The social media landscape is constantly changing and it’s important for hotels to keep up to speed. As new generations come into buying power, we are seeing a rise in Instagram and TikTok. Facebook is still the #1 social platform, but there is a slight decline as the newer platforms are becoming more popular with the upcoming markets. Paying attention to emerging trends and markets is important and should be considered in every travel and tourism company’s social media strategy.
In fact, as per a recent study by Arrivia, nearly one in three travelers seek their next vacation ideas on social media. A whopping 60% and 40% of Gen Z and millennials, respectively, turn to social media for travel planning.
When a hotel simply posts random content on an inconsistent basis, the results are likely to be disappointing. DAE & Company has seen firsthand that in order to get the greatest return on investment, you need to commit to staying on task and on time on ALL relevant online channels. In this blog, we will outline why social media marketing is essential and ways to utilize it in order to boost your hotel’s visibility, engagement with target audiences, and ultimately put more heads in beds.
Bookings Begin With A Swipe
The majority of today’s guests are turning to their social media feeds for travel inspiration. And in this process, they are on the lookout for stunning visuals, five-star reviews, and the opportunity to connect. This powerful trifecta of elements forms the heart of hotel social media success. Let’s take a moment to go into more detail about each one of these variables.
Every hotel has a unique story to tell, and your brand identity is the narrative that distinguishes you from the rest. Brand development is a pretty big process, which is why we suggest working with an agency like DAE & Company to help define and develop a brand that is meaningful. Necessary components include a brand mission, value, promise, positioning, market analysis, target audience identification and research, and target market relevance. From there, a campaign and creative strategy (including key messaging) is developed. This content is used for outreach and supports the brand while acting as the tool that effectively showcases your brand to the identified target market. This strategically developed brand and campaign can then be used for organic outreach.
All that said, if you’re working with a tight budget and don’t have the funds to develop a researched and defined brand strategy, you can start by defining your hotel’s mission, values, and personality. Is it a luxury resort, a boutique hotel, or a family-friendly destination? Once you’ve clearly defined your hotel, your social media content should consistently reflect and reinforce this identity. It is also extremely important to create social media posts that are symbiotic with paid media so that both complement each other.
Remember, these online platforms essentially act as digital billboards offering your hotel the chance to reach an audience far greater than allowed by traditional marketing channels. So go ahead and flaunt all the brag worthy details that make your hotel spectacular! Post a blissful image of your hotel’s infinity pool or share a video showcasing the wow-factor of your regal lobby or share a recipe inspired by your bar’s signature cocktail. Embrace the ability to highlight your unique amenities while making your brand’s personality seem tangible through the screen.
Just be sure to use a distinct color palette, logo, and design style across all platforms to create a cohesive visual brand. Maintaining this consistency is an effective way to build brand recognition and trust among your audience.
DAE & Company Tip! When it comes to social media for hotels, a picture truly is worth a thousand words. So be sure to invest in professional photography and videography to accurately capture your hotel’s features, rooms, amenities, and surroundings. High-quality visuals not only garner your audience’s attention but also invite them to dream about their next vacation at your property.
Social media platforms are more than a stage to showcase your hotel’s charm. It is the chance to encourage positive, two-way communication. The simplicity of direct messaging allows guests to quickly ask questions, make special requests, and even plan their trip in real time. This opportunity to interact allows hotels to show off their hospitality skills and improve the overall guest experience. Engaging with your audience shows that you care about their opinions and are committed to delivering exceptional customer service.
Never underestimate the impact of providing prompt, personalized responses to guests, taking interest in their opinions, and making a conscious effort to post content that is relevant to your audience. Bearing all of this in mind is key to optimizing your social media marketing strategy. In addition to being attentive, it is wise for hotels to be vested in encouraging guests to share their experiences online as well. This brings us to our next point…
User-generated content is a great way to build a sense of community and authenticity. Encourage your guests to share their experiences by creating a hotel-specific hashtag and featuring their posts on your profile. You may also want to consider incorporating contests or giveaways that require users to share their content using your hashtag. People are always more willing to participate when there’s an incentive involved. User-generated content can be particularly powerful as it provides authentic testimonials of the guest experience.
Over half of vacationers (60%) post photos on social media while away. When it comes to Millennials specifically, that number rises to 97%. Source: Passport-Photo
Influencer marketing is a social media content strategy that is brilliantly complementary to user-generated content. Having gained immense popularity in recent years, partnering with influencers who align with your brand and target audience can help you reach a broader demographic and generate interest in your property.
These individuals who have garnered an impressive following on their own social media channels can effectively showcase your hotel, amenities, and local attractions. This is yet another online vehicle for impacting potential guests’ decisions. It can be the difference between them choosing to book with your hotel over your direct competitor.
DAE & Company Tip! If you’re looking to increase engagement, ask questions and run polls to encourage interaction with your content. You can also share fun facts, trivia, or local tips related to your hotel’s location to spark conversations and build a sense of community among your followers.
Additionally, it is wise to incorporate some of the most shared social images and comments into your website (just make sure they are curated before they appear on your pages). Adding this user-generated content to your site will help with search engine optimization while impacting the decisions of others who are influenced by the opinions of their peers.
The Right Platforms Get The Right Results
Not all social media platforms are created equal, and it’s essential to choose the ones that align with your target audience and goals. Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter are commonly used for hotel marketing. Depending on your marketing strategy and positioning, platforms like LinkedIn can be used to attract businesses while Pinterest is great for the dreaming and planning stages of vacation. Consider the demographics of each platform and tailor your content accordingly. For instance, if you run a luxury resort, Instagram’s visually appealing content and affluent user base may be a perfect fit.
More Good Social Media Stuff
In today’s digital age, where travelers are presented with an overwhelming amount of options of vacation destinations and accommodation options, it is pivotal for your hotel to have a compelling social media strategy. Just like Meredith’s infamous speech to McDreamy in Grey’s Anatomy, your content should clearly tell guests to “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” You are more likely to get that message across by doing the following:
- Utilize Stories And Live Streams
Stories and live streaming features on platforms like Instagram and Facebook provide a great opportunity to share real-time updates, events, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your hotel. Hosting live Q&A sessions with your staff or a virtual tour of your property can create a sense of transparency and engagement with your audience.
- Commit To Posting Regularly
Consistency is key to maintaining an active and engaging social media presence. Create a content calendar that outlines your posting schedule and content themes. Aim to post at least a few times a week to keep the interest of your audience and to prove the validity of your hotel within the travel industry. Hint! Be sure to change up your content across channels and tailor your message/photos/videos to fit each specific platform.
- Incorporate Paid Advertising
While organic reach is essential, paid advertising can amplify your social media efforts. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook offer highly targeted ad options, allowing you to reach users based on their demographics, interests, and behaviors. It is wise to consider investing in paid advertising for the promotion of events, special offers, or seasonal packages — especially considering that Facebook and Instagram have changed their algorithms to favor those that pay to play. This means advertisers get better organic exposure.
Success on social media for hotels can be defined by a dynamic online presence that engages and captivates a broad and relevant audience. First and foremost, it involves consistently sharing visually appealing content that showcases the hotel’s unique features, amenities, and the overall guest experience. Engaging with the audience through timely responses to comments, messages, and reviews demonstrates a commitment to customer service. Successful hotels also leverage social media to build a sense of community and loyalty, fostering a network of brand advocates and promoting user-generated content.
DAE & Company Tip! An organic social media strategy should be considered as one part of a robust and integrated marketing strategy. Our agency can design a 360 degree campaign that helps enhance your social media efforts and effectiveness.
Monitoring key performance indicators, such as reach, engagement, and conversions, is essential for measuring the current social media strategy’s effectiveness and adapting strategies as needed. Ultimately, a thriving social media presence helps hotels increase bookings, drive brand awareness, and maintain a positive online reputation, which are key indicators of success for hotels in the digital age.
DAE & Company has the expertise and resources to help your hotel achieve increased success on social media. We are capable of creating target audience assessments, design updates, developing content, monitoring results and more. Let’s talk!