How to Build Your Hotel's Brand on Social Media
It’s no secret that a strong social media presence is key to helping your hotel thrive. We’ve put together some tips to help you captivate and engage your guests online. Happy posting!
Establish a Clear Strategy
The most important aspect of building your hotel’s brand on social media is to outline and stick to a strategy. This means setting specific, measurable goals, and developing a method for tracking those goals over time. For example, instead of simply aiming to increase followers and engagement, set a goal of gaining 200 followers and increasing likes by 10% by the end of the quarter. You must also determine which platforms you will use to promote your hotel, and what to post on each one. To do this, identify the guests you want to reach online, and figure out where they spend their social networking time. For example, you’ll find younger guests on newer platforms, such as Snapchat and Instagram, while Facebook tends to be more popular with older visitors.
Quality Over Quantity
When posting on social media, consistency is crucial. We recommend creating a content calendar and using a scheduling platform to ensure that you’re posting at a steady rate. One mistake brands often make is posting too frequently. While it might seem like a good idea to get as much content as possible in front of your guests, this strategy can lead to unfollows and reduced engagement. What you should be doing instead is posting about things that guests actually care about. Posting more valuable content, less often, is the best way to engage guests rather than overwhelming them.
Focus on the Visual
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Social media users agree, which means that text alone is no longer sufficient for your hotel’s posts. Video is especially relevant, with 500 million people watching videos on Facebook every day. Harnessing visual content will lead to increased interaction from guests, and higher engagement. Share compelling images of your hotel, or a particularly beautiful snapshot of your city. Create appealing videos of your property to add to Facebook or Instagram. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to get creative with increasingly popular ephemeral content. These “stories” posted on various social networks are only visible for a short period of time, and are the perfect way to test out new visual content.
Social Isn't Just for Self-Promotion
A healthy number of promotional posts can do great things for your hotel. However, if everything you publish is self-serving, guests will soon tire of your brand. There is some debate over the exact ratio of promotional content businesses should use, and your strategy will depend on the nature of the posts you’re producing. To truly engage your followers, you should aim to create value, so think about the type of content that would interest guests or potential guests. For example, your visitors are likely to be interested in events or activities taking place around the hotel. Regularly share the most exciting things happening in your city, or highlight lesser-known attractions. Travel tips and seasonal posts are also great ideas that any property can put to use.
It's All About the Conversation
Social media is, by definition, social. It serves as a way to get to know your guests, and gives them a chance to express themselves. Ask questions and encourage them to share photos or feedback. Drive engagement in-person during the stay by reminding guests to post about the hotel. You can even suggest in your communication materials (emails, in-room cards) that guests tag the hotel in online photos of their vacation. Social can also be an excellent customer service tool, if used properly. This means your hotel must respond respectfully to any guest comments, complaints, or questions. Speed is essential here – when customers complain on social media, 42% expect a response within the hour. Responding can help you regain control of the situation, and leave a positive impression on past and future guests. If your team needs help figuring out exactly how to respond to negative feedback, here are some tips.
Let Your Hotel's Personality Shine
Use social as a branding opportunity that allows you to truly highlight your hotel’s personality and voice. You should work to keep your language, tone, and mood as consistent as possible, which will look different for each hotel. For example, a boutique hotel targeting younger guests can post fun, out-of-the-box content, while a 5-star property must cultivate a more elite, luxury persona. It’s up to you to determine what works best. No matter what your voice is, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms are the perfect place to tell your hotel’s story. You can also showcase your brand by providing some behind-the-scenes photos, or coverage of special events and activations. Paint a picture for potential guests by putting the typical guest experience on display. Your followers will enjoy getting to know you a little better.