You would probably agree that social media has been a major online tool in the 21st century. It has changed the way we communicate and consume. It has changed the way we approach business and branding. It has even changed the way we see the world.
The travel and tourism industry have been dramatically impacted by social media and social content marketing. A recent article from Translate Media tells us that 97 percent of millennial’s will post images, updates and videos of their travels over the main players on social media.
We have all seen our friend’s holiday pictures when scrolling through Facebook or smiled over a postcard of amazing beach on Instagram, we do not even need to see the statistics – the proof is right there in front of us all day, every day.
For luxury hotels, social media has proved to be a most valuable online marketing tool. It could be said that sites like Instagram and Pinterest are partially responsible for the boom in boutique tourism.
Travel influencers have become the new celebrities, and international markets have never seemed closer now you can go viral rather than relying on outdated modes of print and other offline publishing. But with the good, comes the bad and the sometimes ugly – social media can destroy your business in seconds.
In short, hotels should not hide away from social media and content marketing, instead they should get creative and embrace it. Social media is a most valuable tool, it has helped to level the playing field for all tourism and destination brands. To help you get started on your online journey, here are 11 social media marketing tips for luxury hotels.
1. What Social Platforms Are Available For Tourism?
For any hotel or destination provider turning towards social media, it helps to understand the various platforms and what they are used for. As a hotelier, Instagram should quickly become your new best friend, but only if you have amazing photos to share. Instagram is all about beautiful bright imagery, a fact which works hand in hand with sexy travel marketing.
Instagram has a simple power – you share pictures, your get likes, and your followers will grow. It is also a big favourite with the millennial market. However, Instagram should be used to build your brand story and to promote your place in real time.
Facebook is great for mixing up your media; pictures, videos, blogs and snappy headlines are all great for keeping your Facebook fans interested and engaged. However, it’s important to utilize quality and keep your hotel brand voice in check.
2. Create A Social Media Calendar
Timing is everything and social media is no exception. Social media and content marketing is not something you should just dip your toe in, nor is it something you should hurl yourself head first into. The trick to success is building a plan that hinges on consistency.
Building a plan as to how many times you post and varying your content is the best execution. If you post too little then you will lose your name in the masses, too much and you also lost impact and people will unfollow.
3. Social Media Requires Responsiveness And Engagement
If you build it, they will come. And once they are here, you need to acknowledge that.
Just remember, social media can be a double-edged sword, and it is vital to stay on top of your online reputation. While happy guests will work wonders by sharing images and speaking about what a great time they had, unhappy guests can drag your name through the mud in a very public fashion. Make sure that you have a dedicated person responding to comments online, staying on top of negative posts, and connecting with potential guest queries via your social media platforms.
4. Social Media Engagement
For your followers and potential customers to engage, you need to be engaging. One of the best ways to invite engagement is through competitions, rewards and prizes. Ask your previous guests to share a picture they took during their last stay; the winner receives a prize or a reduced rate on the next booking.
You can also ask followers to like and share a post or picture on their own social media sites in exchange for being entered into a competition for a free stay, special upgrade, or discount.
5. Do Not Forget Hashtags
Hashtags, you either love them or you hate them, but you cannot and must not ignore them. If used well, hashtags can help with SEO, boost your social shares, and will make it so much easier for your guests to find your brand.
Be timely with your hashtags and think about what’s trending. For example, with Christmas out of the way you can look for popular hashtags that have a New Year theme and work out how to weave them into your own Instagram posts.
In the run up to booking season, you can post inspired images everyday matched with the trending tag #NewyearBreaks or #Holiday2019. Using hashtags well show that your brand is on the ball.
Social Media Marketing For Tourism
6. Show Your Social Personality
Set free from the chains of your website and the careful curation of print media, social media and content marketing invites you to share your brands beautiful and unique personality. The most important tip when it comes to social media is to be genuine.
While it may seem tempting to polish every comment and post, you should still aim to keep a hint of effortless. Also, be wary about deleting every single negative remark or comment – a pristine page can sometimes look more suspicious then one that has a few grumblings that have been responded to in a timely, polite and well thought out manner.
Another way of keeping things authentic is to provide snippets of content that cover a behind the scenes feel. From snapshots of your breakfast chef to celebrating a staff members birthday – keep it clean, fun and fresh.
7. You Do Not Need To Sell All The Time
Nothing will cause your followers to drop off the map like a ton of self-promotion. Social media marketing is not about pushing the big sell all of the time. It is about sharing interesting and informative content, being inspiring, engaging and enticing them to book a room because they have fallen in love with your hotel brand. The rule of thumb when it comes to self-promotion and social media marketing is to apply an 80/20 rule.
80 percent of your online content should be organic engagement via sharing useful articles, blogs, destination guides, travel tips, behind the scenes info and posts.
The other 20 percent can be spent sharing social campaigns, pushing positive reviews, and generally putting your name in lights.
8. Look Outside The Window
Hotels should look outside their own four walls when it comes to creating engaging posts for social media. While having stunning Instagram imagery of your breakfasts and brand-new sheets works a treat, you need to place yourself as a destination expert.
Share ideas, inspirational posts, informative guides, and amazing imagery of the destination and you suddenly crack open a whole new vault of content. Your guests are looking for information and guidance on the local area, be the one to give it them.
9. Engage And gather Feedback
One of the best things about social media marketing is that if used well, it can become a dialogue. On social media platforms like Facebook, you have pure unfettered access to communicate with your audience and you can use this to ask for feedback, to listen to their answers, and to implement their ideas to grow your tourism business.
Something as simple as putting a poll up, asking your guests to vote on which wallpaper they like best, or asking them to tag their favourite thing about your hotel. If used well and without demanding too much, you can play in using social media marketing as a focus group on what you are doing well and which high notes you are failing to hit.
10. Build An Online Community
The tourism business can be a very competitive place, but for the hospitality industry it can work to form relationships with other local destination brands. By building a community with local restaurants, attractions, shops and bars you can work together to offer your customers more.
Using social media as a place to offer your guests special deals at local restaurants and bars also helps you to give back to your loyal followers at the same time as creating synergy in the area. You can share each other’s posts and campaigns and generally form a mutually beneficial working friendship that generates new content for social media and brings in the business.
11. What Is Influencer Marketing?
If you have time, perfect penmanship and a keen understanding of how social media works – then by all means, tackle it inhouse. Remember, social media marketing is something you need to start getting right if you hope for any ROI. You need to think like a publisher, a photographer, a marketer, a PR expert. It can be a lot of bite to chew.
Social Media Agency Devon
Consider bringing in an expert; whether it’s a social media marketing agency or even a savvy writer, an admin assistant to respond to all those Facebook comments and queries. Make no mistake social media marketing is a vital part of your business, don’t get left behind.