Social media marketing is such a crucial part of keeping your hotel consistently present and visible. By keeping yourself front and centre on social media, you're increasing your chances of gaining more direct bookings and always upping brand awareness. Social media marketing is one of those things that's easy to let slide as you can just let it continue ticking along in whatever routine you have established. Like anything, it's good to revisit every now and then to make sure you are adhering by best practises, your strategy and content are still fresh, and you're gaining the best results you can be getting from social.
Why is it important?
Social media marketing can help your brand with the following:
- Increasing your brand awareness
- Boosting direct bookings
- Developing relationships with your customers
By posting consistently on the platforms you are present on, you are increasing your brand awareness. This is why it is important to do so, and to make sure the content you are posting all links nicely back to your brand - visually as well as the messaging. By engaging with customers, you're slowly but steadily building a relationship with them. Think of user generated content and competitions - it is this type of relatable/fun content that people like to see and engage with.
Who are you talking to?
The first thing you need to do is figure out who you are talking to, who your audience is. This will help to determine what platforms it makes sense for you to have a presence on.
You might decide Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are platforms it makes sense for you to be on - both for their audiences and also for their functions. Facebook has an even spread of generation X and millennials and is best for brand awareness and advertising. Instagram primarily has millennials and is best for user generated content and advertising. Twitter also primarily has millennials and is very focused towards customer service.
What are you using social media for?
The beauty of using social media platforms is the fact that you can build out a content calendar that accounts for everything and leaves no stone unturned - you can create paid and organic content, content for different audiences, content related to selling specific packages, content that sells the story of your hotel. You can do it all! It just takes organisation and an awareness of what you want to use each platform for.
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook and Instagram can be used for both your paid and organic content. Create Facebook ads that run across each platform and utilise fun and different content types things like video. Facebook ads allow you to target your ideal travel market by letting you create very specific audiences based on demographics like age, interests, location and more.
You can also try to utilise what the platforms have to offer - so on Facebook and Instagram, use 'live' features, reels, post stories, post competitions and encourage people to tag your hotel in their posts or stories. Maybe you want to create a hashtag specifically for your hotel that people can use when they post. You can also utilise popular hashtags that are being used already if they are relevant to your content. Instagram might be the platform where you partner up with influencers too.
Twitter is (astoundingly) the 9th most visited website globally. As a hotel on Twitter, you will need to prepare yourself for guest queries and feedback - make sure you're replying to these promptly and in a suitable fashion, keeping in mind that your queries and replies are out there for the world to see! It is also a place where you can post brand updates and interact with sister/related brands or influencers.
Youtube is the largest search engine after Google! You can use YouTube to drive traffic to your direct channels. Obviously the platform is designed for video content so if you have any exciting video footage recorded or planned around your hotel/grounds/activities etc, Youtube is a perfect place to post it.
The best way to organise your social content is to sit down and plot it all out under relevant categories. Here are some ideas for the type of content you should consider as a hotel brand on social:
Your brand story and values
Who are you? What do you stand for? You need to create a distinct brand personality with clear values and messaging that drives all of your social media activity and helps you create a memorable brand. Do you want to tell your potential guests how family-friendly your hotel is? Want to tell your guests you take food and drink seriously? Is your hotel all about the environment? Do you pride yourself on providing a truly unique, boutique experience? Whatever the key values and personality traits your hotel has, communicate them via social. It's a great place to do it.
Exclusive offers and deals
Social platforms are of course the perfect places to communicate seasonal offers and competitions, too. Competitions or partnerships with influencers will help to attract attention to whatever offer/deal you are trying to promote, so consider where you can add one in when you are building out your seasonal content calendar. While both competitions and offer posts can be organic, you can also promote some offer posts too - try a mixture of paid and organic for the best approach.
The people, history, surroundings and day to day
People want to know where they are staying - and we don't just mean the literal room they book to stay in! In the current climate, there is nothing more important to consumers than authenticity.
How do you build authenticity? It comes back to showcasing your values, but you can also do this by talking about local brands and companies you work with and support throughout your area. It can be done by talking about or spotlighting on certain employees (in every part of your company) and flagging why they contribute so positively to your company. It can be done by educating people on the history of your hotel building, the grounds it sits on, the town it lives in. All of this builds your hotel to something bigger than a warm building for people to sleep in. It shows care, a human side, something to relate to.