Twenty years ago, brands within the travel industry largely controlled the messages that went out to their prospective guests and the only way to find out what hotels were really like was to stay there or learn from friends and family who had.
Today, the situation is very different and guests are able to share their experiences on social media and through online review sites like TripAdvisor within just a few minutes. If anything is happening, good or bad, photos can appear the very same day on portals including Twitter and Instagram. Social media certainly presents a whole new challenge for property owners and means it is now essential to have a strong hotel social media strategy in place to deal with it and effectively engage with travellers online.
You need to remember that conversations will be happening about your brand whether you’re there to listen and respond or not – and wouldn’t you prefer to be carefully monitoring what’s going on than leaving them to it?How to create social media strategies In order to set about creating a good hotel social media strategy, it’s vital to consider what networks are especially popular right now, as this can change from year to year. However, don’t settle for just one; aim to have a presence on as many prominent portals as you can realistically manage.Next, think about what types of content work best for each site, as they will need different posts as opposed to a one-size-fits-all strategy. This should take into account what demographics will be using each network, as you may find it’s mostly mums with kids on Facebook and young hipsters on Instagram.
Finally, use your marketing budget and time to plan a strategy that incorporates regular posting and works as a comprehensive whole to promote your brand and meet specific goals, whether that’s more visits to your hotel booking engine or simply more shares online.Online reputation management Finally, it’s vital to do all you can to highlight positive content and keep a lid on anything potentially damaging, which is called online reputation management.Should you receive a negative review, don’t ignore it; instead thank the person for their feedback, offer an explanation and outline what you intend to do to make the situation right, taking the conversation offline as soon as possible.
Social media can present an excellent opportunity to reach out to tech-savvy travellers – but it must always be managed in the right way.