During a challenging time with low demand, what better way for hotels to stay top of mind than by utilizing an effective marketing strategy. Social media can be one of the most effective and underutilized tools for hoteliers. That said, it can also be very overwhelming. Here are 7 tips to ensure you wield the full potential of your social media platforms.
Focus on High Quality Photos
The majority of social media platforms are image driven. So while snapping a few quick, low resolution photos might be convenient, do they really represent the brand or image you want to convey. Take a few moments, or better yet, schedule a photo session to really capture the spirit and beauty of your hotel. A professional photographer with an eye for detail and a talent for lighting could really help to set your hotel apart from the rest.
Create a Schedule
It's 9:00am and you’ve still not posted anything to your social media pages. Sound familiar? Without a plan or routine in place, posts become inconsistent and are often filled with mistakes. These sorts of cringe-worthy posts can be a real turn-off to potential guests. Pre-planning, or creating a social media content schedule, ensures consistency and further enhances the overall image of the hotel.
Choose Your Trends Wisely
There are hashtags-a-plenty to follow and there are those that are well-intentioned and have great meaning and those that border silly to the highest degree (hello #NationDollyPartonDay). And while it may be “fun” to participate, not all social media challenges and trends are appropriate for your brand.
But if #NationalDoughnutDay compliments the expertise of your hotels pastry chef, by all means, hop on that bandwagon. Again, I caution you to not participate unless it compliments the brand and the greater aspects of your hotel.
Complete Your Profile then Keep It Up-to-Date
There is nothing worse than an incomplete profile complete with broken links, missing logos and poor quality images. It’s understandable that to be on every social platform and keep them up-to-date while engaging with your audience is a challenge for all businesses large and small.
Take time. At the very least, claim your space on all of these platforms. Take the full hour to complete each profile to ensure that your logo is present, your website link is functioning properly, all social handles are consistent and contact information is correct.
You may not have the time or resources to commit to each of these social platforms and that is okay. Choose the platforms you wish to engage in and focus on those. Should you have any potential customers on those other channels you’re not using much, your basic and complete profile will redirect them to your website.
Create a Call to Action
If you’ve begun posting, what are you expecting of your audience. "Please like our post” or “be sure to follow us” are not unique, and don’t speak to the brand. The point of social media is to be social. Create a dialogue, ask specific questions and ask your consumers to respond in an appropriate way. By doing this, you will create a better user experience and you will find your audience will be all the more engaged and loyal to your brand.
Don’t Over Sell
Though you absolutely must create a call-to-action, don’t oversell. We all know and recognize the stereotypical “used car salesman” (sorry car salesmen, it’s not all of you). There is a difference between selling and serving your customers and they will recognize the difference. It is essential to develop and nurture authentic relationships. Serve your customers first and the sales will follow.
Keep in Touch
Social media allows for a direct connection to your consumers. The reason to have a social media platform to be social with your guests. Engage, respond, or don’t bother with social media at all. Being unresponsive reflects poorly upon your brand and image and according to Sprout Social is the number one reason for a person to stop following a particular brand.
The further enhance the lines of communication between your hotel and your potential guests is to also utilize user generated content. Your guests can become your best brand evangelists!
While managing a strong social media presence can be challenging, it is essential. Now more than ever, customers are online and want to engage on these social channels. Don’t let the opportunity to connect with your fan base pass you by!