The scale of the competing voices surrounding social media is unbelievable, and might be why it can be difficult trying to engage with an audience and making them aware of your digital presence. Every single day, 2.5 billion new items of content are shared on Facebook, and if you want to stand out from the crowd and grab the attention of an audience then it could prove tricky at the best of times.
But does social media engagement actually matter in the general scheme of things?
Ultimately, engagement spreads your content further, seeping out through natural networks. It is all about building relationships and establishing an ever-increasing network of followers and fans that will see your content and then comment on what they have just read. This can attract new customers and also retain your existing client base.
Content has to provide value if you want to make an instant impact. If it is long-winded and overly-wordy then this will fail to pique the interest of prospective consumers. However, if it is interesting, inspiring, witty, and provides useful information then this will prove to be a huge positive.
Creating content which is rich, diverse and innovative takes a great deal of imagination and ingenuity. If you decide to build a framework around content then this will also help to gain social media engagement, especially if you tailor it around your business and add a unique twist.
If you are looking to augment brand awareness, then constant re-tweets and shares will present your content to people who might not have seen it before. Gaining more followers is an integral component of a long-term business plan, as more and more individuals will see your content and they can help to spread it further. You must then decide on what it is that you are hoping to achieve, and the corresponding metrics will demonstrate vital improvements which can be made in that area.
Diverse content and varying activities are more than likely to result in different types of engagement, and appeal to an entirely new customer base. An informal Twitter conversation, for example, can be incredibly useful if you want to increase the number of followers, as each person who joins the chat will spread the discussion further, and you should have interesting topics to focus on.
You can tailor a campaign towards reaching a particular goal, and really get to understand your audience. By getting a clear idea of what their specific interests are, you can add even more value and weight to a campaign, and make sure that you stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.
Social analytics tools can closely scrutinise what your target audience are talking about, and condense this information so that it relates to your business. In addition to helping you refine your own messaging, sharing content from other similar sources is an extremely useful tactic. You should not promote yourself too much, as this could put people off, so you have to make sure that all posts are detailed and appropriate. If you recognise that value can be provided from alternative organisations then this shows that you are aware of other companies, and wish to build relationships with like-minded hoteliers.
Pictures and video are often considered to be the most reliable forms of content. This is a fact which is often backed up by research and repeated. Hotel social media marketing is geared towards interacting with the customer and making them aware that you exist. Visual content is not the be-all and end-all, as it still needs to be well-constructed and planned with the utmost precision and attention to detail.
At the very minimum, you have to ensure that you get the dimensions on point. Each and every site has varying picture sizes, and if you manage to get your measurements correct then this will be extremely advantageous. In addition to purely visual content, there are also other tactics which you can adopt in order to increase engagement on social media.
Hashtags can help people discover your content, but overuse of hashtags is considered very bad practice. Whilst these techniques can definitely work, none of them guarantee continued engagement. You still have to offer value, and be helpful, humorous and current. It does not look professional to ask a question which no-one answers, or have a poll that has a handful of votes.
The best time to post will depend on several factors. If you want to make sure that you get the maximum number of ‘likes’ and shares, then posting at the beginning or the end of the working day might be a good idea. If people are travelling to and from the office then it is likely that they will check their phone when on the train or bus, and therefore you are guaranteed to engage with them whilst they are on the move.
You need to be instantly accessible to your audience at all times, and this could very well involve being on more than one popular network. However, it is vital that you do not spread yourself too thinly, as responding in a timely manner is integral for continued engagement.
Think about which platforms will be best for your business. In certain cases, it can be useful to create multiple accounts via the same platform. Many companies nowadays have a main account and a separate customer service channel. This is a handy divide which ensures that primary messaging is completely separated from customer issues.
You could make the mistake of releasing different types of content which are aimed at the same target audience. But, by grouping everything together you could still create a lack of cohesion and consistency. Too much irrelevant information detracts from the useful data which customers have been searching for. This can ultimately lead to a lack of engagement and may result in a decreasing amount of followers.
People get in touch with businesses mainly to discuss various details, and make alternative arrangements as regards booking details and room availability. If you are in the hospitality industry then you can provide information regarding access for those with mobility issues or supply alternative menus if someone has any specific dietary requirements.
If they receive a satisfactory reply then they will comment on how efficient the service is, and this could lead to more recommendations. Word-of-mouth is integral if you want to ensure that your business succeeds, so make sure that you continue to provide an outlet in which guests can voice their opinions and ask for advice as and when is necessary.
Customers are far more willing to give positive feedback if they can communicate with a business on a social level, as it is not just about having to answer complaints and dealing with problematic situations. In fact, it can be a really positive consumer-facing experience if you manage to engage with an audience and make them feel appreciated, so use social media platforms wisely and just see what happens.
It’s all about regular communication and interaction, and if you manage to build solid relationships with existing patrons and also connect with other individuals in the process then this can only be a good thing.
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