Social media can be a fun and effective way to build and expand a loyal customer base for your hotel at little to no cost. But a social media strategy requires more than simply posting about your hotel to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Social media platforms offer a lot of technological firepower, but it’s only half the battle. Without compelling and personalized messaging, a social marketing strategy can fall flat. Here are three ways that any hotel – regardless of budget – can improve its social media messaging.
Segment your social media marketing
The importance of establishing your hotel’s brand on social media is a no-brainer. You want to get your brand in front of potential guests, and all of your potential guests are on social media. However, not all social media users are alike, and messaging that works on one platform may not be as effective on another. Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter are solidly mainstream among baby boomers and other “seasoned” guests, while newer platforms like Snapchat and Instagram draw a younger audience. Varying your content and messaging across these platforms can make your social marketing more effective with a broader audience.
Remember the reason for the season
Make sure that your message is timely and topical and that it places your hotel within a seasonal context. Some pretty obvious examples include advertising hotel spa services with a mother-daughter getaway message in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day. For Father’s Day, hotels featuring a steakhouse would be wise to promote a “dinner with dad” message.
Seasonal messaging isn’t limited to big, national holidays. Hotels should be creative and think locally. Every destination boasts its own local festivals, attractions and cultural observances. By referencing local points of interest, hotels can not only promote their brand, but they can also promote their town, city, or region as well. That can lead to greater, long-term impact and growth.
Stay connected with your guests before, during, and after their stay
The real potential of social media marketing is its ability to foster a personal relationship between a brand and a customer. The biggest players in the hospitality game achieve this in part through custom mobile apps where guests can interact with the front desk, order room service, book spa time, and more. But even a small, boutique hotel can use a Twitter handle (or even text messages) to converse with guests. Let your guests know at check in that if they need anything, you’re just a text away. Once they open that line of communication, you can use it to occasionally check up on them and to show your appreciation. Just remember to use direct messages sparingly.
Got another hotel marketing tip? Leave it in the comments below.