How widespread is the use of social media today? In the past 10 years, the percentage of Americans with a social media profile has zoomed from 24% to 81%! That means that just about everybody who is able to read and travel is exposed to social media in one form or another. As a result, marketing via social media has become the new norm and extends well beyond Facebook and Twitter.
It is now vital for hotels to actively maintain their social media presence in order to increase their business. Savvy marketers today engage most platforms if they expect to effectively reach their audiences. There are some tricks to the trade to maximize popularity and increase followings, and it’s important to know how to promote your hotel with social media. Here are some ways you can stay ahead of your competitors:
1. Timing is Key
Although it feels like everyone is on their phone 24/7, there are key points throughout the day and week that get the most social media traffic. For example, posting a video on Instagram at 9:00 PM gets 34% more engagement than any other time of day! Not surprisingly, weekends are generally best since this is usually when travelers will have more time to peruse your hotel’s website, and plan their next trip.
Bear in mind that 80% of the population of the U.S. lives in the Eastern and Central time zones. This can be important to properties with multiple locations throughout the country.
2. Keep It Current
Many platforms like Twitter have a trending topics section, which makes it really easy to find out what people are talking about. Instagram and Facebook have similar features that are easy ways to keep your business relevant. Using popular hashtags or mentions is the easiest way for people to see your posts. This is also a useful feature for local events that will be happening near your hotel to motivate people to not just find a hotel, but plan a vacation.
Integrating current memes into your social media pages is also a great way to attract people’s attention, and might even get you an “in” with the millennials. But please, for everyone’s sake, make sure it’s current, and still a relevant meme. There’s nothing more cringe worthy than finding an old meme on a recent post from a business, so make sure to keep up with the latest meme culture.
3. Photograph Everything
Photos and videos are the easiest way for people to get to know your hotel, and know who you are as a company. It’s also a great way for people to share their thoughts and opinions on your hotel if they’ve previously stayed there, and want to get someone else interested.
Here are some interesting stats from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association’s (HSMAI) special report on the hospitality and travel industry’s use of visual assets:
- 86% of members have increased the volume of new images and videos over last year
- Nearly a third of survey respondents invest over $50,000/year in visual media
- 48% of hospitality organizations have over 1000 visual images each
- 93% of respondents report using video and images on social media sites
According to Hospitality Net, photography is second only to price as a deciding factor for travelers scanning OTA sites. Professional photos obviously come out the best, but also make sure that there are plenty of photos on your social media pages, especially Instagram, and have them prominently displayed on your website. Easy access from your website to your social media through images is the fastest way to gain more traffic. For those hotels with especially interesting geographical settings, consider a drone video to really make your property pop.
4. Create an Aesthetic
The best looking, and most popular pages have a certain look or tone to them. It’s good not only for consistency, but also to make your page look more professional. This is especially important for Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, if you decide to use these platforms.
One of the best ways to create a look for your page is to stick with a color scheme. This can be accomplished by editing the photos, or putting filters over the images so they all look similar. Providing a beautiful page that people can scroll through makes your hotel seem much more “alive.” Again, there is an obvious difference between amateur and professional photography. This is not the place to cut corners, so don’t even think about using your phone!
5. Promote Yourself
Have no shame when it comes to self-promotion. You absolutely cannot be timid when it comes to ways to promote your hotel with social media. If you want attention from the public, demand it. Encourage people to follow, like, or pin you by offering incentives. For example, on Facebook or Instagram, if people check-in or geo-tag your hotel, give them a discount or a freebee for promoting your business. Also encourage people to post to their social media using your unique hashtags that you can later repost onto your site. Just be certain to never offer rewards for positive reviews, as this practice is a direct violation of FTC guidelines.
Another way to get involved with your community is to follow other businesses you can connect with via Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. By doing this, you can mention them and vice versa, which will expand your audience. There is also a diverse range of social media management tools to make it easier for you keep everything organized. Are you familiar with Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, and DashBurst? If not, you can get acquainted with these and others in a following post.
Enhancing your social media game will strongly increase your marketing presence, and you’ll gain a much broader audience. Social media isn’t just for millennials anymore; in fact it’s become one of the fastest growing strategies in hotel marketing, and it’s time to hop on the bandwagon!
Here, I wrap up my tips on managing your hotel’s social media.
Instead of being on probation, social media marketing for hotels has become an important part of the business world.
I’m sure all these strategies will surely help you to devise social media marketing strategies for your hotel in a much better way.
If done correctly and with proper planning, these social media platforms can become your revenue generating platforms in no time.
Get, Set, Go..!