The rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram has meant that social media marketing is now more important than ever before and it provides a number of excellent opportunities for those in the hospitality industry. In this article, we take a closer look at social media marketing and its benefits, and offer seven social media marketing tips that those operating in the hotel industry can use to promote their business.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the process of gaining attention and exposure for a business or brand through the use of social media sites. This promotional activity can take many forms, ranging from posting or sharing photos or videos, to linking to external websites or content, and even paid ads through social media platforms.
It is especially useful for those in the hospitality industry, because platforms like Facebook are a perfect way to engage with existing and new customers. Also most social media platforms have built-in analytics tools, allowing hotel owners to monitor engagement. Additionally, social networks often include valuable components for hotel promotion, such as customer reviews and the ability to invite users to events.
7 Social Media Marketing Tips for Hotels
Below, we have compiled some social media marketing tips, which are especially relevant to those working in the hotel industry and which can help marketers to create an effective, comprehensive strategy.
1. Outline Your Social Media Strategy
The first step of any successful social media marketing campaign is to establish a basic strategy. Here, you need to think about your audience and what they are actually interested in. Moreover, you need to decide which social media platforms to use and be clear on what each platform will actually be used for.
During this stage, you may also find it helpful to establish some best practices or social media guidelines, so that all staff members are on the same page. It may also be sensible to identify potential targets in terms of the audience demographics you want to reach, as well as social media influencers you would like to win over.
2. Set Specific, Measurable Goals
Once you have a basic strategy outlined, one of the most essential social media marketing tips is to set some more specific goals or objectives. Doing this will help to ensure that everybody involved in the social media marketing strategy knows what you are trying to achieve and will help to keep them motivated.
Crucially, these objectives or goals must be measurable and realistically achievable. Do not set generic targets like “increase number of social media followers”. Instead, set specific targets, like “increase bookings generated through social media by 20 percent” and continuously measure your performance against them.
3. Optimise Your Social Media Pages
With a basic strategy in place and some more specific objectives in mind, it is time to optimise your hotel’s social media pages. For those in the hospitality industry, this means ensuring corporate information is listed on them, that location information is available to visitors and that content is organised in a logical way.
In addition to these basic steps, you should use a high-quality image of the company logo as a profile picture, upload plenty of photos of your hotel, and include a link to the main hotel website on your social media pages.
4. Be As Consistent As Possible
In general, social media audiences like consistency and dislike sporadic use of platforms to promote content. For those in the hotel industry, it is important to adopt a consistent approach to posting content, rather than going weeks at a time without posting and then springing three posts on people and expecting them to engage.
Draw up a basic schedule for posting new content and try to stick to it as much as possible. When your audience knows to expect new content, those with an interest in it are more likely to take the time to visit your profile on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and actively seek it out, engage with it and share it with their followers.
5. Take Advantage of Paid Advertising
Many marketers turn to social media platforms because they can generate results without the expenditure associated with traditional advertising. Nevertheless, social media platforms like Facebook offer excellent paid advertising options as well, and it is worth taking the time to explore these options.
Benefits of paid social media advertising include built-in re-targeting features, the ability to advertise to very specific demographics, and the enormous potential reach, due to the number of users on social media sites.
6. Engage With Your Audience
One of the most important social media marketing tips revolves around actually engaging with your audience on social media. This means taking the time to respond to their questions, doing so in a useful way, conversing with those who leave comments on the content you share and generally taking the time to interact.
Use hashtags to keep conversations about specific topics in one place, so that you can keep track of them more easily. This has the additional advantage of making content more easily searchable for your followers too.
7. Avoid the Temptation to Post Too Much
Finally, regular social media posts are good and a consistent approach to posting content is even better, but it is important not to overdo it. While it is generally okay to post regularly on Twitter, in order to maximise exposure, people tend to be less forgiving when a Facebook business page posts content all the time.
Studies suggest that the optimum number of posts on a Facebook business page is around seven posts per week, and no more than two posts on a single day. You can still respond to your audience’s comments and questions, but you should be respectful when posting new content and avoid spamming people’s timelines.
Social media marketing is emerging as an increasingly important advertising strategy and it has particular benefits for those in the hotel industry. By following the seven social media marketing tips above, you can help to ensure your strategy is well-rounded and more likely to help you to achieve your objectives.