Social media management is so important in the tourism and hospitality industry. Bad reviews can devastate (or dramatically boost) hotel sales, and review sites and referral sources are king. Follow these simple best practices to ensure your social media management team is doing enough for you right now.
1. Nail your profiles: Before you do anything else get your profiles set up. Correctly. That means your cover photo and profile picture should seamlessly work together. That means your Twitter handle shouldn’t be too similar to other users. That means your Google+ listing and TripAdvisor site should be claimed. No excuses.
2. Promote pictures like crazy: Nothing sells hospitality like a picture. Every cliché you can think of is true. Seeing IS believing and a picture IS worth a thousand words. These things sound cheesy, but they are true. Vacations are an emotionally driven purchase, so put your resort’s best foot forward in pictures to inspire your future guests and help them envision themselves on your property.
3. And … just promote: During the 2008 economic dip, almost every resort and hotel kicked off an aggressive discount and promotion strategy. Unfortunately, customers are now trained to expect promotions, special offers, and giveaways when booking hotels. Use this expectation to your advantage by asking your social media agency how you can leverage your social platforms and best followers to make these opportunities lucrative while avoiding the temptation to give away the farm.
4. Make social media uniquely yours: Use social media monitoring tools to discover trending hashtags, topics, and pages then adapt those trends to your brand. Put a spin on popular hashtags, or kick off a social sharing and tagging campaign that lets customers share their experiences with your brand. These tactics will help you break through the clutter in this saturated market.
5. Service is everything: Social media management tools can help you monitor and respond to service issues. When people take to Twitter to vent about your brand, respond. When people give you a positive review on Yelp, thank them. We know this can be time consuming, so don’t be afraid to recruit an agency to give you a little extra support.
6. Partner promotions: Work with a loyalty program like Garnet Hill to host a giveaway or contest. The giveaway is good for them and the exposure is good for you. Social media management agencies can actively find and arrange these types of mutually beneficial partnership opportunities to keep you at the top of mind when customers are considering their next vacation.
7. Don’t be afraid to host events: Imagine a guerilla marketing campaign promoting your tropical resort in the New York City subway in the dead of winter inviting commuters to take a picture in a green-screen photo booth projecting them into the sun. The smell of sunscreen and coconut oil or sound of drums will be the icing on the cake. No matter what market you’re in, event marketing can have a global reach. You just might need a social agency who knows how viral event marketing really works.
8. Don’t forget about locals: Many resorts and hotels offer locals’ discounts but don’t spend a lot of time actively marketing to people in their own backyard who might be looking for a staycation or want to spend food and beverage dollars on site. Due to proximity, these customers are easy to reach and can be motivated with very little effort. Social media is one of the best and easiest ways to engage this audience – and they shouldn’t be overlooked.
9. Schedule everything: We get it. You’re busy. And social media is hard to quantify. Use social media management tools to schedule your posts, content updates, and social outreach so you don’t have to worry about these important initiatives slipping through the cracks if (and when) your days get away from you.
10. Track your work: If you are just building your social media presence, you can’t expect huge results overnight. Track your benchmark presence and impact and then set realistic, time-bound and measurable social media goals.
Okay, so now you have a plan. Let us help you achieve it. Reach out to our team of social experts to learn how you can streamline this process and get the most out of your social media today.