There is no substitute for having a decent social media presence for your hotel.
None at all.
A vast majority of the people who book for hotels do so online, and maintaining a stable presence of your hotel on social media can easily supercharge your growth.
In this guide, I’ll explore how you can create a substantial social media presence for your hotel online and drive revenue to the max. I will explain how to promote your hotel on social media, and give you a few hotel social media marketing ideas.
Jump to the relevant section to learn about:
- Identifying your hotel’s target market
- Choosing the best social media for your hotel
- How to create great content for your hotel social media + post ideas
- Prepping your Facebook Page to accept bookings
- Getting influencers to promote your hotel
- Promoting your hotel discounts
The statistics are clear, in a survey done with adults in the United States, it was found that 88 percent would instead book a hotel online. This is an indication of the absolute need for hotels to maintain a significant online presence.
When people want to book a hotel, they’ll try to look up information about the hotel on the internet, and at times they’ll even hunt for social proof on social media.
Having photographs of hotel amenities, posting fresh content, and even advertising promotions can get the ball rolling. When it involves the use of alluring images, you often think about Instagram or Facebook. Though it’s a wise move to deploy Instagram automation till you build a sizeable audience, it’s necessary to know the inevitable consequences from abusing this practice and get your account blacklisted.
Regardless of which platform you’re about to choose, there are a couple of boxes that you should tick prior to launching your campaign.
Hotel Social Media Marketing Rule #1: Identify Your Target Market
Each hotel is themed to cater to a specific demographic, and with the rise in different types of accommodations, there is a market for almost everyone.
Your hotel social media marketing feed should look different depending on whether you’re catering to young or mature audience (see the photos above for example), backpackers or luxury-retreat seekers.
Social media marketing starts with identifying the buyer profiles of your prospective customers. This begins with the data that you already have at your disposal. The next set of steps involve analyzing the typical demographic of people coming in, and pairing that information to create attractive posts that fall in line with the characteristics and brand image of your hotel.
If it’s a budget hotel that often has young people coming, there could be a market for backpackers or budget travelers. This data can also be used to determine other markets that you want to penetrate.
By identifying your market, you can start crafting a social media presence that resonates with your prospects.
Personalizing your campaigns is one of the most effective ways of reaching out to your target market. It offers more engagement than sending out generalized content.
Hotel Social Media Marketing Rule #2:Define What Channels You Want to Use
There are plenty of social media and online platforms that you can take advantage of:
- Google My Business
However, each of these mediums requires a varied approach and cater to different types of individuals. It’s also going to be a tough job managing a calendar for the individual calendar.
This is where Postfity comes in offering a super-efficient social media scheduling app which doubles up as an idea-generating machine that ensures that you don’t go a single day without posting.
The versatility of the app combined with the capability to post to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and VKontakte, and manage audiences makes room for a lot more time to put on your creative caps and design that viral campaign you left on the backburner for too long.
From the get-go, your most critical profiles would be Facebook, Google My Business, and TripAdvisor.
Facebook is the largest social network, and Google My Business takes advantage of people quickly searching for your business listing on Google, and TripAdvisor because of its relevance in the hospitality industry.
The other social platforms are also worth a lot of consideration. For example, Instagram is a social media platform that is used by 32 percent of Internet users between the ages of 25-34, and it makes for a highly relevant medium, especially if you have a place that looks great on camera.
If you want to maintain an open customer service line where people can call you out or if you have great things to say, then Twitter is a great option.
Pick out what platforms you want to invest in and make sure that you’ve completed your profiles in all of them.
Hotel Social Media Marketing Rule #3: Create Great Content
There are a lot of content types that you can experiment with, but you should consistently be posting and updating your social platforms.
By doing this, you can show your online audience that you value the online market, and it makes you appear more engaging.
Here are a few hotel social media post ideas you can use for your hotel, hostel or air bnb:
Whatever you post – always remember – great quality visuals (photos, videos) are the make or break for your hospitality business.
Posting bad quality photos, with bad light or poor colours can do more harm and good.
Epecially when you’re taking photos of food:
Golden rule no 1: *NEVER* take photos of food in artificial light.
Hotel Social Media Content Idea 1 – Great Photos / Videos of the Destination
First of all – people usually go to your hotel not because they want to go to a hotel (with a few exceptions of hotels that provide such an extremely unique experience e.g. Ice Hotel, that people go there for the sake of spending a night in your hotel). They go to your hotel because they want to visit a particular destination.
So make sure you sell them your location well: show off the pristine beaches, breath-taking views, wildlife, cityscape or unique natural phenomena like Aurora Borealis:
Make visiting your location something one would put on their ‘bucket list’ when looking at your Facebook or Instagram page.
Hotel Social Media Content Idea 2 – Inspiration for Special Occasions (Wedding, holidays etc.)
Invite your followers to celebrate their special moments in your hotel.
Wedding? Honeymoon? Engagement?
Show how other guests have celebrated those special days in your hotel, against the backdrop of beautiful beach, flowers, or your interiors.
Any upcoming holidays your potential guests may be wanting to celebrate in some exotic destination are a great opportunity too!
Invite your potential guests to celebrate Christmas, New Year’s Eve or Lunar New Year in your hotel by showing them what amazing, unforgettable experience you can offer them:
Hotel Social Media Content Idea 3 – Show off your hotel’s interiors, facilities and atmosphere
Again, when doing this – it’s very important to bear in mind your target audience.
If your target guests are looking for luxury – show them the most exquisite facilities, top-notch service and luxury experiences they can get in your hotel:If your audience is young, upbeat and looking for adventure: show them how much fun they can have:
Hotel Social Media Content Idea 4 – Food and drinks from your hotel
Food really matters. People on holidays want to eat well, experience new flavours, and indulge.
One major reason why people go to exotic places is to experience new, exotic cuisines.
Show your hotel’s restaurant food and drink off in your social media photos!
If you want to read more about social media marketing for restaurants, check out our earlier post here.
Videos? Photos? GIFs? What types of content should you post on your hotel’s social media?
You do not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to content, but it helps if you do something new every now and then.
- Twitter – hold polls, tweet new statuses, call out former customers, thank people in public, post photographs, engage with community issues, and even hold events.
- Facebook – the change to live, vlogs, promotional materials, advertising, video, 3D photos, games, and long-form blogs.
- Instagram – host giveaways, engage with community members, host fun contests and play out with different themes for the grid
Hotel Social Media Marketing Rule #4: Prep Your Facebook Page to Accept Bookings
Your Facebook page can do wonders for your hotel social media marketing strategy, it forms the identity of your hotel on the platform, and it’s what people refer to if they want quick information about the accommodation.
Your page’s cover photo is the most significant visual part of the page, so it makes sense to make sure that it stands out. There are a lot of ways that you can do this, and you can post the food being offered in the hotel, photographs of the amenities, the exterior of the hotel, and even a call-to-action on a promo.
Think about incorporating some text into the cover photo to make it stand out.
Facebook CTA Button
Skip the “Send Message” call-to-action and use the “Book Now” button instead. This allows potential guests to book immediately if they feel like it. It’s a strategy to push for faster conversions.
Pay Attention to Your Quick Links
There are quick links on the left-hand side of the page, and it makes to fill this out as much as possible. You can link it to your Instagram, for example.
Organize your photos!
There’s a lot of merit to doing so because it’s one of the first things that potential guest looks at. You can have an album dedicated to the rooms, the menu, the amenities, and even the events that you are hosting.
Don’t forget to organize hotel promotions as photos as well. This makes it easier to share them – which means a broader reach.
Completing the about information is an indication of the professionalism of your services; it shows that you pay attention to detail, and on the plus side, you can give guests pertinent information about the lodging quickly.
Don’t Forget to Remarket to People
Remarketing is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to get people’s attention. You get to connect with them, even after they’ve left one web property.
People Leaving Your Website
Let’s say you have a customer who’s stumbled onto your site by simply using a Facebook Pixel – a special cookie from Facebook – you can remarket to them again on Facebook.
By Using Emails That You Have
You can also run a Facebook ad campaign using selected email addresses that you have collected. All you have to do is create a “custom audience” on Facebook and voila; your ad is ready to retarget select groups of people.
Go to your Facebook Ads manager.
Go to Assets and Click on Audiences.
Here you’ll have an option to import a list of your choice.
Hotel Social Media Marketing Rule #5: Use Micro-Influencers to Spread the Word
People love hearing real stories. Especially from people they follow, e.g. on Instagram. They also love buying products recommended by these people – aka influencers.
Why not leverage their power (=influence) for your hotel?
It costs you very little to e.g. invite them to spend a weekend at your hotel for free in exchange for a review and photos on their instagram. And you could potentially reach thousands of their followers.
The next time you have some money allocated to your marketing budget, consider using micro-influencers instead. They are considerably more affordable to tap into, and they already have established viewers of specific demographics.
There are different types of influencers:
- YouTube/Facebook vloggers – you can ask them to come in and film a night at your hotel or a day experiencing your amenities. You can add in a special discount for their followers so that their audience will get an added bonus for visiting your hotel.
- Instagram influencers – they can post photographs of your hotel, and they also have access to specialized niche audiences. The great thing about Instagram is that it is centered on pictures, and it’s a great way to showcase the interior of the hotel.
These are the steps you should ideally follow:
- Determine an audience you want to target
- Find an influencer with a fan following that matches the characteristics of your prospects
- Contact the influencer and try to work out a deal. Opt for an ex-deal with cash
- Make sure you contact a couple of influencers so that you have options.
A micro-influencer can easily increase your engagements into the thousands if executed correctly.
Hotel Social Media Marketing Rule #6: People Want to Know About Your Discounts
Hotels often run promotions, and it’s critical that people on social media know about your discounts.
The statistics speak for themselves; again, 73 percent of people surveyed want to see news about promotions on goods and services on social media.
If you’re running a promotion, make sure that you’re also telling people about it on social media.
Also, remember that some promotions appeal more to certain groups. Your health and wellness promotion wouldn’t necessarily appeal to the same groups as your lower-tier affordable rooms.
Take Advantage of the Seasons
Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day, there’s always an opportunity for you to theme out your content given the season. Theming out your content is an indication that your social media profiles are active.
Postfity does a great job with figuring out the themed posts and generating content ideas in the calendar at your disposal.
This also provides you with an opportunity for you to come up with creative content.
Hotel Social Media Marketing Rule #7: Social Media For Hotels – Engage, So That People Will Engage With You
There are plenty of ways to engage with your visitors but start with an open invitation for your current guests to subscribe or like your social media pages. This allows you to start building a following online.
Make sure that you spend time calling people out online and asking them how their stay was. If someone comments on a post that you’ve made, make sure that you comment back and ask them for feedback or just offer them a nice word. Even better, if they state that they enjoyed the experience, solicit reviews for your Facebook or Google My Business page.
People want to feel like they’re dealing with a human, and there is often the danger of making your profiles or posts feel impersonal. Businesses that connect with their prospects and clients get better interactions with the people that follow them.
Hotel Social Media Marketing Rule #8: Google My Business Matters
You want to take advantage of organic traffic on search engines even if you do not have a website, and a quick way of doing this is by making sure that you have a Google My Business location.
You do this by claiming a business or registering a business using your Google Account.
The reason this is helpful for your hotel is that it makes sure that you get the market of people who are looking for a hotel in your location. So if they type down “hotel”+ your location, on Google, you can appear in the search results.
It also helps aggregate your other social media accounts.
A further feature of Google My Business is that you can create a free site with their service. This microsite is “said” to help you do better with map rankings online.
The fact is that there are many benefits to marketing your hotel via social media, and with only a small amount of people booking hotels via offline means; online is the preferred medium and there’s no reason for you to hold back from establishing your brand’s authority.
Social Media Marketing For Hotels – Final Thoughts
On a final note, the most important thing to do would be to maintain a consistent strategy in ensuring that you keep engagements up and keep coming up with fresh content. You don’t need a dedicated social media manager to do it – it’s enough when you give your hotel managers basic training and assign weekly rotas. When you use the right tools like Postfity for it, it should take them only 1 hour per week. So with each manager taking a weekly rota, it should not be a problem. To streamline the process and and manage your hotel staff rota effectively, you can use staff rota software for hospitality, e.g. FindMyShift.
About the Authors:
Houston Golden is the Founder & CEO of BAMF, where he led the company from $0 to $3M+ in revenue in its first two years and has built a proven process for turning clients into LinkedIn Influencers through viral content that has generated over 300M+ organic views. He enjoys yoga, running and surfing, along with playing his ukulele and dreaming of new business ideas and being a father is his favourite.
Emilia Korczynska is a growth hacker and content marketer specialising in helping SaaS companies take their business to the next level.