The travel and tourism industry was one of the first and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Two years later, of course, it has shown signs of a resurgence due to the Omicron variant.
If you’re in the hospitality business, you probably can’t wait until summer. Why summer, though? Research is indicating that after an Omicron-driven 35% increase in cancellations late last year, travel is starting to pick up again. And by the end of 2022, many experts expect airline travel demand could recover 84% of what it was pre-pandemic.
Yet you don’t have to wait until the warm weather kicks in to woo people to come to your hotel, motel, inn, resort, or bed and breakfast. In fact, the sooner you connect with people longing for a much-needed weekend getaway or extended vacation, the better. What’s the best place to connect with an audience eager to spend money in exchange for relaxation, adventure, and memories? Social media, of course!
How to promote your hotel on social media
Social media remains a fast, efficient way for you to engage with prospective travelers as part of your hotel marketing strategy. Why? It’s immediate. It’s palpable. It’s entertaining. It’s also a wonderful avenue for you to put on your storyteller hat and begin showcasing everything from your phenomenal rooms and suites to world-class customer service.
Maybe your social media hotel marketing is a little rusty after the starts and stalls of the past 24 months. No problem. Just lean into the following hotel digital marketing tips:
1. Dust off your brand voice.
What do the best hotel social media campaigns have in common? Their brand voice resonates loudly and clearly. Most of your competitors will adopt similar bland messaging tones that customers have seen before. This is good for you — as long as you’re willing to break out some personality.
For example, when sharing updates about your properties, amenities, and unique events, keep your brand style consistent. Let’s say you want to play up your family friendliness. In that case, you might pepper your captions, images, and calls to action with a sense of youthfulness, energy, and fun. Ultimately, your voice should come through with strength and confidence to better engage with your audience and get your message across.
2. Test different social sites.
Have you used one social site in your hotel marketing strategy for years? Try branching out. Almost any social platform from TikTok to Twitter can be effective. As long as your target audience hangs out there, you have a good chance of being noticed.
It’s worth mentioning that pairing up your Facebook and Instagram paid advertisements can be a smart strategy. Because they’re both owned by Meta, they share a lot of data similarities. Additionally, when taken together, Facebook and Instagram target three cohorts of traveling enthusiasts with buying power: Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials. Consequently, advertising on just those two platforms can power up your pipeline of leads. Be certain to leverage search and social data so you can send would-be travelers customized geotargeted ads based on their footprints.
3. Tailor your images to users’ needs and wants.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. What are the pictures of your property saying? Around 40% of Millennials say that they’re swayed by travel and hotel images on social media when booking trips. So when thinking about social media content ideas for hotels, include lots of visuals to communicate with viewers.
Your visuals can come in a wide variety of formats, including interesting infographics or videos. Don’t be afraid to share photos that you’ve been tagged in as well. Images taken by thrilled guests will encourage others to put your destination on the top of their travel list.
4. Create compelling content and calls to action.
Never assume that someone who sees your social post will know what to do. Instead, nudge everyone with a variety of suggestions. For instance, ask visitors to sign up for your loyalty program by a certain date with the promise of getting exclusive access, special room rates, or insider deals. Or if you’re on Facebook and Instagram, make use of direct booking features to simplify the reservation process.
Not seeing a lot of traction and engagement from followers? Try asking questions to prompt comments and discussion. This can launch a broader give-and-take and open doors for you to message users who show interest in the conversation. Those that click on links to your site can then be retargeted as part of your overall hotel digital marketing campaigns.
Although it might seem like summer is just around the corner, you shouldn’t have to wait to start filling your rooms. Turning to social media will allow you to employ numerous different hotel marketing strategies and get your property busy again.
About the author
Colin Hayes is regional director of digital strategy at CMG Local Solutions, a leading marketing agency providing customized business consulting and marketing services for companies around the country. Passionate about building connections and relationships, Colin helps brands tackle their marketing challenges, accomplish growth goals, and streamline efforts.