Hoteliers are quickly learning about the power Social Media offers in marketing their hotel. Because social media engages its users so effectively, it makes sense for hoteliers to use these platforms to compliment other mainstream sales and marketing activities – such as advertising and PR.
The secret of success lies in the creation of a connectivity hub which people can join. The connectivity hub is really an APP that is accessible on a PC or Mobile device. The central feature of the APP is a content feed, which streams information back to the user, based on their interest. Much of the content being streamed is personal and about what friends and acquaintances have been up to or are doing. Personal information helps energize and engage the user to make it a great experience. To fill gaps in personal information, "fillers" are added such as daily news, current affairs, and business promotions based on the user’s interest.
Most social media platforms are similar in using targeted personal content to feed user interests. Businesses can take advantage of this unique attribute, by building a robust business profile to attract people. Finding new people to become followers of your business can be done organically or through paid advertising, which we discuss below.
Meanwhile, today’s easy access to real time information provided by an established digital infrastructure and mobile networks, makes accessing the internet, whether through a PC or mobile device easier than ever. Social Media platforms have been savvy in using these resources to build their business by making it easy to connect with like-minded users, families and user groups. Hence, anyone and everyone can share anything whether its personal information and photos or getting news about events relevant to them and according to their interest.
There’s no one size fits all Social Media strategy for hotels, since every hotel is different as are the many social media platforms that exist.
To develop your hotel’s social media strategy, you’ll want to outline what you would like to achieve and how this fits into the bigger sales and marketing picture for your hotel.
Some of the questions to ask may include:
Establishing your strategy using the parameters above, will make it easier to choose which platform will yield the best results.
Social Media platforms allow users to create their unique business profile so they can target people, interest groups and demographic users, by feeding information about events, promotions and exclusive deals.
Developing a business profile helps attract like-minded people who share a common interest in your business. For example, someone might see your business as unique and having useful information, whilst others may choose to follow news and promotions you offer from time to time. People who follow businesses tend to be looking for promotions or even limited time exclusive deals.
One of the main reasons why Hoteliers will want to use social media to influence people is because they are already highly qualified having chosen to follow what you do. Being highly qualified makes these folks good candidates for sales conversion.
Going a step further, the business can profile their followers. Profiling opens up the opportunity to break away from purely organic promotions, to one that is more tactical based on paid advertising. (similar to website advertising) Advertising on social media offers the advantage of reaching a large, highly qualified audience, guaranteeing a high turnover with minimal wastage.
For example: Facebook has nearly 3 billion monthly users whilst Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly active users. Meanwhile Twitter has approx. 340 million active users.
Even if you are not spending money on paid ads, you can still build a large following by engaging and interacting strongly with the travel community. The positive engagement you provide should translate into more views and visitors arriving at your Social Media page. The more visitors you have, the easier it is to convert them to sales.
There’s a lot you can do to grow your Social network organically and without spending on ads - for example.
Each of the platforms listed here have big audiences and some are niche oriented.
For example: WeChat is exclusive to China, while LinkedIn is mostly popular with working professionals, whereas LINE is popular in Thailand because of its colorful icons and animations.
When developing your strategy, it’s important to keep in mind the attributes that make each platform different.
For all intents and purposes, hoteliers will want to focus the bulk of their attention on Facebook. Meanwhile, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube are worthy candidates in addition to Facebook or alternatives of Facebook.
Social media and Facebook go hand-in-hand. Facebook was one of the first platforms to launch and its certainly one of the most important.
Like SEO marketing for your website, search engines are known to list search results based on your hotel’s Facebook page and in some cases with the same relevance of your website (depending on the keyword being used) This means that it’s really important to setup your hotel name and location correctly within Facebook to get the best of both worlds.
Building a robust business profile on Facebook helps you maximize your online exposure. To get the best results from your website and social media pages, make sure all your non – social media profiles and any aliases you’re using on the website, get fed into the Facebook page. (establish a link back)
Similarly, make sure your website content gets shared out from your Facebook page - especially if you have a blog or a gallery of photos.
On the back of the traffic you drive to your Facebook page - make sure that you have a point of sales “BOOK NOW” button which links to your booking engine so that you can capture any and all potential on-line traffic.
Aside from that - It goes without saying that you’ll want to focus on creating good content. Creating good content includes:
When it comes to sharing travel related images and videos there’s no more popular platform than Instagram. Travelers love to curate perfectly framed photos, write amazing captions, and use fun hashtags – allowing other travelers to get inspired in turn. It makes complete sense for you to join this community, share your own dazzling property and destination content, and connect with potential guests.
Instagram also now has features that allow businesses to include “Book” and “Reserve” buttons on their profile and you can create your profile in much the same way as you do on Facebook.
Some tips for sale and marketing your hotel on Instagram:
YouTube is embedded into the fabric of how people consume video content and entertainment, to the point where it is probably more influential than television advertising. It has the potential to put your brand in front of a large volume of potential guests, and we already know that video is more engaging than still images.
Video is set to account for 82% of all consumer Internet traffic worldwide by this year (2021). Video is a great way to bring your destination and your hotel to life, engaging the imagination of travellers and inspiring them to take a trip.
Some tips on the types of video content you might produce:
Social Media platforms help compliment your hotels sales and marketing resources and tools. Compared to the website, social media platforms offer the advantage of being less static and more engaging with their users. There are several Social Media platforms to choose from, with each one offering something that is unique.
Common to all platforms is the content stream, which feeds information curated to the user’s interest. The content stream is highly qualified and can be a useful tool for businesses who want to promote their services. Businesses that have limited success promoting themselves organically can reach a bigger audience through paid promotions. Paid promotion is a form of advertising designed to enhance the sales conversion process more easily then organic promotions alone. Social media platforms offer the benefits and practicality of either organic or paid advertising giving their users a wide choice of options to reach their targeted audience.
Your hotel’s social media business page will not be useful as a sales and marketing tool without including a point of sales facility that allows users to make hotel bookings. This is especially true if you are promoting your hotel organically or through paid advertising. Ideally, you’ll want to connect to your booking engine with a "BOOK NOW" to monetize every opportunity when someone visits.
If you haven't already integrated a booking engine into your Social Media Business page, you’re probably missing out on point of sales booking opportunities.
For more information about how to connect your Social Media Platform with a Direct Booking Engine - Please get in contact with our Sales team: Bangkok 099 419 8735 Phuket 070 095 7437 or by Email: [email protected]