Social Media Marketing for Hotels

September 18, 2020   |   Hospitality insights, Tips for Hoteliers

A simple guide to creating a hotel social media strategy that works

The prominence of social media marketing for hotels

Social media is at the centre of everything we do. Work or personal life, social media is all around us (whether we want it to be or not). We’re living in a digital world, and it could be argued that businesses without a social media presence are invisible.

That might sound like a strong statement – but for the hotel industry in particular, social media marketing is key.

Why social media marketing in the hotel industry matters

As a hotelier, your key target audience is travellers. And today’s traveller is an online shopper. The modern traveller doesn’t make decisions on a whim. They’re spending their hard-earned cash to stay with you, so before they go ahead and click ‘book now,’ they’re going to make sure the experience will be worth it.

Potential guests will be judging your hotel on:

  1. Appearance
  2. Relevance
  3. Reviews

And where are they going to find this information? Online.

While the occasional traveller might still turn to a travel agency, the vast majority will research and book online. This means your potential guests are most likely judging you based on your online presence – and that includes social media. That’s why today, more than ever, it’s so important to have a clear and consistent hotel social media strategy.

Here’s everywhere they’re going to look:

  1. OTA’s
  2. Social media
  3. Tripadvisor
  4. Your website

So let’s see how we can boost your hotel strategy to align with the way of the world, shall we?

 

Creating a social media marketing strategy for hotels

Step 1: Consider your target audience

The first step to creating an amazing social media strategy for your hotel is re-identifying your audience. Have a think about the people you’re targeting, and consider how they might engage with you online.

Consider your audience’s demographic and interests. Are you targeting 20 year olds looking to party? Instagram might be the way to go. Are you targeting 40 year olds with kids? Facebook might be more suitable.

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When in doubt, bring your thoughts back to your target audience. If it resonates with them, it’ll likely work for your business.

Step 2: Prioritise your platforms

Social media is constantly on the rise, and new platforms are popping up all the time. But if you don’t have the time, budget, or energy to be on them all, don’t be alarmed, because you don’t have to be.

In fact, the base of an effective hotel social media strategy is all about having a strong presence on a few platforms, as opposed to an average one across them all.

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Remember, when it comes to content, quality is often better than quantity.

For hoteliers, we recommend prioritising these top 3 platforms:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Tripadvisor

 

Facebook marketing for hotels

The great thing about Facebook is that it is used by a wide demographic of people. This means that you can take advantage of marketing your hotel to a wide audience.

Research shows that Facebook users range from as young as 13 to as old as 65+ – so whoever your hotel is targeting, you’ll likely find them on Facebook.

So, how can you integrate Facebook into your hotel social media marketing strategy?

From organic marketing to paid advertising, the opportunities to create awareness of your hotel on Facebook are plentiful!

Here’s a Facebook best practice to-do list:

  • Keep your profile up to date
  • Link your profile to your website
  • Post engaging content, regularly
  • Keep your content fresh / try new things
  • Try specified ‘targeting’ advertising
  • Like & comment / publicly engage with guests
  • Review & measure your Facebook insights

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When posting on social media, don’t get stuck in a rut. Try new things, and keep a close eye on industry trends. Word has it that hotel videography attracts great engagement!

 

Instagram marketing for hotels

Although it is now owned by Facebook, Instagram is quite a bit different. In the last few years it has grown exponentially, so today it is a very influential marketing channel.

This social platform’s major focus is imagery, which is perfect because the desire to Travel is instigated by imagery.

Travellers use the internet to search for images of unique locations and stylish accommodations – the modern traveller wants to ‘see’ before they buy. They’re looking for a taste of your hotel atmosphere, so they explore imagery associated with it. This means that when taking into consideration social media marketing for hotels, Instagram is a must-use tool you should be optimising.

Every traveller is a bit different – whether they’re looking for an upmarket place to stay, or something a little bit simpler, there’s one thing you can count on. They are looking. So what can you post that will entice your target guest?

Here are a few Instagram tips for hoteliers:

  • Post enticing imagery
  • Show off your property’s atmosphere
  • Be spontaneous with Instagram stories
  • Use industry-relevant hashtags
  • Encourage guests to tag you in their photos
  • Establish an Instagram style
  • Check on your competitors
  • Try paid Instagram advertising

 

Tripadvisor marketing for hotels

Tripadvisor is the world’s leading review platform for all tourism and hospitality businesses. So if you’re not already on it, you should be.

Today’s traveller is savvy, and they don’t just spend their money anywhere. All it takes is a quick search of your hotel, a look at your socials and an analysis of your Tripadvisor account, and their opinion of you is instantly formed.

Your presence of Tripadvisor is a fundamental element of your hotel social media marketing mix.

Here’s how to stand out on Tripadvisor:

  • Keep your profile up to date
  • Share useful information about your property
  • Engage with travellers
  • Monitor & reply to reviews
  • Upload enticing photos of your property
  • Try sponsored placements to increase your ranking
  • Link your profile to your website & other social platforms

 

Step 3: Be an integral member of the social media community

It isn’t enough to just have an Instagram account, or to post the occasional update on Facebook – in order to drive results (i.e. bookings) you have to engage.

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It’s one thing to have a social media account, it’s another to have a social media presence.

When travellers view your social profiles they judge your images, your content, your reviews – and perhaps most importantly, how often (and how effectively) you engage with guests. Based on what they see, they’ll form a judgement on how much they think you care about your guests.

Here’s a rule of thumb: always reply to guest reviews, queries, questions, and especially complaints.

Don’t just be another number. To stay competitive as a hotelier, you must be a member of the social media community and show potential guests you care. This is how you’ll attract attention.

 

Step 4: Post creative, eye-catching content (frequently)

Don’t be boring. It is all too common for businesses to post content again and again that is similar and uninspired. Don’t let yours be one of them.

It may sound cliche, but creating eye-catching social media content is an absolute must. Your business is part of the travel industry, and the travel industry is highly visual. Remember: the desire to travel is instigated by imagery. Guests are searching for the visuals – they’re looking for a magical holiday experience and they want to know what your accommodation looks like, as well as get a feel for its atmosphere.

Post content that captures the essence of your accommodation. Share photos of people enjoying themselves and post professional videos that explore your property.

Give potential guests a reason to book with you. They’re searching for an experience, so utilise free social media tools such as Instagram stories or Facebook Live to give potential guests a taste. Leave them wanting more.

 

If you foster it, hotel social media marketing will benefit your business

So now that you understand the significance of social media marketing in the hotel industry, you can get started!

Make social media a key element of your hotel marketing mix, and try your best not to neglect it. Prioritise platforms that your target audience use the most, establish a strategy, post great content, and engage with social media users.

The more exposure you build yourself on social media, the more results you will see. Now start taking photos and creating videos that will wow potential guests and turn them into repeat guests!

 

Need help setting up your hotel?

Try Preno, we offer a fully integrated cloud-based property management system that simplifies your hotel processes. Talk to the Preno team about getting set up.

About the author

Preno's Content Marketer, Alix, is educated in the Tourism field, so seeks to apply this to knowledge to content that guides and inspires hoteliers. She is a passionate writer who enjoys creating content.