HOW EVERY HOTEL CAN BOOST SALES WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
This really earns its place as first in our list – not that it’s in any particular order, really – simply because social media marketing’s become one of the most popular forms of promotion and advertisement in recent times. There are quite a few forms of social media these days, and they’re growing all the time, but the following tend to be the more efficient in terms of both reach and return:
1. Facebook Marketing
A hotel Facebook page depicting alluring photos of the property inside and out, as well as of real customers loving their experiences should be included in your hotel promotion ideas. Facebook is all about social engagement, which every hotel needs to excel at.
You’ll encounter a lot of possible communications opportunities that you can fulfill here on Facebook, ones that will simply sail on by if you don’t skill up to recognize and take advantage of them.
More than anything, you know already that you need to regularly communicate with your audience. This simply cannot be over-emphasized; you need to communicate with your would-be guests, your current guests and your past guests alike.
And as hard as this may sound, it’s even great to communicate with those who, for whatever reason, left negative reviews about their stay. Paying attention to every single customer will pay off, and many guests love to be heard and will readily stay again if a host tries to rectify any issues. When people feel heard, they take notice.
So when you’re trawling your Facebook page for engagement, don’t just seek the positive; you have a mine of useful, insightful and first-rate market research of all types at your fingertips—as well as a great way to quickly spread the news about all your hotel’s offers and promotions.
And what’s more, offers and promos are also something Facebook is great at doing and simplifying.
Ask your audience to tag you in their pictures, and you do the same, creating a sharing atmosphere where your passion for your audience is evident. Then regularly update your fans about all your exclusive offers and discounts, encouraging lots of critical interaction to find out what everyone thinks about your ideas, your rooms, your brochure, your upgrades, your incentives… the list goes on and on.
Realize, too, that many hotel venues simply post news out, streaming a whole mass of dense, one-sided information to their fans via their Facebook page. What they do less well is encourage feedback at the same time, and so it can feel like a bombardment of information put out to the customer without any real camaraderie or interaction.
In fact, some hotels use their Facebook pages to post daily news items—while blocking any comment back! Think what kind of message that delivers, and yet many do it.
You need to do the reverse: engage, engage, engage.
Welcome and invite your fans, asking them to tell you everything they feel about your hotel and your brand, and tell them not to hold back.
Facebook is a font of (mostly) free knowledge, so use it.
Why don’t you be the hotel that always initiates customer chat and engagement? This alone will make you stand out. Facebook is the perfect venue for friendly, informative, and productive chat about venues; the more you engage, the friendlier you appear, and the more quality guest inquiries you’ll generate.
Use your Facebook page well and consistently, and you’ll also receive innovative suggestions to make your great hotel stand out even more, so grasp the respondents’ suggestions freely. Plus, enthused would-be or past guests will also start talking about you online—a free and invaluable marketing resource.
People with whom you interact online will soon become the mouthpiece of your establishment, so use their resource wisely and appreciate each one.
The best part of all this interaction is that you can also get direct bookings from Facebook if you incorporate your booking system with your Facebook profile.
And finally, it’s also more than worth a deep-dive into Facebook Paid Advertising; this is incredibly detailed, allowing you to fine-tune your audience.
2. Instagram Marketing
Instagram comes after Facebook as the second most-used social media forum. All you need are beautiful photos and videos of your hotel, or events in or sponsored by your hotel, to get your quality Instagram hotel page set up.
Aside from that, play around with stories, ask questions, run surveys, open a chat, or add Instagram music and do everything you can to keep the interaction constant, lively and fun. The same as with Facebook marketing; don’t just stream outward, but rather proactively encourage and invite lots of inward interaction from commentators and be the hotel that loves to engage.
These activities will improve your hotel’s Instagram account, invariably serving as one of the most efficient hotel promotion ideas.
Also, if you’re an events venue, then you are also in the enviable position of having a limitless supply of photos, something other sites may really have to work at or pay out for. Which guests wouldn’t like to have their beautiful event showcased on a stunning hotel website? (Of course, always ask permission in writing from the people in the photos or the event organizer before publicly showing photos of either guests or events).
Posting weddings or events that occurred at your hotel or those you’ve organized shows your flexibility and diversity of décor and settings, letting guests dream and envisage how it might be to hold their own beautiful function there.
You could also use some decent landscape photographs of the hotel’s local environs – or even widen the photographic net and show some of the world regions in which your guests reside. Simply ask guests to send in their own images that they permit you to use.
The sky’s the limit where photography is concerned, so be creative and don’t hold back.
Instagram photography competitions will be popular too, and everyone loves seeing who’s won. Could the winning shots be hung in your hotel foyer and bedrooms? This way, a guest knows they have a number of images hung in your hotel, a big encouragement to book rooms and see which they can spot!
Of course, the main focus of your Instagram account should always be the property and its grounds first and foremost, but beyond that, Instagram opens the door to many fun-filled photo opportunities, and it’s simply a great gateway to physical interaction. These real people who engage with you via Instagram would love to interact with your hotel too if you give them a chance and an incentive to visit.
3. YouTube Marketing
You can – and should – establish a YouTube channel for your hotel. It’s simpler to do than you may think and can be up and running inside just a couple of hours.
So, what can you do with it?
Well, the obvious is that you can post video tours of your hotel on your YouTube channel, but remember too that YouTube now hosts many live-streaming sessions. This makes it ideal for live tours, Q&A sessions, even streaming live entertainment.
Weddings and other private bookings can be fed live to friend-and-family audiences across the globe, while hidden from strangers’ eyes by using YouTube’s settings to allow viewing by only those with the link.
You could even invite in celebrity or guest chefs to live-stream tutorials or amusing talks. Why can’t a hotel also be a fun and interactive YouTube channel? But how many are doing this already? Few.
Consequently, if you’re proposing just about any kind of leisure activities at your hotel, then YouTube is the perfect place to show off with short video clips of customers and staff. The more amenable you become as hotel management, the more likely people will engage with you and find a great reason of their own to book your venue for their next event. Plus, when you get a presence established on YouTube, expect guests to soon join in by posting their own videos of your great hotel.
Before you know it, you’ll have a whole repository of hotel videos, some taken in-house and some by guests. You could even make a fun competition of it, by inviting guests to create a sneaky hotel video of their visit or stay and upload it to YouTube. The more amusing, they can make it, the better, since this could win big audiences.
And after all that, don’t forget to dig deeper into YouTube advertisements too, as this is one of the most productive ideas for hotel promotion.
4. Twitter as a Tool for Customer Service
Twitter is becoming a medium for clients to communicate with brands in such a way that no other platform has. Clients go on Twitter to post feedback, express their complaints, and easily connect with businesses, often ones they feel they cannot reach. The ease with which clients can post to Twitter and obtain an otherwise hard-to-get response from a company makes it highly attractive and growing in popularity.
No longer can companies hide in the shadows, leaving vital customers unanswered. However, used properly, Twitter benefits both businesses and their customers, and just as we said earlier about Facebook and Instagram, you should be using Twitter to reach out to customers—not giving them any slight opportunity to say you’re hard to contact or engage with.
Thus, it can be an excellent and simple way for hotels to communicate with would-be bookers or existing guests.
Studies show that when a client sends a tweet to business and gets a reply, they are likely to spend more on an average-priced product from that business in the future. Further, if the reply is courteous, welcoming, helpful, and – if something went wrong – apologetic, you’re onto a winner. Even if that recipient doesn’t fully appreciate the response, you can be sure that at least 100 other Twitter users will see how great you handled the inquiry or complaint.
So, by and large, it’s all good. Note a few things before using Twitter as a customer service tool, however:
· Ensure your profile states your hours of support so people know when they can hope to receive a reply. Make sure your time zone is visible as Twitter posts will receive worldwide comments.
· Enable direct messages and make clear that these are welcomed so that client data and complicated issues can be discussed directly with you, rather than on your Twitter feed.
· Enable the support feature, ensuring consumers can see that your Twitter account is customer friendly.
· Track mentions and keywords to find opportunities for customer support.
· Practice using Twitter at a personal level before letting loose with business Tweets. Mistakes are easy to make and hard to forget. We’ve all seen those embarrassing Twitter gaffes highlighted in the media.
· Do take Twitter seriously as a tool. Although the format of short-burst posts lends itself to rushed or flippant Tweets, Twitter posts are wider-ranging and harder-hitting than you may think.
· Used with caution and care, Twitter can spread your hotel’s messages in record time, reaching audiences that previously weren’t possible. Just make sure all your messages are positive and engaging.
5. Organize a Social Media Contest
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter alike are all wonderful platforms to use to interact with your clients on a daily basis, but to liven things up, why not launch some friendly contests?
One idea is to formulate a branded hashtag and install a selfie station inside one of your hotel’s nicest areas. Then ask people to share – on any social media – a photo of themselves that they took at the selfie station. The funnier the better, for enhanced engagement.
Those who remember to include your hashtag may win a prize. This awesome marketing will boost your brand recognition and you’ll be the first to come to mind when the need arises.