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Social media marketing tips for smart hoteliers

There is no definitive guide to social media marketing because social media is constantly evolving. But the tips in this blog can help you always stay ahead of the curve.

1. It’s all about knowing your audience

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If you understand your target audience and their interests, that’s half your battle won on social media. Start by digging into the people who currently follow you on social and engage with your content (see Facebook and Instagram Insights for this information!). Who are they? What are their shared characteristics? Consider traits like age, location, language and hobbies.

Overlap information from social media channels with your other channels to create personas of your ideal customers. Then align your social media messaging to talk to these ideal guests.4

2. Be authentic

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Authenticity is worth gold on social media where users don’t care for ultra-polished posts or lengthy words. They want something that is different, even if unpolished and messy. Be real – post the bloopers of serving guests or laundry gone wrong. Making the connection is important when it comes to social media.

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3. Choose your platforms wisely

You can’t be everything to everyone, everywhere. Choose the social platforms you want to be active on widely – based on your target audience and their preferred channel. Remember, do few, do them well.

4. Audience-led content

Tell your brand story – sure, but in a manner that your audience wants to hear them. Tailor your content to suit their needs and mix your brand message in it. If you need inspiration – see a Nike ad. It’s never about the brand, but how it makes its customers feel – empowered.

5. Posting etiquettes

Don’t be offensive – there is a fine line between humour and being rude. It’s easy to cross over on the other side on social media and the repercussions can be disastrous for a brand. Posting regularly and on the right time is not just good for optimisation – or getting maximum engagement – it is important to meet your guests’ expectations.

6. Be responsive

If you have a message in your inbox, respond quickly – a maximum of 24 hours, although a few hours is better. If your audience is engaging with your post, participate in the conversation with them.

7. Get serious about videos

As short-form videos skyrocketed in popularity in 2022, many brands started to dip their toe in the format. Social media managers were tasked with creating videos on the side to complement their other social efforts. Now it is almost a full-time job to keep up with the consumer appetite for videos. Arm your employees (the right ones!) with access to your business social accounts and a smartphone, and create authentic video content.

Remember in all your content, videos or photos, highlight your services in action or what’s around your property.

8. Showcase testimonials and reviews

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Word-of-mouth marketing isn’t going away—it’s just getting a makeover. Data from multiple sources shows that consumers like to see brand social content that features real customer testimonials and product demonstrations. So rather than catchy slogans and marketing spin, focus on providing your audience with authentic content from real customers they can relate to.

9. Be human

Be authentic. Build an emotional connection with your audience. No one wants to buy from a brand… most buy into the story. Tell your story, don’t sell rooms. Take a stand on issues that matter to your audience and bring personality into your storytelling.

10. Partner with creators

Your job is to provide a great service. If social media content creation is coming in the way, hand it over to professional creators who have domain knowledge and the following to take your message further.

Remember, you can even turn your staff into content creators and distributors.

11. Have a process

Create a content plan and allocate a budget to promote it – half the battle is won if you know what you are doing and when. Next, have an approval process in place that is seamless so no one person holds back regular posting and content creation.

 

12. Keep testing

Digital media, especially social media, keeps evolving. Make sure you keep testing social media channels, content types, frequency of posts etc. Testing is the only way to optimise in the digital world, remain relevant and get desired results.

Critical to testing is data and insights. Use analytics and insights from social platforms, website and booking engine, channel manager and PMS to see what’s working and where you need to make improvements.

13. Keep an eye out on competition and market

Stay alert for trends and viral content doing the rounds. Where applicable, adapt your strategy to it. And much like pricing, be aware of what the competition is doing on social channels so you can match their sentiment where needed.

Wrapping up

Social media marketing can be hard work. But the benefits are difficult to ignore. If you don’t take it seriously, you’ll undoubtedly miss out on leads. Use these social media marketing tips to fine-tune your strategy until you’ve created a winning strategy. Just remember, social networks are made for conversing with others. If you don’t make your audience a top priority – you won’t see results.

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STAAH is a New Zealand-based technology company that specialises in cloud-based channel management and booking engine for accommodation providers helping them maximise their online revenue. Founded by Gavin Jeddo in 2008, a pioneer in the field of distribution technology, STAAH’s industry-leading technology powers a property’s distribution through online travel agencies (OTA) and direct bookings. STAAH partners with over 19000+ properties across 90 countries through its operations in New Zealand, Australia, India, UAE, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Middle East, UK and Europe.

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