Today’s digital times undoubtedly bring many opportunities to the hospitality industry as consumers are more eager to share their experiences on social media channels than ever before. Social media is indeed a great support in this industry, especially when promoting new products and services while leveraging a great amount of data that can be further used to target and engage with an even greater consumer base. It is thus important for hotels, spas and resorts to have a strong online brand presence and to continue making substantial marketing efforts on social media, particularly on Facebook and Instagram.
When it comes to the hospitality industry, research shows that social media marketing has proven to be more effective that any traditional marketing tools. You might wonder - why is social media marketing particularly effective in this industry? Well to begin with, social media channels allow for a two-way communication which ensures long-term engagement rates and eventually an increased number of followers.
Seeing that content can be so powerful and influential - here are a couple of tips on how to increase your social media presence in this industry:
Make it visual
Recent studies show that including an image or a video on your social media channels can increase views by over 45%. It is true - images have the power to grab our attention and trigger an immediate response. These emotions can be caused perhaps by the brand logo, the colours used in the advertisement, some previous experiences or certain expectations of the brand. Therefore, try to include as many pictures and videos as possible when you are advertising your brand. Do remember though, you are trying to sell an experience! So you need to be particularly picky when choosing which photographs or video will represent your brand online. Ask yourself, what is the purpose of you showing a certain image? Do you actually trigger an emotional response with the selected image or a video?
The power of testimonials and recommendations
When it comes to the hospitality industry, credibility is vital for success. It is proven that as consumers, we tend to believe advertisements only if we can trust and identify with the source of the information. Testimonials are a great example of this. In fact, studies have shown that testimonials are the most effective type of content marketing with a rating of 89% (source). Therefore, smart use of testimonials can have great effects when promoting your brand in this sector. And let’s face it, we can all be judgmental sometimes, but there is nothing more credible than a word of mouth advertisement.
Familiarise yourself with your surroundings
An interesting point about the hospitality industry is that people don’t necessarily care about the hotel, resort or spa in general, however they do care what is around it – the location, nearby bars, landmarks, stores etc. So one great idea would be to try to familiarise yourself with was is happening around the local area. Taking this into consideration, you will not only inform you potential guests what they can do outside the hotel, but you can also promote other businesses in your surroundings. And do remember this – businesses will cherish your promotion efforts and they will repay the favour - eventually!
Know your target audience and keep them happy
Never forget - if customers are satisfied with a certain product or a service they will most likely want to share that experience with their peers, family or followers. By posting and sharing photos or videos as well as writing recommendations and testimonials on the company’s’ webpages the customer is actually promoting your brand – FOR FREE! We call this, ‘Earned media’. And look at this way - while your satisfied customers can ease some of your marketing concerns, you can actually take that time intended for marketing and promotion and concentrate more on improving the actual goods or services. With this, we can see why it’s important in this industry to respond to all messages and requests and make sure that the customer is happy within a certain amount of time – preferably in the first few hours. Therefore, always think of your customers and make sure they feel listened and satisfied.
So what can we take from all of this?
Social Media marketing is far more complicated than simply just selling a product or service. Instead it’s about building ongoing relationships with consumers and other businesses as well. So always think of the customer and maintain a relationship with all of them!
More importantly - try to stay active on social media on a regular basis because social media channels are actually the key tools for continuous brand management. And always keep in mind - the stronger reputation you have and continue to maintain, the stronger your business will become.