Social Media Marketing for Hotels: 7 Tips and Ideas
Want to create a social media marketing strategy for your hotel that actually works?
The world of social media marketing can be intimidating and overwhelming, not to mention expensive. Not everybody has the financial budget to hire social managers or to engage into paid advertising.
Here’s the good news: in this article, I’m going to introduce some tried‐and‐tested social media tips you can implement to promote your hotel on-line and increase your visibility.
This article outlines 7 simple tips that will get you scalable results for your hotel social media strategy. Plus, most of them will not cost you anything!
If you want to succeed at social media marketing, you need to start by determining your goals then define a strategy to score.
I strongly recommend that you watch this short video from Neil Patel to get a quick introduction into the world of social media marketing:
1. Create a curated social media marketing plan
Remember: you want to showcase your hotel in the right places and for the right people.
You’ll want to start your investigation by doing some research and define a list of social media relevant to your audience: are the clients you target Millennials or business travellers? How much time and budget should you spend on each channel?
Then, promoting your hotel outside of your targeted audience won’t bring you any relevant leads.
That’s why you probably need to analyse your audience before deepening your social media marketing strategy.
Here is a small list of market research tools that could be very useful:
Facebook Audience Insights
Facebook Audience Insights provides audience data for Facebook. This free tool gives you a comprehensive analysis of your page’s fan base. It pulls out key information such as demographic data about your fans, helps you identify which of your posts are popular, when is the best time to post and better track user interaction with your page.
Now, all this information gives you real insights for how you can create personas for your targeted audience and better market your Facebook page.
As a Followerwonk user, you’ll get similar insights into your Twitter audience profile. If your hotel already has a Twitter account, you can just fill a username into the Followerwonk platform and receive data about that person’s audience such as related keywords, authority, location etc.
You can also compare multiple Twitter accounts in a few seconds:
2. Schedule your hotel social media posts and tweets
Publishing on social media in a consistent and timely manner is a goal to most social managers, but it comes with its own challenges.
Posting on social media at the right time and reaching multiple time zones can be challenging if you only work from 9 to 5 and from one single place in the world.
Plus, how can you actually be productive on social media if you only post randomly with no schedule in place?
While it may be easy to login into your favourite social platforms and decide it’s time for posting, curating the way you post on social media is essential to your productivity and efficiency.
As an aspirant social manager, taking the time to thoughtfully choose the right posting and scheduling tools is a worthy investment of your time.
Here are a few suggestions to help you schedule posts in an efficient way:
Schedule your posts in advance with Buffer
A possible hallmark of a productive social media workspace is a social media management platform like Buffer.
One of the handiest perks of a social media management platform is the ability to prepare bulk posts in advance from one single place and schedule the right time to publish them across multiple channels.
Try a free social media management platform like Hootsuite
If you’re looking to find an alternative to Buffer, take a look at Hootsuite and pick the platform that fits best with your daily requirements. Both companies have free plans available.
Instead of jumping randomly into your posting tasks, social media management websites help you plan your posting routine in advance and stick to that plan no matter what.
This way, it will become easier to prioritize your tasks and to keep posting on a regular basis.
3. Learn how to source relevant influencers
With the influencing market projected to be worth $2.38 billion in 2019, no doubt the industry is growing and will trigger more interest over-time, including within the hospitality industry.
A quick look at Google Trends, for instance, shows a net rise in the number of searches for the word “social influencer marketing” over the years:
If you are new to influencer marketing, we strongly recommend you watching Niel Patel’s video on that topic to get you started:
Despite this trend being relatively new, looking for influencers requires a clear methodology and isn’t about approaching any profile on Instagram with more than 5.000 followers.
A true influencer research requires putting the right criteria on your check list, identifying fake accounts and preparing a realistic budget.
Here are the essentials that will actually move the needle on your search for a hotel influencer:
Investigate influencer marketing platforms
When it comes to finding your ideal influencer, you may want to start your journey by browsing for influencer marketing platforms.
To enhance your social influencer marketing knowledge, I’d highly recommend having a look at The Influencer Marketing Hub website first.
Their site lists lots of reputable brand and influencer partnership platforms you can use to find the right influencer for your hotel:
Checking what other hotels are doing on this market is also a good place to get inspired from.
Follow your target influencers
Once you can come up with a short list of potential influencers to reach out to, it’s probably time to follow them on social media and scan their on-line presence to confirm they are the right fit for your hotel.
So if you’re looking at a specific candidate, investigate how often does this person posts on social media, how does his content resonate with your brand and how saturated his channel is with sponsored partnership.
Want to shorten your list a bit more? You can use multiple platforms to discover your actual target’s metrics.
Whenever a potential candidate comes to mind, simply open the SEO tool Ahrefs, type the URL of your target’s website into their free backlink checker to discover who is linking to their website and how reputable the website is.
With The Influencer Marketing Hub, you can obtain key metrics about any influencer, such as their followers count, estimated cost per post or their average engagement rate.
Talking about social metrics, the number of followers is one of the biggest source of distrust and controversy within the industry.
The tools mentioned above can help you see through the official numbers and make sure the displayed number of followers is real.
You can also confirm those findings manually by checking how many comments each post receives. If a profile tends to have thousands of followers but receives no or little comments, you can assume something is wrong.
Prepare a realistic budget
The market of social media influence is booming and paid partnerships are inevitably costing more money to companies.
As a hotel marketer, you’re likely to be already thinking of the many possible ways to attract influencers, including with free stays at your hotel.
If you’re eager to get more control over the final content an influencer will deliver about your hotel, a paid partnership might be a better option than a free stay.
That’s where metrics such as the estimated cost per engagement or the estimated cost per post will help you create a fine-tuned budget for your social media campaigns with the right influencer.
4. Gain more followers on Instagram
Improving the number of your followers on Instagram is no small undertaking.
Not only does it require a real creative mindset and lots of time, but often a change in the tools you use to get things done together.
Neil Patel recently posted a very interesting video on YouTube on how to grow your Instagram profile organically:
Hand-pick Hashtags on Instagram
The challenge to find new and relevant hashtags for Instagram is now a bit easier to take on with the Ubersuggest tool that allows social media managers to find popular and easy to rank for hashtags.
Try not to overload your Instagram posts with dozens of hashtags: that’s old school and counter productive.
Instead, hand-pick 5 or 6 targeted hashtags which are highly relevant to your pictures and this should be enough to grow your audience organically.
It’s also important for hotel brands to have a specific branded hashtag you and your clients can use on every picture that is taken at your hotel.
This will encourage clients to use your branded hashtag and will enhance awareness for your brand.
Create engaging Stories and Highlights
How do you ensure that your Instagram followers are fully engaged with your content? By regularly sharing stories that show up right at the top of their app.
As stories are the first things Instagram users can see when they login, they give businesses a real opportunity to be noticed.
Maintaining an Instagram presence through Stories can be a strategic part of social growth, while also contributing to reveal secrets from your hotel backstage that people love to discover.
Get the most out of Instagram Tools
While you may be convinced of the value Instagram can bring to your hotel, you may be unsure of how to produce pretty and creative content to share.
Luckily, Instagram has spent millions on developing new apps and tools you can use to make your videos and pictures more appealing to users.
Here are some of their most popular tools:
Boomerang from Instagram
Small and funny videos are easier to make with the Boomerang app. This will allow you to shoot a burst of photos and to stitche them together into videos that loop back and forth.
Layout from Instagram
The Californian app also offers a great layout tool to help you mix up multiple pictures at a time and create customised collages within seconds.
5. Develop a video marketing strategy
Most SEO companies believe using and optimizing video content is key to be seen on the Internet in 2019.
When asked about video SEO Basics, Danny Dover, SEO expert at MOZ declared:
“You’ll see a lot of times for very high competition keywords that have video results that the video results will just be kind of mediocre. They just kind of showed up there. Part of that is because it is new. Not a lot of people are optimizing for video, which is becoming extremely important. So, a lot of opportunity there.“
Creating targeted videos can help your hotel achieve higher engagement with your audience and more traffic to your website.
As an example, the luxury hotel chain Four Seasons has its own YouTube channel and at the time of writing it is followed by around 35,000 subscribers in the entire world.
Luckily, it’s 2019, and easy to use softwares can help you edit videos or even create subtitles and captions for them at low or no cost.
Video editing tools recommendations:
Adobe Premiere Rush
Adobe Premiere Rush provides companies with a powerful video editing tool.
You hotel social media manager can use it to take care of audio, color and motion graphics in one go.
Their app works across all devices, which lets you create, edit and share any content you produce from your phone.
Blender (free software)
If you are looking for a free video editing alternative to Adobe, Blender might be the right fit for you.
Transcribe audio to text with Rev
When you’re publishing a video in English about your hotel, it can be really helpful to have an extra set of translations ready in other languages.
Hotels can take advantage of start-ups like Rev to hire free lancers that can produce captions and translations for your hotel on the cheap.
6. Showcase your hotel with unique and creative content
To tap into the best content marketing opportunities, your hotel has to be creative enough to go on social media and investigate content your audience likes.
Having creative skills will help you present your hotel features or any hot spot in your city in an appealing manner to potential visitors.
A social media manager should be the guiding light in your hotel when it comes to publishing new and relevant content across multiple social channels.
As such, learning how to find relevant content to talk about is essential. Here are a few tips your social media manager should implement to get your social media channels moving.
Be a local guide and share tips about your city
A curious social media manager would immerse himself in the city he is currently working, staying up-to-date with the latest events and expos taking place around the hotel and share it with his on-line community.
Few weeks ago for instance, Hotel Marignan in Paris shared a stunning picture from Jef Aérosol’s latest street art performance on Instagram, spotted next to Georges Pompidou museum.
This pro-active attitude can help your hotel expand his social media reach beyond your usual client profiles.
Attract locals to your hotel
Being able to generate likes and shares from locals is great for your hotel; knowing how to use social media to make them come to your bar or restaurant is even better.
A business-savvy social media manager for your hotel sees the bigger picture and understands the importance to create engaging content for people living around your hotel.
Identify relevant keywords and topics to talk about
A great social media manager is also able to keep up with the latest and relevant topics to share across social media.
Managing social media effectively is not about sharing any random content with no purpose in mind. It’s about investigating keywords and topics that will bring relevant traffic and potential on-line bookings to your hotel.
Like many other social managers, your hotel team should be using dedicated tools such as Buzzsumo to identify trending topics within your industry that can get viral on social media:
For example, when the luxury hotel chain Four Seasons shared the following post about honey moon retreats on Facebook, the article ended up being shared and liked thousands of time according to Buzzsumo Content Analyser:
If your hotel is also a wedding venue for instance, why not sharing an interesting article about your wedding facilities or honey moon packages?
Repost user-generated content (UGC)
Another important marketing tip in your social media strategy will be to bet on user-generated content (UGC).
Back in 2018 Buffer shared an interesting report about millennials and their spending habits. Their article revealed that:
“84% of Millennials report that user-generated content on company websites has at least some influence on what they buy and where.“
Using the best of user content featuring your hotel and reposting it on your favourite social media channels, while giving credit to the original poster, can be a clever way to get more traction to your page.
7. Consider using paid ads on social media
As a hotel social media manager, it’s your job to take action on reaching more people on social media and getting more bookings.
Creating a paid campaign on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram might be a way to go for.
Neil Patel recently published a video on his YouTube channel where he shares his experiences on running Facebook Ads and mistakes he made in the past.
Understand the sales funnel
One of the keys to running social paid ads successfully is that advertisers need to create successive campaigns at every stage of the sales funnel:
You won’t do well if you try to sell a room straight away on Facebook to an audience that has never heard of your hotel in the first place.
To get the full picture on what an exhaustive social media campaign should look like, we recommend you to read this article on the Buffer blog.
Create a bespoke targeted audience
When it comes to create targeted ads on social media, Facebook has a fine-tuned platform that can help you define a custom-based audience that meets your requirements in terms of age, gender, location or even interest.
Conclusion on social media marketing tips for hotels
While you might not need to be good at every single area mentioned above, being proficient at a few of them would make you a great social media manager and a valuable employee to your hotel.
What other tips or ideas would you recommend for improving your hotel’s social media reach?