3 billion people use social media today. From engaging with new customers to improving your SEO, social media are amazing tools to market your hotel and increase its visibility along the traveler’s research and booking journey.
Moreover, mobile trends make social media even more powerful and is changing the way consumers search for and book a trip.
How can your hotel leverage social media? Keep calm and read this article!
With social media channels popping up all the time, you can easily be ‘lost in translation’.
Here are the top 3 B2C-focused social media platforms every hotel should consider:
> With over 2.07* billion active Facebook users per month for Q3 2017, and a 16%* increase year over year, Facebook is inescapable. Especially as Travel is the #1 topic addressed by Facebook users, ahead of going out, food and fashion. Every hotel should have at least a Facebook page to increase their visibility, particularly given that 87%** of millennials use Facebook for travel inspiration.
> Based on visual content – definitely one of the most effective way to communicate about hotels – Instagram increases your hotel brand awareness. With pictures and videos triggering emotions, travelers are more likely to book your hotel: “70% of Instagram users take action such as visiting a website after looking at an Instagram advertisement.”**
>The third key player is Twitter. “66%** of Twitter users have discovered a new small or medium business on Twitter, 94%** plan to purchase from them and 69% already have.” After the US, which represents 30%** of Twitter users, the top 3 countries are Japan, Mexico and Brazil. But with the massive number of tweets posted every minute, you need to create catchy and highly shareable tweets to stay ahead.
Depending on the customers and markets you want to reach, you may want to consider other platforms: WeChat for instance is the major player for the Chinese market.
And according to your resources and budget, don’t hesitate to leverage on additional social media such as YouTube, SnapChat, Pinterest, or LinkedIn.
If you’re wondering what kind of information you can communicate to your followers, just step into travelers’ shoes and think of the kind of content they would like to see. Here are a few ideas to guide you:
Here are some tactics to stand out on social media:
> Less is more! Be concise and use pictures to get your point across. When it comes to text, the preference is English and the local language of your hotel location.
> Capturing new followers is key but retaining them is jsut as important. Frequency and consistency is key to increase your follower’s engagement.
According to a Simply Measured study on Instagram: “users are becoming more receptive to brand content on the network and active brands are driving more engagement”
> Use #Hashtags! Posts with at least one hashtag generate on average 12.6% more engagement. **
To be efficient, hashtags have to be generic enough to make sure you will reach a large community of users. Create your hashtag and link it to a campaign, and remember to use a subject or theme users will be sensitive to. You can also use trending hashtags depending on the news (#Paris2024, #Diwali, #ChineseNewYear, #MostraVenezia, etc…) or cyclic hashtags that are regularly and widely used such as #TravelTuesday or #TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday).
To help you get inspired, here a few common Hashtags hotels use:
> Tell your story!
Since Instagram launched its “Stories” tool, which allows you to create and share mini-video sequences to form a “story” from start to finish, the social platform has bloomed and made mobile use even more instinctive. This is a powerful and intuitive way to share timely information about your hotels’ promotions, events, or facilities, which keeps your followers tuned to your hotel news.
> 3, 2, 1, go! Run a contest, travelers love it: Best picture of your hotel, comments on your posts… and reward travelers who participate!
> Partner with influencers to relay your news: they have tons of followers you could reach! Try to identify a few influencers that fit your hotel image and do not hesitate to contact them to be part of one of your campaigns.
> Offer a discount and sell directly on social media
Reward your members by offering them exclusive rates or packages only available through the social media they engage with.
Monitoring KPIs is vital to measure your ROI and continuously improve your social media strategy.
Number of likes and shares can help you to identify what’s working and what’s not, and where you should direct your energy.
Understanding your audience’s behavior can also help you define which days and hours work best for your hotel posts and generate more engagement. You can schedule posts to be connected to travelers in “real-time” no matter the time zone of your audience.
To help you reach a larger audience, you can also strategically invest in paid social media campaigns.
Once you feel comfortable enough and master 2 or 3 social media platforms, you can take the next step and integrate those channels in your online distribution mix!
Social media needs to move out of the silo and into the hotel ecosystem. Take a look at new technologies such as messaging apps and chat tools, social media based conciergeries, hotel website access with social identity connection, social advertising, and real-time prices and availabilities displayed on your social media feeds.
*Source: Facebook 01/11/2017
**Source: Millenials Marketing
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