In my work as a content and marketing strategist, I often receive the question; “why should we invest in social media?”. For me – or anyone working within this field – it might seem obvious, but for someone from the outside, it’s doesn’t have to be. Let me tell you; putting a cute photo on Instagram once in a while won’t do the trick – a lot more work and strategy is required these days. But if you understand what it takes and why you should invest time and money in your hotel’s social media presence to begin with, you’ve already come a long way.
Keep reading if you’d like to fully understand the benefits of your hotel being on social media – and why you should consider investing in your social channels moving forward.
Needless to say, there are countless benefits for hotels being active and engaged on social media, but it can also be a time-consuming money machine if done wrong. First of all, hotels should be on social media to be visible to potential guests and build upon their guest relationships. My personal favourite channels for hotels and restaurants are Instagram and Pinterest (for business purpose, Linkedin is also brilliant!), and if your hotel isn’t there – you’re simply missing out.
In a recent survey conducted by Hootsuite, 81% of users on Instagram check out a brand’s profile before they choose to buy from or interact with them. That’s a lot! Since Instagram is a very visual platform, it’s basically a match made in heaven for hotels. Show off your beautiful property and location and win the hearts of potential guests. The so-called guest journey doesn’t start when someone checks into your hotel – it already begins the minute they interact with you on Instagram and other platforms.
1. It makes you visible.
To get noticed on a crowded market place, you need to show yourself. That’s a given. Being on social media, helps potential guests find you and get to know you. Why should they choose your hotel over the one down the road? Show it through images and videos. The most important thing is to stay authentic and true to your unique brand voice, so get to know your property like an old friend and navigate from there. Knowing exactly who you are and what you offer – and communication it in a consistent way – isn’t only going to attract guests; it’ll make them come back for more.
Psst! In my e-book, Storytelling for Hotels, you can find out how to uncover your property’s unique brand voice – and what a huge difference it makes. Get it here.
2. It’s low cost
Advertising on social media is actually a lot cheaper compared to more traditional marketing methods. The best part is that you can run both organic (free) and paid campaigns at the same time. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you can simply put money on content that’s going to drive sales and leads – and leave your most engaging posts as organic. For a hotel, this is a brilliant way to experiment and, at the same time, get to know your audience.
3. It connects you to your audience
The beauty of social media marketing is that you can create targeted adverts that reach a specific audience. You can select people based on their gender, job, skills, likes or dislikes, demography and much more. This means that you aren’t wasting any money on advertising to the wrong people. Instead, you are attracting potential guests to your page everyday.
Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, being active and sharing good content on your channels on a regular basis, makes you credible and creates an authentic connection to your followers. Make people excited about what you’re gonna put out next, and when you launch new offers and initiatives. They’ll be your real followers.
4. It allows you to be unique
It might sound contradictory to be unique in a market place, which is so over-crowded as social media is – but this is actually your chance to differentiate yourself from all the rest. No one’s you – and that’s your superpower.
First of all, get to know your brand really well. Connect with your unique brand voice (I’ll cover that much more in-depth in my e-book) and figure out what you do different than your competitors. Then, start creating content around it. Your branding should reflect who you are through specific colours, fonts, tone-of-voice etc., and that’s something you should definitely use in your social media marketing as well. Create templates for your Instagram feed, stick to a specific language and use words that fit your brand well – the sky is the limit here. Be creative and have fun with it, but most importantly: be consistent and stay true to your brand!
Why invest in management of your SoMe channels?
While some properties have the time, knowledge and finances to train their in-house staff to create and maintain beautiful social channels, others don’t. I know quite a few hoteliers who even manage their hotel’s social media on their own, but I wouldn’t recommend that – especially not if time is something you don’t have much of. Managing social media is a time-consuming thing, and as the owner of a hotel – or even the marketing manager – you have loads of other tasks to attend to during the day.
This is where social media management comes into the picture. You simply hire (someone you trust) to do the work for you. An individual (freelancer) or an agency.
There are probably as many social media managers out there as there are Instagram profiles (or so it seems), so I understand why it feels like finding a needle in a haystack. I really do. But only you know how and what you’re willing to invest. Partnering up with a freelancer usually gives you more flexibility while buying the services of an agency could potentially give you more security and proven track records.
A social media manager creates, publishes and analyzes your content – and it also includes engaging and interacting with other users. All in the name of growing your following and making your account more attractive.
Having a social media manager is an important asset for any hotel these days. If you’re serious about your online presence (and you should be), I can only recommend hiring one. Whether it’s remote or in-house, a proper introduction and training is of course needed. And you always need to agree on your KPI’s (the goals you wish to work on an achieve with the collaboration).
Want to know more? Let’s talk!
Social media management, particularly for Instagram and Linkedin, is one of my key services. If you’re operating an independent (boutique) hotel and would like to have a chat about the possibilities of working together, shoot me an email. I promise to get back to you within 24 hours.