5 Ways Hotels Can "Check In" More Guests with Social Media Marketing
Hotels and resorts can drive exceptional results with a well-developed and aligned social media strategy. Once such businesses understand the power of social media, and how it can affect the guest experience, they usually find that they are natural content generation machines.
With all the people checking in and out daily, there are many different opportunities to leverage these experiences and drive more bookings. Before we get into the different ways hotels can attract more guests with social media, we have to understand a few important things.
- Search engines will almost always be the starting point for guests when they're researching properties.
- Social media is a part of the journey and rarely the last touch before conversion - therefore, social media marketing will often not get credit for its influence in a booking decision.
- Many hotels don’t focus on their social marketing strategies because they either get support from a national brand (and they assume that is sufficient) or they don’t understand how one guest experience can impact and or/create another. Social media marketing for hotels isn’t just about fun beach pictures or 'Motivational Mondays'. With the right strategy, you can drive more business.
With this in mind, let’s talk about five ways hotels can attract more guests with social media.
1. Use the Data You Have
Every successful hotel or resort will have a robust CRM. The guest data you capture with this system is a powerful tool to prospect new business, retain past guests and simply keep your property top of mind.
You can upload guest emails into almost all the ad systems on social media sites in order to market to these users specifically, or create Lookalike Audiences which match the original list to the closest 1% of users.
If your CRM is segmented by frequency of stay, nights booked or other attributes, you can run some interesting social advertising campaigns. If you want to win more bookings, start by leveraging the most powerful asset you have - data.
2. Talk Less, Listen More
When we think about social media strategy, we usually think about what kind of content we want to post. But what if I told you that there's more value in listening than talking when it comes to social media marketing for hotels?
With social listening tools, you can keep tabs on relevant social conversations in your geo-market that your property can participate in.
Imagine helping a traveler book a last-minute room, or helping someone plan a dream vacation based on replying to a tweet.
Travelers love sharing their travel planning on social media, so take the initiative to be a source of value for those conversations.
And while you should be proactive, you should also be tactful. Know when to jump in and out of the conversations to avoid being overtly salesly.
3. Promote the Destination, Not Your Property
Guess what? There's a very slim chance that your hotel is significantly different than the one down the street.
You both have spacious rooms, a hip bar and presumably top-notch room service, right? But you need to stand out from your competition, or you'll fall victim to price-shopping online browsers.
By promoting the best and brightest aspects of your destination and local area, your property becomes a go-to resource for the happenings in the region. If you can establish this credibility, your hotel no longer becomes just a place to stay when visiting the area, it becomes the place to stay.
4. Delight Guests Past the Stay
Understanding the dynamic of guest experience is key when trying to generate repeat bookings.
Travelers tend to have a ton of excitement (and create a ton of content) while on their trip, however once their stay is over, hotels typically lose connection with the guest, save for maybe a newsletter or occasional email.
If your property can create content that helps extend the guest experience, beyond the stay itself, you can intensify that relationship, and create more top of mind awareness for those who might see the content.
For example, why not check your location tags on Instagram and repost User Generated Content from your property - and thank those guests for staying. If they re-engage with you, offer them something special next time they visit. Boom instant delight.
5. Activate Influencers
You never know who might be visiting your hotel, so make sure that your social media team is keeping an eye on the content created by guests when they visit.
Having a local influencer visit and not ensuring that they have a fantastic stay is a missed opportunity - and you can always do some influencer outreach and invite key individuals to come experience your property. Depending on the program you agree on, you can earn some fantastic content which will help bring awareness to your property. After all, social media users trust other users way more than they trust brands.
From experience working with hotels, social media marketing can help drive bookings and generate awareness. Generating such attention through social media can help a ton when it comes to the starting point, even if the booking process which is typically through a search engine.
If you want to attract more guests, you need to start with social media marketing.
Main image via Pexels.
Follow Nathan Mendenhall on Twitter