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Social media marketing provides an excellent opportunity for hotels, resorts, spas, restaurants, and anyone else in the hospitality industry to engage directly with their target audience. Contrary to marketing in decades past, when impersonal strategies such as pamphlets or televised commercials ruled as marketing strategies, social media opened up channels for those in hospitality to engage in discussion with customers. They can learn more about them on a personal level.
The hospitality sector can use social media marketing to:
A quality social media strategy will help to broadcast the brand so that as customers engage on the various social platforms, they also have positive, personal interactions with the brand.
Hotels can use Facebook to engage with users by using a combination of targeted paid advertising and building a strong following for their page. Facebook is the oldest and largest of the major social networks. It offers opportunities to build pages and create content that incorporates both images and text, which hotels can use to their advantage.
With Facebook paid advertising, businesses can use the social network’s sophisticated demographics information. Advertisements can be displayed based on factors such as age, location, or interests, which simplifies the process of targeting the ideal audience for the hotel. Advertisements can be used to promote specials that the hotel offers or to build brand recognition and encourage people to engage with your page directly on Facebook.
Building an organic following
On Facebook, hotels can also build an organic following by creating an engaging, interesting page that customers appreciate. Asking questions, answering questions, posting helpful or interesting content that fits the brand’s image, and using visuals to drive engagement can all encourage customers to learn more about the hotel.
Facebook makes it easy for businesses to post videos, including doing live videos that they can promote to followers. Using these video posts to further drive interest in the hotel can also increase followers and engagement.
Instagram is a highly visual platform that revolves around image and video postings that can be promoted and displayed to followers. Hotels can use the platform to help highlight the visual appeal of their establishment and promote the atmosphere they want to create.
Customers can be highly visual when it comes to hotels, as they like to get a feel for the experience they will have before booking a room. They like to see the rooms themselves and perhaps some amenities or other features of the hotel that might attract them.
Hotels can use Instagram to fit this interest in the visuals of hotels. Images around the hotel, highlighting common tourist attractions in the area, or broadcasting events occurring in or around the hotel, can all help to cultivate a following.
Hotels can also build engagement on their pages with strategies such as encouraging people to use particular hashtags when posting from their hotel during a visit or an event. This can help create a community around the business.
Customers today are on social media, making it an important part of modern marketing for hotels. An estimated 80 percent of the adult population in the United States has at least one social media account, which means that it can be an effective way to engage with the modern consumer.
Additionally, customers expect brands to be on social media. They use social media to reach out to businesses of all types with questions and concerns. Brands that do not have a presence will miss this opportunity and drastically hinder their brand reach.
Hotels also need social media so that they can remain abreast of what others say about their hotel and the industry in general. Even if your hotel is not on social media, that doesn't mean customers will not discuss it on the platforms. Customers turn to social media as a means of discussing experiences, sharing ideas and recommendations, and complaining about what they perceive as shortcomings with customer service.
Brands without a social presence could miss customer complaints, allowing negative feelings to fester without correcting the problem. They also will miss growth opportunities as they will not see emerging customer interest and discussions to leverage within their brand.
Customers use social media to plan their trips, making social platforms a critical part of modern hotel marketing. More than half of Facebook users say they have gotten inspiration for trips from posted photos. Additionally, about a quarter of travelers report using social media to research hotels.
Businesses can use social media to attract customers through strategies such as:
Social media offers a wealth of opportunities for hotel brands who capitalize on the openings they have.