How to Use Social Media to Drive Direct Hotel Bookings
Social Media plays a huge role in what people see, think and understand. It’s especially popular during the holiday seasons.
Tourists and locals alike use social media platforms to look for the trendiest, most popular or interesting places to visit.
Beautiful and active hotel pages are especially appealing when they show up on social media feeds because it stirs the imagination, makes people want to experience the place for themselves, and gives people a firm grasp of what it is they’re looking for.
These pages definitely influence people’s decisions when it comes to hotel bookings.
With a few clicks they can view your page, your website, your reviews, your ratings and your images and videos. They can very quickly grasp a sense of what your hotel is like, and then compare you against others.
Social Media platforms are known for raising awareness and encouraging interactivity. Many brands and companies depend on their social media strategies to boost their marketing activities and increase their sales. These networks are a perfect place to engage with your audience, showcase your venue and subsequently increase your bookings.
However, just because social media is easily accessible and looks relatively easy to use, doesn’t mean that it is. You need to have a strategy that works for your specific needs.
Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Hotel
There are several different platforms to choose from, some are well established, such as Facebook and Twitter and others are up and coming such as TikTok and WhatsApp.
Not every channel will be appropriate for your marketing, although it’s important that you sign up for accounts and claim your desired username – this will prevent others from masquerading as your official business and causing you problems.
Listed below are some tips and strategies that you can implement on the major platforms that will help you boost your popularity and reputation.
Facebook for Hotels
The biggest social media network in the world, Facebook is a fantastic place to cultivate authenticity and foster experiences. One of the major features of Facebooks is how it allows people to remain up to date with each other and see what others are doing in their daily lives. More than 2 billion people engage with this channel on a daily basis.
As a hotel, your channel needs to have an interesting mix of content – if you’re constantly trying to sell to people or are offering cut price deals too often, you’re not giving them reasons why they should remember you or keep engaging.
Since changes were made to the newsfeeds, it’s also important that you educate your visitors – encourage them to not just like your page, but to also follow and share with others.
You can ask your guests to tag your hotel in their pictures when they share them, to make use of official hashtags in their posts, and to leave reviews on the page. You can also make use of the advertising features and analytic data which the site provides to make sure your content is designed to engage your target audience, and that your adverts are reaching the right people at the right time.
Twitter for Hotels
Out of all the social media channels, Twitter moves the fastest and is often where customers or visitors will reach out with enquiries. It’s a great platform for starting discussions, getting involved with, or starting trends and gathering potential customers.
Using relevant hashtags (but not excessively – more than two or three hashtags per post is seen as spamming the post and can actually lead to less engagement) and tweeting your promotions is one way you can highlight your brand.
It’s important to monitor mentions of your brand name and to keep a close eye on your direct messages. Customers generally expect a response within an hour, although the faster you respond the better, and their opinion of your brand can be directly influenced by good customer service.
Instagram for Hotels
The most visual of the platforms, Instagram is the place to flaunt those views of your hotel. Posting professional pictures and well directed videos not only appeal to the aesthetic of the people you want to visit, but it also defines your standards and gives them a good idea of your professionalism.
You can use plenty of hashtags on Instagram (up to 30 per post) to appear in relevant searches and the feeds of people who are interested in what you’re offering. You can post up-to-date stories and add them to your highlights for customers to enjoy.
Instagram Story posts are one of the most growingly popular way for people to interact on the channel, and unless you add the post to highlights, it only appears for 24 hours. This is a great feature for time limited offers, or to share more content with your audience without clogging up your main grid.
Varying your content between sales messages, views of the interior and exterior, behind the scenes content such as videos of hotel chefs creating dishes, or tours of the rooms gives your guests a taste of what your venue is offering and helps them define your brand.
Inspiring people to travel to your hotel is a big deal – whether they’re visiting from up the road or from the other side of the planet, their patronage should be a big deal.
71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.
Sharing promotions, having defined content standards (if you think something ‘will do’ or ‘is good enough’ means that it’s automatically not good enough), keeping your social networks regularly up dated and using visuals to inspire and share information about your features, amenities, experiences and staff works very well.
Social Media is a great tool and when you utilise it to its fullest, it’s one of the best ways to reach the most interested people and to maximise the potential of your hotel.