In today’s tech-savvy society, social media is a powerful tool for marketing your hotel business.
A natural extension of the traditional hotel website, social channels can help spread your brand messages in the form of easily digestible bitesize chunks, whether as text or fun visuals.
Last year, 33% of holiday-planners changed their initial hotel choice after consulting social media, according to Internet Marketing Inc. Despite this, our own research revealed that 29% of UK hotels have no social media account at all.
Don’t get left behind! Social media should now be viewed as a vital and central part of any hotel’s marketing activities, rather than an optional add on.
“Social media is a great way of talking to your customers,” says Julia Davies, marketing and PR director at Cottage in the Wood, a beautiful boutique hotel in the Malvern Hills, and one of our clients.
“Social media is not a sales tool, it is a brand-enhancing tool,” she adds.
“What your customers say about you online can convert them into advocates of your business.”
Here are some tips to ensure your hotel is tweeting like the best of them:
Create a blog
A blog is a wonderful opportunity to communicate with customers whilst displaying some personality. It is a quick and easy way to keep the public informed about what’s going on at your hotel. It will also provide ideal content to be share across your other social media channels, and brings followers directly to your website.
Encourage guest interaction
Invite guests to share their hotel experience on their personal social media accounts. Encourage the use of a particular hashtag that allows their images and comments to be viewable when others search for your establishment.
Give your guests an incentive by offering a monthly prize to the best picture, and make sure to repost positive feedback – real customer opinion will be regarded as more trustworthy than any other endorsement.
Respond to negativity
Social media has handed more power to the customer. A single tweet can reach thousands of people, which can convert potential negative feedback into a rather daunting prospect for the hotel owner.
Instead of shying away from online criticism, engage with it. A Tripadvisor study showed the more reviews management responds to, the higher their average rating and the more page views and booking inquiry clicks earned. Even one response can increase engagement by 17%!
Do not simply apologise for a bad customer experience. Do demonstrate empathy, but focus on what is being done to resolve the issue and highlight a proactive approach.
However choose carefully where and how you respond.
Julia Davies adds: “It is best not respond to customer complaints openly on Facebook as this can result into a snowballing conversation which is difficult to manage.
“Much better to respond in the safe environment of TripAdvisor due to its binary format of comment and response.”
Social media should be interesting and entertaining, so don’t let your posts become mundane or too “salesy”. Keeping your content fun, light-hearted and relevant for your target audience, will give your hotel an approachable and likeable air.
A New York Times study found that social media’s most shared content is that of a ‘valuably entertaining’ nature. Be creative with images and video to ensure your posts are interesting, and your reach will be boosted by shares and interaction.
Keep things consistent
The social media world gives you the chance to bring your hotel to life. With this is mind, you must ensure that the tone of your content remains consistent to avoid a confused, split-personality effect. Posts should be regularly spaced and in keeping with your brand, to purvey a confident and assured online voice.
Our Hotel Executive property management system (PMS) integrates with top booking agents that will support your social channels. They can embed a ‘book now’ button into your Facebook page to facilitate direct bookings via social media – a rapidly growing sales channel.
To find out more, please get in touch.