Resort Marketing & Community Management: The ins and outs

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For resort marketers, community management can present challenges unique to the industry. A high-end resort has different needs than, say, a massive chain of budget hotels, and as such it’s important to understand the “lay of the land” to reach the correct audience.

While there is no one right way to accomplish this feat, the team at our Florida advertising agency has learned some best practices over the years to increase the reach of your resort.

Here are a few tips to help get you started:

1. Know Your Target Audience

Is your resort a “lover’s paradise” or a “family getaway?” Knowing the types of people who would ideally want to stay at your property is the first step to honing your community management efforts, and in turn, ensuring that you’re reaching the right people. Think about this in terms of “pain and gain” – what are people lacking in their lives, and how can your resort help fill that void? Also, tap into what’s happening in the local landscape…I recently learned of a resort that changed some of its marketing practices once it realized that the area was a hotbed for people who enjoyed wind sports like kite boarding and parasailing.

2. Do a Social Media Listening Study

In an era when people so freely volunteer information about their lives, it’s a shame how many marketers fail to tap into this free information to help glean insights about their business. There are numerous tools available for social media listening, but even if you don’t have a big budget, you can look to tools such as Social Mention and Hootsuite to find out about brand sentiment and figure out what people are saying about your resort.

If you think that simply setting Google alerts and paying attention to your retweets and Facebook comments is enough to learn about your audience, you might be surprised.
Many social media tools are equipped to uncover much more valuable information like audience demographics, plus these tools can reach lesser-used sites like Flickr and Digg.

3. Figure Out Who Your Influencers Are, and Reach Out to Them

If you’ve been a resort marketer for a while, you probably know that there’s no marketing tool as good as that of a happy visitor. Typically, when people have a great experience, they share it on social media and through word of mouth with friends. By identifying influencers, you can find ways to reach out to them, such as by retweeting their photos and engaging with them. Remember, an influencer doesn’t necessarily mean someone who has a lot of followers – a better influencer is an individual with their own ultra-engaged network. Figure out who your brand’s biggest influencers are using tools such as Klout and FollowerWonk. Make sure to follow them and engage with them on social channels.

4. Post Sharable Content

As a resort marketer, you’re in a lucky space because you have significant access to imagery that can help entice people to visit your resort. Sharing these visuals can help plant the seeds to help people make the decision to make a reservation at your property. The reality is that in this day and age, even if your potential customers aren’t necessarily following you on Facebook or Twitter, they will check your Facebook page before booking to gain greater insight —no one wants to pay a lot of money to stay at a subpar resort! Having a good webpage, a high number of positive TripAdvisor reviews, and tons of imagery on your social sites are some of the best ways to entice people to stay at your resort on an upcoming vacation.

Try these tips from our Orlando advertising agency, and get your “community” to book that vay-cay today! Contact us today for more helpful hints, and to schedule a consultation!

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