97% of guests use social media to share pictures of their trips.
Incredible isn’t it. But not surprising. Think of a recent hotel stay you had. Did you post a picture on Instagram. Did you share a photo on WhatsApp? We’re all guilty of it.
For the purpose of this blog, let’s focus on different social media marketing initiatives that will help drive bookings and increase repeat business.
1. Identify An Audience
As with any brand in any industry it’s essential to identify your ideal target audience.
There can be multiple target audiences but it’s important to really get under the skin of each. Who they are, age, gender, location, interests, where they spend their time etc. We tend to call these buyer personas.
Hot tip – To find out more about your audience type, dig out some past data and discover which type of guests typically come to the hotel.
2. Facebook & Instagram Ads
It needs no introduction but it’s still the platform that offers plenty of opportunity for your hotel. We won’t go into the basics of creating a business profile and making it look pretty. What you should be doing however is
- Posting eye-catching seasonal photos. Don’t post a pic of the snow in summer and vice versa.
- Short Videos work wonders. They offer an insight into the hotel and if done correctly, don’t need to be overly expensive. Most popular format is stories (we will get to stories later).
- Competitions always work well. Tag the friend that deserves a break etc.
- Local travel tips, images of your surroundings, upcoming events etc
- This is the big one, Special Offers, Special Offers and Special Offers.
Once you have your target audience defined from step one, you can categorise them into different buckets, hitting each bucket with a different ad, each with it’s own message. The ad below is effective because it is clearly targeting families and contains a nice 30% off incentive to book now.
Targeting on Facebook is so defined that you can pinpoint exactly the target person to wish to serve and from there track conversions through to purchase. (Check out our conversions blog here)
We would strongly recommend placing a Facebook Pixel on to your website. 96% of visitors won’t convert into sales, what happens then? They drop-off and you run the risk of never hearing from them again. What we recommend is for the visitors that don’t convert, re-target them through timely and compelling ads that will follow them around the Internet.
3. Instagram Stories
Stories are short form pieces of content that vanish after 24 hours. They offer a behind the scenes view of the hotel and can be used to be a little more personable or bold than you might be in your organic postings.
Types of posts we would recommend on stories.
- Discount or latest deals (keep pushing them)
- Customer Feedback Poll
- Special guests you may have staying
- Food Imagery
- Weather Updates
- Upcoming Events
Going back to the initial figure of 97% of people share their hotel experience on Social Media, the majority of these will be on Instagram Stories. Why not ask your guests at check-in to tag the hotel in their stories. The best tag over the course of the day wins a bottle of wine for the room. It’s engagement like this that will excite guests, create some buzz, generate extra exposure for you and all for the cost of a bottle of wine.
4. YouTube – Search Engine
Did you know that YouTube is the second biggest search engine, just behind Google. We would recommend going on Google Keyword Planner (a really handy tool) and seeing how many searches your hotel gets per month. These are people actively seeking out your hotel, looking for a glimpse of what is on offer before they book and it is up to you to show them. Typically this would be in the form of a video tour of the hotel showing the amenities and services.
One of the biggest mistakes made when uploading videos to YouTube is not correctly naming the title of the video. Refer to Google Keyword Planner again at this stage and use the wording which has the most searches. Lastly, Enrich your tile by adding some additional tags such as the city and county, along with your brand name, street and eircode.
We would encourage you to make the video descriptions as detailed as possible. You should also include links to your website and social media channels, along with a phone number to call directly. Reply to comments left by customers as necessary, particularly negative ones.
A nice example of a YouTube video below by the Four Seasons, Uploaded in 2017, it has received over 2 million views and the description links directly to all relevant social media pages, driving traffic and followers to those sites.
We have touched a handful of ideas above and will continue to do so in future blog posts. One last takeaway is to
- Define some strong goals
- Interlink your website and social pages
- Be consistent
- Take advantage of paid advertising
We’re sure all these strategies will surely help you to devise social media marketing for your hotel in a much better way.
If done correctly and with proper planning, these social media platforms can become your revenue generating platforms in no time.
The very best of luck!