The rise and rise of social media is one of the most amazing phenomena the internet has seen so far. From small beginnings as a way of allowing friends to reconnect, sites such as Facebook grew into behemoths used by some of the world’s biggest brands as well as members of the public. From this arose portals including Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat – and the way the world communicated was changed forever.
In 2018, Statista estimates there will be around 2.7 billion social network users around the globe, up from just 1.9 billion in 2014. Hotel owners will already know that they need a hotel social media presence in order to stand out from the crowd and increase engagement with travellers – nobody in their right mind would want to miss out on this huge audience. They will also know that they need a content strategy to drive traffic to their websites and – hopefully – convert this into bookings. However, what they might not know is that content strategies and social media strategies should be working together for the best results. Too many hotel marketers see them as separate entities and waste time by operating them independently when they could actually reap the rewards by implementing a coordinated approach. Here are some tips on how you could streamline your content – and why you should. Content won’t market itselfIt’s great if you are regularly creating content that you’re proud of for your hotel’s website or blog.
However, unless you market it and tell people it’s out there, you’re effectively just talking to yourself.Gone are the days when you could upload a post and watch RSS feeds take it out into the world – unfortunately, you now need to do some of the legwork yourself. Social media can make this easier because it puts new content out in front of your subscribers, who might be tempted to read it if it interests them and there is a direct link to click.To make the most of the marketing opportunities, create social media breadcrumbs back to anything new you have created.
For instance, copy the headline and the URL into Twitter and Facebook and send that out, then post a photo you have used on Instagram, using the header as a caption (and don’t forget the hashtags).Send a link out to your email subscribers too – and you can also create even more of a full circle by putting clickable buttons to all of your social media channels in a bar at the bottom of your email every time you send one out. You could become a thought leader If you’re working in a particular industry, in this case hotels and hospitality, you can easily become an expert on it without even noticing. That means you have some valuable advice to pass on and that people will be interested in reading what you put out as content. Don’t keep it to yourself or your hotel website though – promote yourself by getting more involved online.
Start by posting your unique content targeted at your readers, whether it’s a city guide or tips on how to relax on flights, then link back to it on social media. Then, when people make comments, talk to them and engage with them. Encourage questions and demonstrate your expertise by replying. This will quickly establish you as a thought leader and raise your hotel’s reputation.Streamlined approaches result in better content plans Without a streamlined approach, content can end up being haphazard and without obvious links. This is because it’s difficult to see common ground if you’re treating content and social as two completely separate entities.Not only is this pointless from a customer engagement point of view, but it is also time-consuming and a waste of resources.
However, if you make the two strategies work together, you’ll be able to make a proper plan and even schedule posts to better coincide with big events.For example, say you have written a post on how your hotel has added a new barbeque terrace to its property for the coming season. This might seem as though it’s simply a piece of news that will interest your guests and perhaps encourage a few bookings.However, think about it from your new, streamlined point of view. You can Tweet a link to the article, sure. But you can also send out another post asking followers for their favorite barbeque recipes. This could be followed up on Facebook by a post that includes the recipe that came out top, as well as a video on YouTube showing your chef cooking it on your new terrace.
Virtually any topic can be expanded upon in this way, so think laterally and keep sending out relevant content – don’t forget to link to outside sources covering similar categories too, as you might entice some of their followers to look at your hotel website.You can reuse content Once you’ve written a piece of content, you shouldn’t think that’s the end of it and let it languish. OK, so there’s probably a limit to the number of times you can directly link back to the same article, but you can take snippets from it and reuse them.For instance, really good articles can lead into infographics that pull out the key facts, which can then be tweeted independently and lead to further conversations (and even articles).Doing this makes the most of your precious time and reiterates your position as a thought leader in your industry.
Don’t forget to target content to the right channels We’ve talked about a number of different techniques here that hotel marketers can use to their advantage, but our final advice is to carefully target the right content towards the applicable social media channels.You can’t just take a chunk of text and post it off everywhere, as some sites are image-focused and others are character-limited. A strategy is therefore needed to consider what material will fit where – and this includes considering the audience that will be reading it, too.Take time over the coming weeks to take a fresh look at your content strategy and see how you can align your social approach. You could see your hotel’s online presence grow significantly as a result.