Social media marketing is leading the way in terms of marketing strategies. If you’re not using your social channels to their maximum advantage, you are missing out on so many benefits. Having a strong digital presence is essential in the direct bookings process. And in this day and age, when OTAs are becoming a main source of booking for hotels, the race has never been more serious. Marketing your property well online through social media, might seem light and fluffy and very millennial. But it’s a serious business. Here’s why.
Your SEO will improve
Driving traffic to your hotel website is essential in terms of getting those direct online bookings. But online travel agency booking engines have the market when it comes to their SEO. These booking engines are so massive and powerful, that even if a potential guest types the direct name of your hotel into a search engine, the first listing will probably be the OTA that your hotel is listed on – and not your website at all. Therefore, guests will immediately be driven to book through the OTA rather than through you.
Good social media strategy enables you to strengthen your online presence through building an identity and attracting a following that can help drive traffic to your website. You can gain followers. But you can also build a profile of your potential guests through your audience data. You can then use that data to target them through advertising campaigns and retargeting methods.
You can encourage your audiences to visit your site in every single post that you share. The more traffic that is driven to your website, the greater chances you have of achieving higher direct bookings. And of course, the more traffic and attention your website has, the better its ranking.
You will build a strong identity
Your social accounts should be used to convey the brand identity and message of your property. This is not as easy as it sounds. It’s not just a case of posting lots of pretty pictures and hoping they will be picked up and liked. Building a fan base takes time and energy and strategy. It goes without saying that you will need to employ a dedicated person or team of people to manage this undertaking. Given that video content is particularly strong, you will have to consider the quality of content you want to share, and the budget you will be prepared to allocate to that.
Share aspects about your property that make it unique. Perhaps you are very eco-aware, and your hotel is keen to share and encourage that message of clean, green thinking. If you have an organic vegetables garden that supplies your restaurant, talk about it. If you have a non-plastic policy, use your platform to share that. Your posts will resonate with an audience that appreciates your efforts.
Make it personal. Success in social media posts is often down to the emotions they elicit in the audience. Making sure your posts are easy to identify with and show the human side of your business is important. Voyeurism is another reason why social media is so addictive. Make sure that fly-on-the-wall aspect is part of your social content strategy.
Use your social media channels correctly
All too often, businesses create content that is shared across all channels. While cross promotion has its benefits, each social media channel offers unique sharing attributes. Content that works well on one channel, won’t be so efficient on another platform. Make sure you know each channel and its attributes and sharing power, so that you can make the best use of your content.
For example, Instagram offers the capability of sharing short videos, stories, IG TV and image posts. But a 60-second video for Instagram, won’t hit the audience sweet spot for YouTube, which requires videos to be several minutes long. Equally, Facebook recommends videos are now to run at three minutes, so that they will be released to a wider target audience.
The possibilities that social media offer are incredible. You should be thinking about exploring all options available to you in terms of communication. For example, have you considered connecting with guests through WhatsApp? Have you considered using Facebook Marketplace as platform to promote your special offers?
And then there’s LinkedIn, which focuses more on connections and on-platform blogging for B2B connections. Having a social-savvy team to promote your property through these channels correctly, is essential.
Ultimately, social media needs to be looked upon as a main marketing tool for your business. In a recent industry survey, results showed that only 68% of smaller hotel businesses had their own website. Considering the hotel industry leads the way in terms of online presence in comparison to other businesses, that’s a surprising finding.