Brands from all backgrounds are now embracing social media. Given the fact that social media platforms provide customers with a voice that can reach around the world, it has become even more important for the hospitality industry to leverage social media to the greatest extent possible.
Whether your brand is a small boutique hotel or a large chain, numerous opportunities are available through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The most obvious and easiest way to begin is by utilizing social media to offer exceptional customer service. Twitter, in particular, is ideally suited for recognizing guests or even resolving customer issues as they arise. Foursquare also provides the perfect platform for meeting the needs of customers in innovative ways. For instance, you might consider seeding the site with insider tips to help make your guests' visits more interesting.
Does your property offer a unique culture or history? If so, take advantage of social media to share the stories behind your property that set it apart from others. Storytelling is rapidly becoming a preferred method for driving engagement across all social media networks. As brands in the hospitality industry often serve as the centerpiece for special occasions and moments, utilizing social media for storytelling provides an excellent opportunity for driving engagement.
Social media platforms such as Twitter actually provide smaller, independent operations with the opportunity to stand out from the competition by offering more personalized customer service. For instance, if you operate a restaurant, you might consider accepting to-go orders and table reservations via Twitter.
While social media offers numerous opportunities for the hospitality industry to drive engagement, all of that is for naught if brands are not able to measure the results they achieve. Brands sometimes find that measuring the effectiveness of social media in terms of their overall marketing campaign is somewhat of a challenge. Even so, there are methods that can be used to gauge a social media marketing campaign's efficacy.
The first step is to set goals that are both measurable and achievable. If your brand does not set goals, you cannot meet them. Take some time to think about what you hope to accomplish through not just social media but also for each social media network your brand utilizes. Remember that while it is likely not possible to participate on all social media channels, by prioritizing the most relevant channels for your industry, you can focus your attention where it counts the most.
Besides focusing your attention where it makes the most sense, it is also important to ensure that you are actually measuring the right metrics for social media. Among the most important metrics to measure when it comes to social media are interactions. Interactions refer to the number of times that guests interact with your social profiles. This could include voting, liking, signing up, etc.
Along with shares, it is also important to consider the number of times that your guests share your content and other information with their social network. This is particularly important in the hospitality industry, as recommendations and referrals often drive new business.
In addition to measuring the number of times that your prospect share information about your brand, it is also important to measure the number of responses that you receive to those shares and retweets. Resulting clicks is often an area where hospitality brands see the most outcomes. While many wary consumers might not likely click on a paid post, if they see something posted or shared by someone they know and trust, there is an increased chance that they will check it out. More shares result in more engagement.
Registration is another area where you can more accurately measure results. This refers to the number of people who complete a form in order to receive an offer. This could be a coupon for your restaurant or a special welcome packet when they stay at your hotel; anything that requires users to sign up.
Social media marketing offers numerous opportunities for businesses in the hospitality industry to drive both engagement and traffic. By focusing on relevant social media channels and measuring appropriate metrics, businesses can expand their customer base.