In today’s day and age, social media marketing is a necessity for hotels that want to stay ahead of the competition, generate more bookings, and grow their revenue.
In this guide, we’re going to show you everything you need to know about social media marketing for hotels.
We’re going to teach you how to perform a social media audit, show you how to optimize your social media profiles, and help you determine which social platforms you should use to promote your hotel.
The importance of social media marketing for hotels
Social media marketing is a great way for hotels to improve brand awareness, develop meaningful relationships with their audience, gather user-generated content, and generate more bookings.
Improve brand awareness and maintain reputation
Being active on social media allows hotels and resorts to reach more people and improve awareness of their brand.
By using social media monitoring solutions, brands can learn what people are saying about them, as well as quickly react to negative comments and feedback in order to keep their reputation intact.
Since as much as 46% of travelers post hotel reviews after their vacation, brands must be able to respond to both positive and negative feedback quickly.
Develop more meaningful relationships with your audience and provide superior customer support
Social media platforms provide a way for businesses to have a direct line of communication with their customers and target audience.
Consumers are used to communicating with businesses through social media. They use social media to ask questions and request support.
Social media enables brands to respond to customer requests quickly, which is crucial since people expect businesses to respond to their requests within an hour.
The brands that manage to do so are rewarded by consumers, with 71% of them stating that they’re more likely to recommend a business if it’s quick to respond to their message.
Through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, hotels can interact and communicate with their audience directly and instantly, building trust and developing meaningful relationships.
Gather user-generated content
As much as 79% of consumers claim that user-generated content (UGC) has an influence on their purchasing decisions.
UGC is especially powerful when used in advertising campaigns since it helps social media content generate five times higher click-through rates compared to non-UGC content.
With 72% of people posting vacation photos on social media and 48% checking in to a location while on vacation, social media is a great way to source user-generated content that hotels can use to promote their brand further.
Generate more bookings
By being active on social media platforms, you gain the opportunity to reach these people and target them with your offers in order to generate more bookings.
How to get started with social media marketing for hotels
We’ve discussed why being active on social media is crucial for hotels that want to improve brand awareness, increase customer satisfaction, and generate more bookings.
In this section, we’re going to guide you through the steps of getting started with social media marketing for hotels.
We’ll go over the process of identifying your target audience and discuss setting social media marketing goals.
We’ll also show you how to perform a social media audit, optimize your social media profiles for best results, and choose the right social media platforms for promoting your hotel.
Understand your target audience
The first step to getting started with social media marketing includes identifying your target audience and gaining a better understanding of your target customers.
This will allow you to understand which social platforms you should be focusing on, as well as what kind of content you should be creating and posting.
Are you looking to attract couples, business travelers, or families to your hotel? Perhaps you’d like to attract all three of these types of travelers?
Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the audience you’re trying to reach before you start to scale your social media marketing efforts.
This will ensure that you don’t waste time or resources by trying to reach your target audience through platforms they don’t use.
It will also enable you to create personalized content that caters to your target customer personas, which, in turn, will help you have an easier time converting prospects into customers.
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you’ll want to set goals for your social media marketing efforts.
Setting goals will give you a benchmark for success, help you decide what metrics you need to track, as well as enable you to understand if what you’re doing is working or not.
The best goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. These are also known as SMART goals.
Here’s an example of a smart goal: We’ll increase social media bookings by 30% by the end of this year.
Perform a social media audit
Once you’ve set a goal for your social media efforts, it’s time to perform an audit of your social media profiles and performance.
This will provide you with insight on how your social campaigns have been performing so far, as well as enable you to identify potential areas for improvement.
Start by listing all your social media profiles in a spreadsheet.
Note down the number of followers your profiles have, the engagement rates you’re getting on each platform, as well as the referral traffic your social media posts are generating.
Analyze your best-performing social media content to understand why it’s so effective. Brainstorm ways of replicating the success of this content based on your findings.
Take a closer look at your social media audience and note down your followers’ gender, age, and location to have a better idea of the types of people who might respond positively to your content.
By putting all of this information in one place, you’ll have an easier time designing an effective social media strategy for your brand.
Optimize your social media profiles
After performing a social media audit, you’ll want to optimize your social media profiles to have the best chance of attracting and converting prospects into customers.
Make sure to fill out all the important information about your hotel, including your address, phone number, website, and email address.
Use a profile photo that can easily be associated with your brand, such as your logo or a high-definition photo of your hotel.
This will ensure that potential customers will be able to easily find you on social media, as well as have multiple ways to contact you to ask questions or book a room.
Choose the right social media platforms
It can take time to build up a social following and generate significant results from social media marketing. You don’t want to waste resources and lose time by focusing on the wrong social platforms.
Don’t make the mistake of using every social platform that’s available to you. Instead, focus on a few social media networks that are popular among your target audience.
Most hotels should strive to stay active on one or more of the following platforms:
Used by two billion people every month, Facebook is the biggest social media network in existence. However, the size of its userbase isn’t the only reason why you should be using it.
Facebook provides a variety of different features hotels can use to generate brand awareness, communicate with their audience, and drive more bookings.
High-quality photos and videos of your rooms, promotions, special offers, and events are all excellent types of content you can share with your Facebook followers.
Decide on a posting schedule for your Facebook content and stick to it religiously.
Launch a contest
Contests are another great way to generate attention and engagement from your audience.
When creating a contest on Facebook, start by deciding on a prize. A paid weekend at your hotel could entice a lot of people to participate.
Then, design your contest structure by setting entry conditions and determining an end date for the contest.
Finally, make sure to read up on Facebook’s rules before launching your contest.
Use a Messenger chatbot
Implementing a Messenger chatbot can be a great way to provide your audience with information quickly, as well as facilitate and speed up online booking.
The advantage of using chatbots is that they’re available 24/7 and can answer people’s questions instantly, unlike a social media team that’s usually only available during business hours.
Chatbots are highly popular with consumers, with 69% of people stating that they prefer communicating with businesses through chatbots.
Additionally, 33% of consumers say that they’d use a chatbot to make a reservation at a hotel or a restaurant.
The second biggest social media network in the world, Instagram, is used by one billion people every month. 80% of Instagram’s users follow businesses on the platform, while 60% actively seek new products and services.
Highly focused on visual content, Instagram is the perfect place for promoting your hotel with high-quality photography and videos.
For best results on the platform, you’ll want to use relevant hashtags, take advantage of Instagram Stories, and post at the right time.
Use relevant hashtags
Instagram uses hashtags to organize and group similar posts and help users have an easier time finding other content they might like.
Using relevant hashtags for all your Instagram posts will allow you to improve the reach of your posts, generate more engagement, and gain followers.
Here are some of the most popular industry hashtags you should consider using in your Instagram posts:
Take advantage of Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are used by 500 million people every day and are Instagram’s most popular feature by far.
Take advantage of this and post Instagram stories showing off your hotel, showcasing user-generated content, promoting contests and special offers, and giving users a behind-the-scenes glimpse into a day at your hotel.
Post at the right time
According to research, the best time to post on the platform is between 9 AM and 11 AM EST. While this is a good starting point for designing your posting schedule, you shouldn’t think of it as being set in stone.
You’ll need to do some testing to find out when your audience is most active and engaged. You should also experiment with posting frequency to determine how often you should be posting to generate the best results.
While smaller than Facebook and Instagram, Twitter still has an impressive user base of 326 million active monthly users.
Twitter is a great platform for communicating with your audience directly, engaging in discussions, and developing relationships.
Work on participating in Twitter conversations on topics related to your industry and area to keep your brand top-of-mind.
Suggest tourist attractions and restaurants to travelers, and respond to inquiries regarding hotels in the area.
Share news and promote offers
Twitter’s post format is suited for short-form, textual content. This makes it perfect for sharing your latest offers such as discounts, promotions, and deals.
You can also use your Twitter account to tweet about events in your area or share other relevant news.
Help your customers
Brands are increasingly starting to use Twitter as a customer support channel.
Consumers like this because it makes it easy to reach brands. Twitter support requests are also public, increasing urgency.
By using Twitter to provide quick support to your customers, you’ll be able to increase customer satisfaction and show your brand in a positive light.
A great way to use Pinterest as a hotel is to create boards curating popular attractions, activities, restaurants, and bars in your area. You can also create boards showcasing your rooms and facilities such as a spa or gym.
Remember to use hashtags to help get your content in front of more users.
Don’t stop at creating boards and pinning content, though. Engage with other users, follow their boards, and like their content.
This will help to generate more attention for your boards and profile, which, in turn, will result in improved brand awareness and increased bookings.
Take advantage of social media advertising
All of the social media platforms mentioned above provide you with the opportunity to promote your hotel through advertising.
Due to the way social networks are set up, they have a variety of information on their users.
This allows you to create hyper-targeted advertising campaigns by using data on your target audience’s demographics, behavior, and interests.
Take advantage of social platforms’ advanced targeting features to create highly profitable advertising campaigns and generate more bookings for your hotel.
Use social media marketing to generate more bookings and grow your hotel’s revenue
Social media marketing allows hotels to improve brand awareness, develop meaningful relationships with their target audience, and generate more bookings.
Hotels that want to engage in social media marketing should start by performing a social media audit to gain a better understanding of their past and current social media marketing efforts and results.
The next step would be to optimize social media profiles to ensure the best chances of attracting prospects and converting them into customers.
When it comes to deciding which social networks to use, hotels should focus on those platforms where their audience spends most of their time. Good choices include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.