Social media marketing for hotels: 9 easy ways to engage your guests

  Posted in Social Media

Every social media platform has the ability to unlock the booking potential of your hotel, with the right engagement strategy. Some may perform better than others for your particular property but everyone online should be treated as a prospective customer – afterall, who doesn’t love to travel?

By now, it’s obvious Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter dominate when it comes to active social media users, and they all have individual strengths you can take advantage of at your hotel.

Let’s look at the best way to engage followers on each of these channels so you can decide which social media strategy will work for your hotel.

The best way to engage your hotel’s followers on Facebook

One of the best things about Facebook is the variety of content you can post. You can appeal to any audience, in any way you want. This means Facebook should be a priority when thinking about any social media strategy. Here are three ways you can mix-up your hotel’s Facebook content and maintain a consistent level of engagement:

1. Don’t be afraid to have fun
There’s nothing wrong with posting some ‘light’ content on Facebook every now and then to create conversation or make people laugh. Try to keep it somewhat relevant however by making a post about travel, your property, local area, or anything else your followers could find interesting. For instance, the World Cup is a perfect example of using an event to post something topical.

2. Encourage conversation
When people take the time to actually comment on a Facebook post, it’s means you’ve done a good job. Comments generate much stronger traffic and awareness than simply racking up the likes. Attracting a large amount of comments will help you gain more followers very quickly because people often take an interest in what their friends are discussing.

Think of an interesting, fun, or even newsworthy topic to post about and ask your followers for their take on it. Most of the time people need no second invitation to share their opinion!

3. Use photos regularly
Naturally photos take up more space in the newsfeed and draw a reader’s attention much more easily. Photos can also be a lot more impactful on a person’s imagination and emotion.

Your hotel should provide a wealth of opportunity to post great photos. Think along the lines of sharing photos of guests, staff, the local area, meals from your kitchen, amenities etc. Always caption your photo with a funny or conversational tagline.

Click here to read more about converting bookings via Facebook.

The best way to engage your hotel’s followers on Instagram

Instagram is taking social media by storm, growing exponentially, and will push close to one billion active users this year. It’s easy to see why. A perfectly simple platform to use, Instagram is one of the most aesthetic and fun channels for people to use. With many similar features to Facebook and Snapchat, along with its original photo sharing format, its immense popularity is destined to continue.

Here are three tips for your hotel’s social media marketing via Instagram:

1. Quality is key – don’t shirk it
Given Instagram is known for hosting beautiful, high-quality, images, that’s what people to expect. If a photo is poorly framed or slightly blurry it will stand out and be ignored more than on other platforms. A poor photo will have a reduced chance of being engaged with, and it could also give people the impression that you don’t care and are just posting because you think you have to.

Put thought and effort into the images you post of your hotel on Instagram. If you don’t, what will audiences be thinking about your property?

2. Research hashtags – constantly
Hashtags are one of the most important aspects of Instagram. They make it very easy for people to find content and topics they’re interested in, and they’re a great way to browse and find inspiration.

Essentially, when you post images the more hashtags you use the better because more people will see your posts. However, it’s no use labelling images with hashtags that never get used and have no traffic flow. Do some research into the most popular hashtags that are relevant to the image you’re posting.

It should be easy enough to find some you can tailor for your content. For example, if your hotel is suited to hosting weddings, use hashtags like #hotelwedding or #weddingdestination to attract people searching for their perfect venue.

3. Post frequently about your hotel – and do it consistently
While some methods of contact, such as email, can become saturated and overwhelming Instagram is a platform where you want to be posting regularly.

You need to be appearing in people’s feed quite often so they can become familiar with your brand and get to know you. This also means you need to spice up your content. Don’t always post a pretty picture of the nearby lake, forest, or city skyline etc. You can mix it up by posting snaps of your guests enjoying themselves, behind the scenes shots of your staff, your best amenities, events, your restaurant etc. This also gives you the chance to be diverse with your hashtags, attracting new and different followers. Have fun with it too!

For examples of how hotels can achieve more goals on Instagram, read this article.

The best way to engage your hotel’s followers on Twitter

Twitter is a thriving hub of activity and things are constantly changing with new content and news being uploaded at breakneck pace. This is why connection and communication is so vital, to make sure your content doesn’t get lost in the ether.

Here are three tips for growing your hotel’s followers on Twitter:

1. Monitor and respond as much as possible
Being present and active is vital on Twitter. Make sure you respond to every tweet and retweet of your content. Engage in conversations and don’t be afraid to join in conversations created by other accounts to make yourself known.

For example, if someone tweets something like this, “Looking for a reasonably priced hotel in Sydney for a relaxing weekend getaway. Suggestions?”, you should be ready to respond with details about your property and perhaps a promotional code for a complimentary breakfast or spa treatment.

2. Be informative
Twitter is great for people who want to keep their finger on the pulse of society. Any breaking news or inside secrets often originate on Twitter and they spread fast.

Tweet any hotel news, special offers and local stories of interest such as the opening of new restaurants near your hotel or the opening of a park etc. Share anything that will provide value to your followers, and always be aware of what’s trending.

3. Involve your guests
Hotels can request guests’ Twitter information upon check-in and offer special discounts at restaurants or spas in exchange for it, including the permission to take their pictures. Being able to tag your users in your tweets is a surefire way to increase engagement.

Tag them with a photo, or ask them about their stay, and invite them to special events and offer them deals. As with any social media, it’s about keeping your followers interested. If your content is about them, you can’t go wrong.

For more tips on how to engage your hotel guests via Twitter, click here.

SiteMinder's social media playbook fro hotels

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