There is no doubt about it, social media is one of the most important and effective forms of marketing at present. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, there are so many platforms to choose from, all of which are free to join, and the total reach, traffic and impressions that you can gain for your website can be increased so much by a simple, yet well planned social media strategy. And we all know what increased traffic to your website can lead to – yes, more bookings through to your hotel which translates as more income!
First of all, decide upon which platforms you want to manage. If you don’t have too much time to dedicate to social media, then it is recommended that you focus the time you do have on one or two really strong sites. Facebook and Twitter are probably the two to concentrate on and a lot of businesses do just use these as their social media platforms.
Once you have opened up an account, be sure to choose a really eye-catching picture of your hotel as your profile image. It needs to be of high resolution to look as professional as possible, and should really depict your ethos.
On both Twitter and Facebook there is a profile section that you must fill in as accurately as you can. Try to make it short and sweet, including practical information which explains what you are, for example ‘Boutique hotel set in the picturesque city of Chester’. If you have any hospitality accolades under your belt, stick a sentence in about them too – there is no harm in showing your achievements!
Be sure to add in some photos of the hotel and its surroundings to keep the page as visual as possible. After all, if someone is thinking of booking a room, they are more likely to trust an image of it over a written description. Also make sure you actually post something, a little welcome message perhaps or an informal message to say that you have just joined twitter and are so excited to get in touch with all of your guests.
From here, start adding local restaurants, attractions, media, theatres and so on. Try to be as engaging as possible and you will soon see your followers being to increase.
When it comes to the actual sorts of posts you should be publishing, it can become a bit confusing and more often than not you may feel as though you are simply becoming a bit too ‘salesy’. This is what you do not want for it will only put potential guests off looking at your social media sites.
Try to be as creative and fun as possible. The more like this you can be, the more likely it is that followers will share your posts to their friends and followers, which in turn will drive more and more people to your site.
A great way to engage with customers over social media is to post about local attractions and events that are taking place. Entice people to want to visit a local landmark or theatre show and let them know that should they need a place to rest their head, your hotel is there for them. Plus, it will show that you are knowledgeable about the local area and that is something that is important to guests – knowing that they can rely on and trust the staff at their hotel to offer advice on what to do during their stay.
If you want to show that you really know your stuff and be seen as something of an authority in the travel industry, offer some travel tips and advice on your social media sites. Make them fun and short, with an image attached to them. Travellers always want to make sure that their holiday will run as smoothly as possible, so this is your chance to don the shining armour and ride in on a noble steed (albeit a virtual one). Why not ask your followers to comment with their top tips? That way you can begin to converse and engage, bringing more interest towards your brand.