a few select platforms to build up an engaged audience can create a digital hotel marketing strategy that delivers a return – the Conversation Prism helps you identify those opportunities.

Understanding the conversation prism and what it means for your hotel 2019s social media marketing strategy

What is the Conversation Prism?

The Conversation Prism is an infographic packed with information that’s waiting for marketing professionals to tap into. Updated frequently, it explores how people use social media to communicate, learn, and share. Since the first edition was published in 2008, the power of social media has grown enormously and the latest version reflects that.

Why does the Conversation Prism matter?

The Conversation Prism isn’t just an interesting infographic to glance at, there are lots of parts that hotel social media marketing professionals can draw out to improve the way that they use social media.

Firstly, it doesn’t only identify how the key social media players like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are being used, it explores lesser-known platforms too. A few years ago Instagram was one of those little players but it now has an impressive 800 million monthly active users, a lucrative market for hoteliers to tap into. The Conversation Prism can help you find that new market to target and establish yourself within.

As it shows how users communicate through each platform, the Conversation Prism is also ideal for informing content choices. For example, if you’re keen to blog about your hotel, the blog/microblog category helps you find your niche.

How does the Conversation Prism inform hotel social media marketing?

The Conversation Prism cleverly breaks down each section of social media platforms to create groups, for example breaking them down into those that are used to listen, engage, co-create, and learn. Armed with the information provided you can not only find a channel for your content but also tailor it to match the expectations of your followers.

An example of this is the video category, which contains leaders in this area like YouTube, Vine and Vimeo, it’s ideal for hotels as it gives you a chance to show off your offering and it’s been proven that beautiful holiday snaps and videos perform well. But people often consume content to learn, so it’s vital that you don’t focus on the promotional aspects but aim to inform.

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Social Media

Twitter and the hospitality industry appear to be a match made in heaven. Twitter has become an established space in which consumers are able to quickly and easily state their experiences with brands within the public arena. But how else can Twitter help fuel a better guest experience?

Building a vital connection between hotels and customers, Twitter could be the marketing and customer experience tool that you’ve been looking for.

Opportunities Within Guest-Facing Tech

The emphasis has become more than ever upon customers achieving and expressing their freedom of choice via social media and Twitter is at the forefront of this. Twitter would appear to offer guests the chance to customize their hotel experience further than ever before, with guest-facing digital technology allowing for the expression and continued shaping of the traveller experience.

Customizing the Guest Experience

One way of using Twitter within the guest experience is by asking for a guest’s Twitter username – preferably during the check-in process or even during booking. It goes without saying that not all guests will be on Twitter but with the median age of a Twitter user currently standing at 37, there’s a good chance users within the 25-44 year segment will be engaging with this particular platform.

Twitter Platform

It makes sense, then, that a solid social media strategy for hotels would take this segment into account and plan accordingly. Twitter is used for a myriad of purposes from engaging with brands to planning careers. Accessing a guests Twitter handle allows hotels to engage in direct communication with the customer via a tweet, which can in turn help to make hotel stays a more personalised affair. It can be as simple as messaging to see how their stay is or you could even make local recommendations based on their activity.

Recommendations for Hotels Using Twitter

Staying in the good graces of your hotel guests will involve carefully avoiding bombarding them with information or sales patter and ensuring that no personal information, beyond a customer’s name, is given out during tweet activity.

There are a few inventive hotel marketing solutions that harness customer data in a direct, personable way – but nonetheless, customers and companies alike should be careful that their level of familiarity never extends beyond acceptable boundaries.

When you’re using Twitter to act as a customer facing piece of technology, you should ensure that it captures your brand and is still useful. It means creating a tone of voice that your guests will relate to, whether it’s friendly or professional. You should ensure that your Twitter activity encompasses both posting your own content and curated content and replying to Tweets that relate to your hotel.

Understanding Potential ROI

The potential for hoteliers using Twitter in their strategy is almost limitless, though the immediate return on investment (ROI) is more difficult to calculate. Connected consumers are enabled to state their wants and needs digitally. This could help cut costs and increase the usage of on-site services with customers wanting minimal human interaction during the ordering process. Twitter has the potential to keep customers connected but never feeling pressured into making a decision.

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Social Media

The huge social media and picture sharing platform, Pinterest has now opened its digital doors even wider to the world of online business. The company has recently announced the addition of several new search tools to Pinterest Ads Manager that will allow companies to target their adverts more accurately than ever before.

The new features utilise more accurate search criteria thanks to the introduction of keywords and have already shown very positive results. The changes are part of a host of upgrades that Pinterest has made to its business services over the course of the last 12 months – other updates for advertisers rolled out recently include the introduction of Pinterest Marketing Partners, auto-play for video ads and reader check offs for pins.

Pinterest is one of the most visited content and image sharing websites in the world with over 2 billion active searches taking place every day according to the platform’s figures. This huge consumer base offers a lot of potential to new and established businesses looking to expand and increase their online traffic. The aim of the new search tools is to utilise the vast number of unbranded daily searches taking place through the use of an automated search function that works based on specific company keyword strategies.

Pinterest

With such a large pool of consumers using the service every day to search for creative solutions and product ideas, the new development makes it easier for brands to monetize their Pinterest presence. The image sharing social network is offering companies a way to engage with potential customers at the early stages of the purchase cycle through the use of pin-point accurate search tools and tailored keyword strategies.

The new tools added to Pinterest Ads Manager offer a simplistic and effective solution for advertisers looking to launch a new targeted campaign. It will allow businesses to more accurately dictate which searches their ads appear in by using a mixture of specific keywords and broad phrases. The intention is that consumers will be presented with more relevant ads which are more likely to be clicked on, thereby increasing traffic and improving conversion figures.

The success of Pinterest’s new search tools has been seen in a number of tests by online companies. In a search-driven campaign ran by STAINMASTER Home Cleaning the company saw a huge spike in traffic from new customers with the figure rising to 90%. In addition to this, the company’s cost-per-click fell 90% lower than search campaigns carried out on similar platforms. These figures show the potential of Pinterest to improve business for online companies.

The ability to more accurately craft a search targeted campaign could help companies operating online to maximise the potential of their adverts while keeping down costs and reducing the amount of unseen ad space. By tapping into such a diverse and highly active consumer base, companies will be able to utilise Search on Pinterest and create more organic targeted ad campaigns while minimising costs.

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Social Media

Have you been using the same social media strategy for years? If so, it’s time for a change. The world of social media is constantly evolving, with everything from the platforms themselves to the features they offer coming on leaps and bounds not just in the last few years but in many cases, even in the last few months.

If you’re still using a social hotel marketing strategy from even six or seven months ago, then it’s likely that you’re not making the most of social media to drive your hotel’s success. And that’s putting it nicely. Fortunately, we’ve identified the key areas to focus on that will enable you to keep your finger on the pulse and your social media game up to speed.

Mobile

Virtually everyone now has a smartphone with internet connectivity now. Even older people have embraced the brave new world of mobile technology, meaning it’s vital that you do to. The majority of people access their social media through their mobile device so, likewise, you need to consider your social hotel marketing strategy to accommodate for mobile users.

One way to do this is through the recently-introduced Facebook Lead ads. This new diamond of the hotel digital marketing world means that as soon as a Facebook user clicks your ad, their information from Facebook is automatically filled into the form. In a world where convenience is everything, this designed-for-mobiles ad is an almost guaranteed success.

Social Media Marketing

New channels

Social media is no longer just about Facebook and Twitter. SnapChat, Reddit, Instagram, WhatsApp, Tinder and more are now used by millions across the world, and it’s vital that you make the most of each of them to ensure you hotel’s success. Find out which platforms your most popular guest demographic is using and consider a relevant platform presence of social media advertising approach for each one.

Your potential guests might be looking for love on Tinder, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate this hugely popular app into your social hotel marketing if your demographic aligns. Your ad might cause them to find their next holiday destination because of its prime location on the screen (as opposed to Facebook ads, which don’t take up a whole screen) grabbing their attention.

AI

Another trend to take advantage of is the rise of AI. Facebook’s AI is generally considered to be the best across the board, so why not take advantage of Facebook Lookalike audiences? This allows you to upload your target prospects or most valuable customer’s details to Facebook, at which point Facebook will match your ads to them. It’s both incredibly complex but incredibly useful because of its ultra-specific nature, and it’d be foolhardy to ignore marketing tools as powerful as this.

Video

With 45% of Facebook users watching over an hour of video content per week and 82% of Twitter users watching video content on Twitter, including video as part of your social hotel marketing strategy is now more integral to your social media success than ever.

Produce video montages showcasing your hotel’s USP or live stream the opening of your new luxury suite; video content is more interesting and easy to consume than other forms of media, and much more likely to gain interaction than pictures or text.

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Social Media

We know that social media marketing is becoming more sophisticated by virtue of the increasingly complex innovations and advanced features rolled out by the likes of Facebook and Instagram on a seemingly weekly basis.

While some updates are focused on the consumer, the good news is that marketers are often able to use new and insightful tools developed as a result of these innovations to their advantage. But with updates and developments happening almost weekly, it can be difficult to keep up with what’s actually available and more importantly, what works.

As a leading hospitality marketing agency, we’re experts in social media marketing and understand how it can elevate a hotel to new heights. Facebook’s latest update will prove to be invaluable to the hotel industry.

What’s changing?

Facebook has always been at the forefront of analytics, but hotel owners and managers now have access to more analytical tools than ever before thanks to added page metrics features. Providing business pages with more ways to understand their audience, these new metrics are released monthly and provide up to date information that is inherently useful to your hospitality marketing agency and your in-house marketers alike when it comes to understanding behaviours and trends.

Analytics

Learn about interactions

The long-awaited update for interactions is finally here. By highlighting how many users reached the website after clicking on an ad, this new metric helps businesses to understand how important “optimising for a better mobile web experience” is. Delving into more detail than ever before, hotel page administrators are able to see not only if users are clicking a link, but whether they then make it there – or hit the ‘back’ button – which could be an indication of slow page-load times.

Learn who is clicking

Called the “pre-impression activity breakdown”, this link-focussed metric is revolutionising digital hoteliers’ lives. Offering more insight into who clicks through, the data flags up when a user has visited the website before, in order to report when campaigns have been successful in attracting a new audience.

Recommendations is changing

This change expands on the platform’s ‘Recommendations’ feature where users ask their friends for help finding products or services. The new metric means that when the hotel is recommended by anyone, the recommendation will now show up on the relevant Facebook page’s analytics.

More accurate visit statistics

Facebook has always been technologically savvy, but some of its features were significantly out of date prior to this update. One of the simplest, but most useful, updates is the change in the way page owners can see who has shown an interest in their page. Previously they had to rely on page clicks, but the latest update shows page owners how many viewed the page by hovering over it – without actually clicking on it.

Deeper demographic insights

Understanding an audience is key. Facebook has always been very good at providing such information for page managers, but now this has become even more detailed. Information on where the followers came from – for example via a paid ad or organically – is now readily available.

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Social Media

Over the last 10 years, technology has changed the way marketing works forever– not least for the travel industry. Gone are the days of visiting a travel agent on the high street to book a package deal. Now, it’s now easier than ever to book a trip away online from start to finish independently. It’s easier still to shop around and compared prices from dozens of other hotel providers and mix and match different elements of the trip, including hotel room, excursions and travel to tailor-make the best deal.

And it’s not just good news for travellers; this global change has meant that travel marketers can also make the most of these new opportunities on offer. The travel sector, just like many others, needs to build and maintain relationships with customers in order to provide them with first-class service. This is the first step to retaining customers. And as the travel industry is incredibly competitive, it’s vital hoteliers able to keep up with the latest trends.

Social media has provided a simple yet effective way for the industry to speak to consumers and create a rapport. One of the most effective online marketing solutions, social media cannot be overlooked from brand building and lead generation perspectives. If you’re guilty of being out of the loop when it comes to this earned media channel, read on. We’ve compiled a list of the current, most important social media marketing trends for the travel industry.

Mobile messaging apps

There’s no denying that WhatsApp and Snapchat have changed the way we live our lives, but they’ve also provided us with uncapped opportunities for the hotel industry to engage consumers on the go. Although these types of platforms are still elusive in terms of functioning as blanket advertising and marketing platforms, it is now extremely common for consumers – particularly the younger demographic who are used to being ‘always on’ – to be engaged via these increasingly popular apps. Whether it be encouraging guests to interact with hotels and airlines at any time of day, or running initiatives via messenger, this somewhat new way of communicating within the industry is only set to grow.

Social Media Marketing

Omnichannel marketing

Technology has paved the way for omnichannel marketing. Although not a new trend, the use of various channels has started to gain momentum in the travel industry, earning the attention of savvy marketers across the board. Although there will continue to be the same challenges faced by omnichannel marketers as always such as attribution and continuity, those who invest heavily will reap the rewards.

‘Live’ videos

Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and YouTube Live are all just the tip of the iceberg for travel marketers. With consumers demanding information faster than ever before, ‘live’ videos, across all platforms, have all started to play a large role in hotel social media marketing. Providing a new, 360-degree element of social media interaction, this encourages influencers and bloggers to interact with the hotels and create a whole new dimension to their digital marketing.

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Social Media

In a global marketplace, social media platforms like Facebook are a very powerful marketing tool. They provide hotel brands of all sizes with an opportunity to increase customer engagement and appeal to a wider market.

A Facebook competition is tried and tested way to boost engagement on your page. It’s also an easy way to ramp up engagement, making a Facebook-hosted contest or giveaway a very valuable addition to your social media campaigns.

There is a lot to think about when it comes to hotel social media marketing but here are the important steps to consider when setting up your own Facebook competition.

Establish a purpose

Before setting up a Facebook competition it’s important to create a plan and establish a set of goals. Whether you’re hoping to raise awareness of a new hotel location or room type, or increase your online presence, knowing what the overall goal is will help you stay on track.

Establishing a purpose early on will also help you in the next step, which is to decide what you want to offer as a prize.

Decide on a prize

For your Facebook fans, the prize is the most important part of the competition. It’s the most important factor in determining whether or not they will take part. For this reason, it’s important to put a lot of thought into what the prize will be. Think about your consumer demographic and what their needs are.

The prize should relate to your location and type of hotel. You could offer a gift card or weekend pass for your spa, a free meal in your dining room or, a weekend or midweek stay. If you don’t want to give away a free night’s accommodation, you could consider partnering with a local business to gift a travel accessory or pass to a nearby attraction.

Social Campaigns

Create a captivating contest

With your objectives clear and a prize decided upon, you’ll need to think about the mechanics of the competition itself. The entry requirement could be as simple as asking users to like your Facebook post and you simply pick a winner at random. If your aim is to increase your hotel’s Facebook likes, you may want fans to like and share the post to expand your reach. Or, if you wanted to make it more challenging and interesting, there are a number of apps and websites that allow you to create all kinds of engaging contests and sweepstakes that are customised to your brand.

Promotion is key

However much time you spend thinking about the parameters of the competition and deciding on an amazing prize, it will be for nothing if no one takes part. In order to really get the most out of social media campaigns, it’s vital that you utilise the power of Facebook and your other owned media channels to raise awareness about your competition. Devote as much time as you can to sharing the competition link and spreading the word. You could include the competition in your email newsletter for example, on your website or via your other social media profiles.

The promotion doesn’t stop when the contest is finished. Be sure to share information about the winner and their prize. For example, if the prize is a free stay at your hotel, be sure to post pictures of the winner’s trip and allow them to share their experience with other potential customers.

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Social Media

With over 350 million monthly active users and around 15 million daily users, Snapchat has quickly become one of the most popular apps in the world, offering a huge potential consumer base for hospitality brands to tap into. The rapidly increasing amount of traffic on Snapchat has already been utilised by numerous global hotel brands but more opportunities exist.

In a growing digital market, it’s becoming increasingly important for hospitality companies to identify and analyse current social media marketing trends as part of their hotel digital marketing strategy. As one of the leading social media platforms, Snapchat can be a powerful marketing tool and can increase customer engagement if utilised correctly. Here are some of the important things to consider when debating whether or not to create a Snapchat profile for your property.

Huge market

The sheer size of Snapchat’s user profile is enough to entice most businesses to jump on board and create a digital presence. With over 14 billion daily video views, there is a massive amount of content being consumed by people all over the world. What’s more, the average daily amount of time spent by each user on Snapchat is around 28 minutes which gives a huge window of opportunity for clever marketing strategists. By tapping into this vast consumer base as part of social media marketing efforts, hotels can engage with a wider audience and improve sales prospects.

Limited demographic

Although there are a growing number of people using Snapchat, research shows that the majority of these users are aged between 18 and 34. This means that hotels operating on the popular app will be marketing themselves primarily to a younger audience. This may create obstacles or challenges for brands aimed towards different demographics. Recent studies have shown that millennials prioritise travel more, so this could be an opportunity to grow direct bookings from a different demographic.

Snapchat Platform

Digestible content

The advantage of using Snapchat as part of your hotel digital marketing strategy is that allows you to create simple and effective content that promotes your brand and informs consumers while being easy to access and digest. The short videos and simplistic image-based content found on Snapchat means that consumers with limited time or that don’t engage in traditional or text-based media can still engage with you. There’s also huge potential to repurpose and redistribute other content and create closer connections with the audience thanks to the more digestible nature.

Limited lifespan

The nature of Snapchat means that any information circulated on the app has a limited lifespan. Self-deleting content and daily stories are easy to consume but only offer a small window of opportunity to promote information. The material that you post on Snapchat will usually only remain on the app for 24 hours which means it may not be seen by as large an audience as expected.

The short lifespan of Snaps means constant updates are required to maintain effectiveness. However, this can be counteracted by supplying links to external sources in order to direct traffic towards your website or digital app.

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Social Media

Twitter is a dominant social force despite often losing headlines to rivals like Facebook, Instagram and Snap. With over 328 million monthly active users, Twitter is well worth its place in your social media marketing strategy. Not using Twitter as effectively as you could for your guests in this day and age is a foolhardy decision; why not try out some of these tips to increase your use of Twitter as part of your arsenal of guest engagement tools?

The welcome tweet

A great place to start is the welcome tweet. As previously mentioned, hundreds of millions of people use Twitter every month, so you can be sure that a sizeable chunk of your guests will to. Politely asking for Twitter handles upon check-in is a great way to create a rapport with guests.

One of the best and most simple ways hotel digital marketing professionals can begin this rapport is by sending a welcome tweet to new guests once they’ve put their bags down. This is a great way to add a personal element to the standard interaction. Aside from adding a welcoming touch that your guests will appreciate, it also shows that your hotel is confident using social hotel marketing techniques for your guest’s benefit. It also helps to set your brand apart from other hotels that guests may have stayed at previously.

hashtag

A word of warning is required here, however. If your guests decline to give you their handles when you first ask, then take no for an answer. Being pushy and repeatedly asking for your guest’s Twitter profile gives off the entirely wrong impression and can even backfire if your guest decides to send out a tweet bemoaning that the hotel they’re staying at won’t leave them alone.

Carry on the conversation

So your guest has liked or replied to your tweet welcoming them to your hotel? Brilliant; the average Twitter user has 218 followers, meaning you’ve already grown your organic reach considerably through the use of a relatively simple social hotel marketing technique. Hundreds of people you’d never have been previously able to reach will now be able to see your welcoming hotel etiquette and may even tweet you themselves to ask about pricing or enquire about things to do in the area if they were to stay with you.

Be sure to avoid over-replying though; this can give off the unprofessional impression that you spend all day on Twitter having a chat with guests when you should be doing something else. A great remedy to this is the direct message; if your guests have a query that requires repeated back and forth interaction, then message them privately. Doing this allows you to build your Twitter presence with polite and personal welcoming tweets that create a professional image for your hotel without going over the top. It also guards against the accusation that you may be showing favoritism to certain guests as you’ll be having the conversation through a private channel as opposed to publicly where the entire Twitter sphere can read it.

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Social Media

Social media is a constantly evolving arena. The speed with which new features are launched and new tools made available demands that you keep your finger on the pulse. If you are guilty of not staying up to date, there could be a plethora of social media advances that you aren’t using to stay relevant, grow your direct bookings and strengthen occupancy rates. If your social media knowledge has lapsed, read on to discover some of the latest features to hit the world’s most popular networks and find out how you can leverage them to your hotel’s advantage.

Live streaming

One area that should form a key part of your hotel digital marketing strategy is the use of live streaming. Opening a beautiful new swimming pool or spa for you guests to enjoy? You can live stream yourselves cutting the ribbon and capture the glorious moment children dive into the new pool. Want to show off your delicious all-inclusive hotel restaurant? Live-stream right from the kitchen to show your chef preparing some mouth-watering main courses. Live streaming has the benefit of putting viewers inside your hotel and trumps pre-recorded footage in this regard. Facebook, Twitter and Periscope all have live-streaming options, making this function one of the social media marketing trends you and your team should make the most of.

social-networking

Your story

Snapchat changed the social media game when it brought the use of stories into the fray. This 24-hour feature allows you to upload video or image content that will last for a day after you’ve posted it before being automatically deleted.

Aside from keeping a fresh picture of what life is like at your hotel for potential guests to view at their leisure, the more content you post on Snapchat means the greater your viewership will be. Why? Snapchat’s story feature automatically adds the newest story content to the top of a user’s story list, meaning that you’ll be boosted back to the top every time you update. Instagram also offers a story function, with many big brands using this to give followers a look behind the scenes. Stories are immediate, less scripted than other forms of marketing and can help you build a stronger rapport with your followers. If you haven’t yet tried stories, there’s no better time than right now to incorporate them into your hotel digital marketing strategy.

Create quick loading pages

Facebook announced in August that it would soon factor page loading time into its News Feed algorithm, meaning those users who access Facebook from mobile will be presented with mobile-friendly, fast-loading pages first. Keep this in mind when you’re writing and sharing Facebook posts on your business page as slow loading pages will be pushed further down News Feed.

Pinterest visual discovery features

If your hotel maintains Pinterest boards, you might be keen to know about the network’s work on new visual discovery features. If your hotel is located in a particularly picturesque location, or is packed with great décor, taking advantage of these changes can make your imagery more prominent on Pinterest. Recently, the network added Search and Lens to the home page feed for app users but, it’s also further developing its visual search tool and has added pinch to zoom. Pinterest reports visual searches have grown 60% in the last 12 months so it’s well worth focusing on imagery to grow your visibility.

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Social Media

The social media explosion of a few years ago saw platforms like Facebook and Twitter become an integral part of every hotel’s marketing strategy and an important channel for direct bookings. It’s now fair to assume that almost all hotels or hospitality venues have some kind of social presence, with someone on the in-house team tasked with running and managing each of these platforms.

Many people refer to this as ‘social media marketing’ or ‘social media management’. But now there’s a method of taking this marketing and management hybrid one step further, with social media community management.

So what’s the difference between community management and regular management on social media? The key factor that sets community management apart from typical social media management is the focus on relationships. Where regular hotel social media management might focus on regular updates and plenty of ‘Likes’, hotel community management on social media is all about finding new ways to interact with your fans and followers, one-on-one.

social-calender

Think of it like this:

•  Social media management involves producing or curating content for social media, as well as distributing it across your channels. A social media manager for a hotel will likely be focused on reach, engagement and traffic.

• Community management involves customer service, attentive listening, sentiment monitoring, starting and participating in discussion and managing customer complaints. Their metrics are not as easy to measure, but the results are just as important.

So why does social media community management matter for your hotel? You may be thinking that this type of marketing activity is best suited to the faceless brands that need to become more personal and approachable to their target audience – but smaller companies can get in on the action too.

One of the most important benefits of social media community management for hotels is that you gain valuable insight into your target audience. Market research can only take you so far – building a community on your social media channels can help you find out what your guests like, what they don’t like, what you can improve on, and what you’re already doing well.

A good community manager will also help your hotel to forge new connections at all times. They’ll be sourcing opportunities to contribute to guest blogs or invite experts and other (non-competitive) brands to contribute to your feed. They’ll be generating buzz in the online world, reaching out to other social influencers and chatting with potential new customers. Without this ongoing, hands-on management, your hotel’s social feeds can quickly become stagnant.

Think of your hotel’s social media community manager as the person at the intersection between your marketing output and your customers. They’re the ones putting a human face (or voice) to your sales messages, pulling together analytics, content, brand voice, strategy and interaction. Community management is essential for hotels trying to organically grow their social following and have a real impact online.

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Social Media

Generating leads is an ongoing task for any hotel marketer. Social media is a great way to reach out to prospective clients and LinkedIn is especially useful for those hotels looking to increase their business travel reservations. Having recently undergone a substantial redesign, LinkedIn is an ideal network for hotel marketers who want to access a professional audience in order to amplify their business client base.

Try these four ways to generate more business travel leads using your existing LinkedIn profile, specialist LinkedIn marketing solutions and your hotel’s business page.

LinkedIn Marketing Solution 1: Build an audience

Making connections on LinkedIn is vital for widening your audience and building your brand. First of all, add your connections. Avoid sending out lots of connection requests to people you have never met or interacted with. This is considered poor etiquette and will annoy those users, so stick to people you actually know initially. You’ll soon find that as you become more active on both your own profile and on your hotel’s LinkedIn page, connection requests will trickle in. Be sure to connect with your current clients and invite previous business travellers to join you.

LinkedIn Marketing Solution 2: Get involved

Being a business travel expert means you can offer a wealth of useful information. Share this by joining relevant groups and participating in relevant discussions. Share information that sets you up as an expert in your field without always relying on the hard sell. Most hotel marketing company social media experts will advocate for a 20/80 split. Focus on being helpful. Offer advice on locations or legalities, recommendations for useful services or other tips that will set business travellers up for success. The golden rule of updates is focus on adding value rather than constantly pushing offers. In a group situation, comment where you can genuinely be helpful but don’t leap into every conversation with a link back to your booking engine.

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LinkedIn Marketing Solution 3: Recommendations

Whenever LinkedIn suggests posting a recommendation most people sigh and click away. It actually only takes 5 minutes of your time to support a customer or key contact by giving a recommendation and you can use this to your advantage. This serves three purposes, it sets you up as a valuable connection, it shows that you understand networking and indicating the value of people you interact with, and of course, there is the reciprocation potential for them to return the favour. Consider (genuine) recommendations an investment in a future recommendation for your own expertise.

LinkedIn Marketing Solution 4: The Direct Sell

Have you sold your facilities and your business travel expertise on your LinkedIn profile? This is the perfect place for direct promotion so use it well. What do you do and why do you do it? What is the motivation that drives you as a hotel marketer (Hint: The answer is of course to provide the perfect travel solution for the busy clients that you value so much). You can also mention any accolades you have received, but do not go overboard. Stick to about a paragraph that answers the three Ws. Who are you; What do you do; and Why should people choose to do business with you?

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