Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. (@sparkerjr)
At this point, most businesses have accepted that social media is a necessary part of their marketing strategy. The travel and tourism industry is jumping on board, reaping the benefits from this free, word-of-mouth digital advertising. Social media for hotel marketing is a critical way to interact with customers while simultaneously improving organic search rankings through SEO. But what do guests really expect from a hotel’s social media accounts? USA Today sought to answer this question by distributing a survey, giving voters five priorities to choose from. Here are the top three responses:
1) Local Information: 31% of voters claim they use hotel social media pages to find tips about the neighborhood and local events. It is important for hotels to be the authority of their area. Use social communication to become an online concierge, answering people’s questions and promoting local eateries and events. The easiest way to do this is by scheduling daily tweets about local information (hashtags included), proving your hotel’s expertise in the community.
2) Consumer Reviews: 30% of voters use hotels’ social media pages to issue rants or raves about their hotel experience. For hotel marketing purposes, it is important to respond to the occasional rant immediately. It is also a good idea to respond publically to promote the professionalism and service of your hotel. On the other hand, it’s equally important to respond publically to a happy guest by thanking them for their stay and encouraging them to return.
3) View Photos: 26% tune into a hotel’s social media pages to view or post photos of the hotel, restaurant, pool and more. Keep Facebook albums organized, making it easier for potential guests to discover what they are looking for. Also encourage followers of your hotel’s Twitter handle to post feedback, providing a resource for people looking for previous guests’ pictures and thoughts on their stay.
While these three social media initiatives may seem manageable, it is important to craft your hotel marketing campaigns strategically to influence purchasing decisions of your potential/current guests. There is no reason to spend time and energy on social media for hotels without a solid marketing plan to engage consumers, build relationships, and ensure ROI through conversions. Remember there are many other hotels for your customers to choose from. It is your job to find a way to make your space stand out in search engine results, customer service, and social media pages.
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