Developing you hotel’s brand is no simple task. It can take years to decades of providing exemplary customer service before customers come to trust a brand. But it doesn’t end there – keeping the hotel’s image clean and strong can be a challenge by itself. Indeed, social media has given guests a voice and what’s more, guests take other travelers’ opinions as seriously as a personal recommendation by friends or family! All it takes is a few unsatisfied guests to tarnish the property’s image and negate years of hard work.
Hospitality has seen competition escalate rapidly over the past few years, especially with all the new advancements being made in cloud computing – this platform is enabling even small and mid-sized hoteliers without massive budgets to purchase enterprise-level management tools. If things haven’t gone as well as you expected in terms of annual occupancy in 2015, don’t let that cloud your vision for 2016. The internet has become a dominant marketing tool and with patience and a little work, it can become a powerful marketing tool for you.
Depending on the work you’ve already put in, your property could just be a few steps away from establishing a commanding online presence! Here’s a few areas that you should take a closer look at:
Mobile devices have been robbing desktops of their computing authority over the past few years and today it’s no secret that mobile bookings are also on their way to overtaking desktops in the near future. Ensuring that your hotel’s website is smartphone compatible is of critical importance today – TripAdvisor recently revealed that as many as 42% of travelers use smartphones to plan or book some phase of their trips. That’s a massive number of potential guests your property could be missing out on without mobile compatibility!
Social media platforms
There’s few platforms as significant in terms of consumer feedback today, as social media networks. All it takes is a single tweet to smear a hotel’s years of positive campaigning and repairing the damage caused can be extremely expensive. By ensuring that you maintain an active presence on all social media channels and regularly interact with your followers, your hotel staff will be able to handle negative feedback more effectively and you’re also driving more people to direct sources of bookings! Video marketing is also a great way to use social media – according to estimates, 74% of the world’s internet data will stem from videos in 2017, with videos being shared 12 times more than links and all other textual forms of content!
There’s no doubt the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have made a tremendous impact on hospitality and there’s no doubt that their rapid growth has propelled a number of small and mid-sized hotels, giving them global visibility that they couldn’t have dreamed of before. And yet, the relationship between OTAs and hotels has always been stretched beyond a comfortable zone for either party. While they do spend massive amounts of money (in the region of seven figures) on annual marketing, they ask for commissions that can go as high as 30% – a figure that can be too costly for independent hoteliers. That’s why it’s best to work on developing other avenues as well, including your website, social media, and even offline travel agencies.
These changes will take a while to fall into place and you will by no means see results overnight – however, the long-term stability that you’re building for your hotel should become noticeable in anywhere from a few weeks to a few months as you start to see better occupancy and increased revenue.
About the author
Sarah Miller is a Content Development & Marketing Specialist at Hotelogix. She hails from Seattle and has a strong passion for writing. Sarah handles media relations and can be contacted at [email protected]
For a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to attract more guests in 2016, you can download our Hotelogix’s FREE e-book by clicking here.