Social Media for Hotels: 8 Tips for Attracting Guests Near and Far
Hotels need new customers to survive. Only 8% of customers say the regularly stay at one hotel brand. The vast majority of customers will stay in a hotel once and then move on when they leave the city. This means that many hotel owners have a constant uphill battle to bring in new guests.
Fortunately, social media is a popular tool to attract customers in the digital era.
When used correctly, hotel owners can keep a steady stream of guests booking their rooms. If you’re looking to use social media for your brand, check out these eight tips for social media for hotels.
#1) Choose Your Top Social Channels
There are several social media outlets to choose from, and some might be better for your brand than others. For example, Instagram and Pinterest are highly visual, which makes them popular social media platforms for many hotels. If you offer beach getaways, a wedding venue, a spa, or other travel benefits, then people can pin your hotel to their travel boards and keep it in mind for their next trip.
You don’t need to be on every social media channel to promote your brand. You might decide that you don’t have the time to maintain a LinkedIn account. However, if you are trying to lure business travelers, then LinkedIn might be worth your time.
It is better to have two or three really strong channels instead of spreading yourself too thin across several.
#2) Offer Incentives for Current Guests
If your guests are going to post about their trips anyway, why not channel their efforts to post about your hotel?
Host scavenger hunts around the property with rewards for guests who find and share a few post photos. You can also encourage people to check-in or tag the hotel in exchange for a discounted drink or prize.
These photo promotions make it easier for others to find your hotel while boosting the number of people who see your brand name on their feeds.
#3) Track General Travel Hashtags and Groups
People love posting photos about their vacations almost as much as they love actually taking vacations. This makes travel hashtags incredibly popular to follow, use, and engage with.
Check out a few tags like #wanderlust #dreamvacation #honeymoon #roadtrip and #weekendgetaway and see if you can jump into the conversation. These tags have a global following, which means you can get your brand in front of millions of people. That being said, you will also be competing with every other person or brand using those tags for likes.
Try to find your sweet spot in tag size. For example, you might use #LoveFl or #Floridatrip to reach people who are specifically interested in traveling to Florida, narrowing your reach but gaining a much more valuable audience.
#4) Don’t be Afraid to Jump on Memes and Media Trends
Memes are typically popular for only a few days at a time. If you miss the meme window then you will likely seem outdated or irrelevant. Try keeping an eye on popular memes or jokes and see if you can jump on the trend as well.
If your comment is funny or creative, you might get more buzz around your hotel than you expected!
#5) Connect With Local Restaurants, Attractions, and Tourist Organizations
When it comes to successful social media for hotels, the best brands are part of the conversation. They comment on other accounts, strategically follow certain brands, and spend just as much time watching and listening as they spend posting. The other accounts appreciate the engagement and are more likely to promote your brand vision and engage with your pages as well.
This is easier said than done for many hotels. It’s easy for social media managers to post on a regular basis. Posts can be scheduled a week out and the accounts can run automatically.
It takes much more time to actively listen, pay attention, and come up with a response. However, the investment is often worth it.
Start by following restaurants and tourism sites in your area. Then look for local tourism authorities and lifestyle blogs for your town. Soon you will have collected a large following of partners that you can engage. If you need help finding other local businesses and events to promote in your area, sign up for your local MyArea Network site.
#6) Build Relationship with Influencers in Your Area
There are two types of people who will see your content when you post on social media: those who already like and follow your brand, and those who aren’t familiar with you. Your goal is to turn more people from the latter group into the former group. One of the digital marketing strategies for hotels to do this is influencer marketing.
Through influencer marketing, someone with a large following encourages their fans to like your page or buy your products. With social media for hotels, their call to action might be to book a vacation or check out your beach bar. Your influencers might be travel bloggers or celebrities (like Bobby Flay or Rick Steves) or they might be local names, like the city’s mayor.
Influencer marketing can happen organically (if an influencer gives your brand a shout out for free) or it can be paid. You may want to invest in paid influencer campaigns to reach new audiences and grow your brand.
#7) Take Advantage of Facebook’s Booking Tools
If you opt to have an active Facebook page, make it easy for guests to book through the platform. You can set up a Book Now button so guests can convert without having to leave the page.
This is a great way to see just how much income your social media efforts bring in because the bookings come directly from the social profiles.
#8) Don’t Leave Gaps in Your Content
Once you commit to posting on social media, don’t stop. Fans will notice when you post for a few weeks and then disappear for a few months. Plus, it will be harder to develop and maintain relationships if you keep going dark.
If you’re not sure what to post on social media, turn to your blog. There are plenty of blog post ideas for hotels that you can use to drive traffic to your site and keep customers engaged.
Start Using Social Media for Hotels
You don’t have to be a social media guru to reach new audiences on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You just have to know what you want to get out of your social efforts and have a general idea of how to do it.
If you want to expand your social reach, contact My Area Network for a free consultation. We can help you reach potential hotel guests around the world, or just down the road. And to reach even more customers, sign up your property on your local MyArea Network so you can start reaching more customers near and far today.