#Hotel Social Media Marketing Every hotel Owner must Practice
When a traveler goes online to book a hotel, do they go to your website? Or do they visit sites like Booking.com or Airbnb?
How do you position your hotel and website as desirable destinations?
Well, the only way a guest visits your site directly is when they recognize your brand. And unless you’re the Marriott, the Hilton, or the Ritz, you’ve got work to do.
The best way to make yourself known is to create an online presence. It’s about putting the right content in the right place through hotel social media strategies and content marketing.
Still, it’s not enough to have beautiful Instagram or Facebook profiles. You need to make your hotel a desirable destination across all channels.
That’s why this article will show you:
- Which social media networks are the best for hotel social media strategies.
- How to make the best content for hotel social media marketing strategies.
- How to use social media management as a hotel to your advantage.
The Best Hotel Social Media Strategies Begin With the Right Networks
To start, it’s best to point out that every hotel is different and there is no one-size-fits-all hotel social media strategy.
You may run a boutique hotel or a Bed and Breakfast in a trendy vacation spot. On the other hand, you may only cater to business clientele. Perhaps, you want to cater to a mix of guests year round.
It’s important to remember that most travelers don’t start making travel preparations by booking a hotel. First, they imagine themselves in various destinations.
Do I want to go to Brazil or Bora Bora for my honeymoon? Do I want to take the kids to the beach or to the mountains?
Destination shopping starts with dreaming. Plus, there are three other travel industry micro-moments you need to understand as a hotel. There are the planning and booking stages, when travelers make their dreams reality.
Finally, there’s the days of anticipation leading up to the trip. Now, while those moments don’t sound like they have anything to do with hotel social media strategy – they do. The majority of travelers expect hospitality providers to engage with them before and during their trip to enhance their experience.
So, for any hotel that considers itself a vacation destination, it’s important to create content that reaches guests at every “micro-moment” of the journey.
At the same time, you may want to reach those who know where they’re going and may not be thrilled about it. The “I have to go to London for business” crowd. And here is where things get tricky. To cater to both crowds using the right tone, you need to dominate several channels at once.
Here are some things to ask yourself when creating your hotel social media strategy:
- How many social media networks do I have the time and money to run?
- Which social media networks do my customers use the most?
- How often can I post on social media?
- How can I integrate my social media strategy across channels?
- How do I want to tackle social media advertising and what’s my budget?
- How important is social media management for hotels and resorts?
Pro Tip: For smaller hotels that do not have a budget for several social media channels, it’s best to start by reaching out to the clientele you have. For example, if you’re that trendy boutique, you won’t want to miss out on Instagram.
Which Social Media Platforms are the Best for Your Hotel or Resort?
Here are the top five social media networks for hotels and resorts:
Now, while TripAdvisor is a review site and not a social media network, you will need to manage it on a regular basis. Responding to reviews is one of the best ways to show that your hotel listens to customers and pays attention to their needs.
1. Facebook Social Media Marketing for Hotels and Resorts
Facebook is the perfect general-use social network for hotels and resorts. That’s because the platform allows businesses to add all sorts of extra tabs, cross-referencing all other social networks and websites. Plus, it’s a great place to add all your contact and amenity details.
One other thing to keep in mind, is that Facebook will often assign pages to businesses. It’s best to claim your page so that you have control over the content and conversation.
Here’s an example of a hotel that uses Facebook social media marketing well:
As you can see in the cover image, 41 Hotel was voted the number one hotel in London by Travel + Leisure in 2017. Your cover image is a great place to point out why you’re the best. A lot of hotels also use the space to add videos.
Consider the fact that video will account for 82% of all consumer Internet traffic worldwide by 2021. Plus, video brings travel locations alive. There are plenty of free tools to help you make videos, and you can share your videos on Instagram and YouTube as well.
Among the standout tabs on 41 Hotel’s profile you can see:
- TripAdvisor Reviews
- Instagram Feed
- Book A Table
We’ll come back to the TripAdvisor Reviews tab in a moment. So, let’s start with the Instagram Feed tab. The tab merges your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Users can go directly to your Instagram feed by clicking the “View on Instagram” button within the page
One of the best hotel social media ideas is to think of Facebook as a hub for your social profiles and website content – a place on social media where everything comes together. You should try to integrate as many as your social profiles with Facebook as possible.
Plus, all your content should cycle through Facebook – especially if you have a blog. The idea is to give users access to as much information about your hotel as possible in one location.
Next, is the Offer tab. Clicking on the Offer tab allows users to view offers without having to see them in their feed or yours. They will see that you’ve posted an offer, but the content is categorized as such. That way you’re not feeding your followers spammy content, and can use your posts to promote more engaging content.
3. Instagram Social Media Marketing for Hotels and Resorts
Visual content is important for travel and hotel social media marketing strategies. That’s why Instagram is one of the most important social networks for hotels.
You want travelers to get excited when visualizing staying in your hotel and spending time at their destination. Instagram is the perfect platform for posting beautiful images of your hotel and desirable destinations in your area.
Here’s an example of a hotel Instagram marketing done right:
The citizenM Instagram post does two things right. First, it shows a restaurant in London that has a button for champagne. It’s important to keep the tone of the social platform. Instagram leans toward the artistic and glamorous. Champagne buttons are pretty glamorous.
Second, the post mentions that there are more London hotspots available in the hotel’s city guides. CitizenM has a dedicated blog that gives readers recommendations, information, and other interesting content.
Having a blog is one of the best things you can do to make your hotel’s website more visible. You’ll show up for more queries in Google, your website will have a stronger domain authority, and you’ll have endless content to push out through your social media channels.
Again, you’ll want to make sure you do include some user-generated content as a part of your hotel social media strategy. That’s also why you’ll want to make sure you’re using popular and dedicated hashtags across all platforms.
Here is an example of a citizenM post. Here the hotel has integrated user-generated content into their Instagram marketing efforts:
Another thing you’ll want to do for your hotel Instagram marketing strategy is create space within your hotel that is designed for Instagram selfies. Now, you don’t have to “create” space. You can use space that already exists by promoting it as Instagrammable.
For example, citizenM has a marble, spiral staircase in one of their locations. They posted an image to Instagram stating that you can find an “Instagrammable spiral staircase” right in their hotel:
In this post, you can see a lot of the best hotel social media marketing tactics in action. For example, the content is a user-generated Instagram post shared by the hotel. Second, the post integrates Instagram and Facebook.
Third, if you didn’t notice, the Stanley Hotel is the very same hotel from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The iconic hallway from the film is perfect Instagram material. Promoting the image invites users to use the space as such.
Pro Tip: Consider creating corresponding hashtags for your Instagrammable space. Remember, you’re creating opportunities for your guests and influencers to feature you on Instagram for free. A hashtag will let you keep track of the success of the campaign.
4. Pinterest Social Media Marketing for Hotels and Resorts
Having both a Pinterest and an Instagram account is ideal for hotel social media strategies because the two platforms serve two different purposes. The difference between Pinterest and Instagram is an aspiration.
Many Pinterest users spend time pinning images of places and hotels they would like to visit sometime in the future. Instagram is for showing off that you made it there. Plus, Pinterest is different when it comes to demographics.
The majority of Pinterest users are women in their 40’s who make $50K per year or more. These are women who have money and plan their family vacations using the social media platform. Plus, it’s interesting to note that Millennials use Pinterest as much as Instagram.
Instagram is not going to give you the same type of targeted demographic. Instagram is more about engaging the influencer. Pinterest is about engaging the mom with the checkbook.
One hotel that does Pinterest hotel marketing well is the Four Seasons. The hotel chain has seen an incredible gain in traffic since they joined Pinterest as a part of their hotel social media marketing strategy.
Traffic gains include a 1,000% increase in daily average visitors from Pinterest and a 1,700% increase in daily average clicks to its website from Pinterest year-over-year. One reason why Four Seasons is so successful, is that the hotel tracks saves, likes, and visits to figure out what’s popular on Pinterest.
On their main account, Four Seasons has 63 boards ranging in topics from travel destinations and food to bridal inspiration and their “famously comfortable” beds.
If you’re a large chain hotel like the Four Seasons, creating accounts with individualized board for each location is the way to go. Plus, remember that Pinterest isn’t just about sharing great images. Pinterest is a social media platform for bookmarking ideas. Whether it’s flower arrangement instructions, a recipe, or furniture DIY, make sure you include valuable content that’s easy for pinners to revisit and use later.
5. TripAdvisor Social Media Marketing for Hotels and Resorts
You need lots of quality, online reviews if you want your hotel to perform well. That’s because most customers rely on online reviews and sites like TripAdvisor to decide which hotels to book.
The first thing you need to do on TripAdvisor is claim your listing. Once you do that, you can respond to reviews, update details about your hotel, and get analytics for your hotel on TripAdvisor.
It’s of the highest importance that you update even small details about your hotel. You have to make sure that what people see online is what they’re going to get in reality. See, your guests are already building up expectations about your hotel in their heads. When reality doesn’t align, that can result in bad reviews for you.
Anytime there are new amenities, renovation, or a fresh coat of paint, you need to make sure your TripAdvisor account reflects the change. To be honest, a good rule of thumb for hotel social media strategies is to make sure all your social media accounts reflect any changes.
People want to get what they see. Keeping your information and images fresh and accurate ensures that happens and builds trust and loyalty with your guests.
Here’s an example of a hotel that has a handle on TripAdvisor social media marketing:
The Bottom Line With Google My Business Profiles
One thing that needs to go at the top of your hotel social media marketing strategy “To-do List” is claiming your Google My Business Profile(s).
Remember, if you’re running a franchise, you will need to claim a profile for each location. And if you’re part of a large chain, you need to make sure information across business profiles, social profiles, and websites is consistent.
Why is claiming your My Business Profile important?
Claiming your profile allows you to show up in your own Knowledge Panel in Google search results. That’s prime Google real estate. Knowledge Panels contain nuggets of information about your business, including links to all your social media profiles.
Want to find out more about how local SEO practices, such as Google My Business Profiles, can help small hotels and businesses? Read our guide: Local SEO for Small Businesses
Understanding Hotel Social Media Marketing and Management 3 best Tips
Social media management for hotels and resorts is a great way to manage your online reputation, conduct customer service, find influencers, and track the success of social media campaigns.
Tip 1 – Use Branded Hashtags to Track Hotel Social Media Campaigns
To manage your online reputation and conduct customer service, you’ll use your brand name. But to find influencers and to track the success of a hotel social media strategy, you may want to consider using dedicated hashtags.
What are dedicated hashtags?
Dedicated hashtags are anything that represents or symbolizes your campaign and isn’t already a popular hashtag. You don’t want to use hashtags that people can apply to anything. Otherwise, it will be difficult to sift out mentions pertaining only to your campaign.
One way you can create a dedicated hashtag is to use the name of your hotel as citizens does for their campaigns. In the post below, you can see that they’ve created a couple of dedicated hashtags including #citizenMsays and #citizenM.