The best way for a hotel to make itself known is to create an online presence. Social media gives hotels the chance to do so much in terms of attracting guests and building a strong brand awareness. But having a Facebook or Instagram page for your hotel alone isn't enough.
Compelling visuals, good storytelling, proactive and friendly engagement with your online audience and so much more is important to make social media marketing for hotels successful.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the hospitality industry, there are still things that can be done to maintain your relationship with your guests, or promote other forms of services despite the travel ban.
Before we get into that, let's look at the benefits of social media for the hospitality industry.
Benefits of social media for hotels
1. Impress your guests even before they making a booking. People plan trips based on photos they see online that attract them. As a matter of fact, 2 in 5 millennials admit that hotel and travel images on social media influence their booking.
2. Reach new customers. The cost to reach new customers on social media is significantly lower than traditional media. With people being online everyday, hotels can reach thousands of potential guests by running ads on social media.
3. Maintain relationship with existing guests. If you've given first time guests a good experience, there's a high chance they will choose to book your hotel again during their next visit. This is especially true for families that take annual holidays to the same place, or people who have to visit often for business trips. Being active on social media helps you stay at the top of your guest's mind while building a relationship with them so that they are less likely to book another hotel.
4. Increase direct bookings. By linking your channels to your website, as well as ending your posts with a call-to-action that links to your site, you'll be able to to promote more direct bookings rather than rely solely on third party platforms. Bonus: You drive more traffic to your site in the process!
5. Social proof. Getting a high number of fans, reviews, and UGC gives credibility to your brand, which in turn plays an important role in your guests' purchase decisions. Read more about social proof and how it can help your business.
6. Boost your brand. With social media, you have control over the type of content and message you're sharing which will shape the way guests think about your hotel.
7. Get user generated content (UGC). UGC is any content that has been published by users about a brand or company. Research has shown that millennials trust UGC above other forms of marketing. Getting UGC allows you to showcase your rooms and facilities to friends of your guests, potentially attracting them too.
Social media post ideas for hotels
Despite the travel ban in some areas, it's important to post actively on social media as consumers are spending more time on their mobile phones. COVID-19 lockdowns have increased consumer desire to travel. In fact, staycations have become the most popular tourism trend during the pandemic.
While they can't make a trip to your hotel immediately, posting consistently will inspire guests to plan their trip or staycation and book your hotel once the travel ban is lifted. So here are some ideas on how you can promote your hotel on social media.
1. Tourist attractions or scenic destinations nearby. As we have seen in Malaysia so far, there will be periods where there are less movement restrictions, and shops and attractions are allowed to operate like normal. Letting your guests know what they can do when they visit helps them visualize their vacation and gets them excited to book a stay.
2. Travel and local food tips. Don't limit your content to just great photos of attractions. Share suggestions about how to get around safely, must-try local delicacies and famous restaurants, and more.
3. Instagram-worthy pictures of your hotel's interior and exterior. We live in a social media era where our personal pages have become like an online journal of our lives, documenting important occasions and beautiful memories. You can be a part of this by showcasing eye catching shots of your hotel to give your guests photo ideas.
4. Repost UGC. If you find that you're lacking content due to reduced activities from lockdown, consider reposting UGCs. Doing this is a great way to share testimonials from your guests while acknowledging or thanking them.
5. Special offers or promotions. Let's face it - consumers are always on the hunt for a good deal. Don't miss out on the chance to promote yours on social media.
6. Run contests to increase engagement and grow followers. For example, users just need to like your page and tag two friends in the comments for a chance to win a free stay at your hotel.
7. Feature your restaurants, food, or chef. Get your guests drooling over photos or videos of your meals. Feature a famous or award winning chef that works in your hotel. Remind guests that your restaurant is THE place to visit for a romantic dinner. If they can't dine in, let them know about your online delivery services!
7. Awards or nominations. Letting your guests know you've been nominated adds credibility to your brand.
8. Upcoming events. This isn't limited to events by your hotel. You can also talk about upcoming annual festivals or huge events coming up nearby so that they can start planning their trip.
9. Sneak peek into your work. This is a great opportunity to show guests how your hotel goes above and beyond for your customers in providing them with the best and safest experience.
10. Engage influencers. Connect with influencers or key opinion leaders (KOLs) and offer them a free stay or attractive deals in exchange for them promoting your hotel on their channels. This allows you to reach their massive following. You can also repost or repurpose these content later on.
11. Don't forget your business clientele. Post about your conference or event halls, the types of services, facilities, or packages you can offer businesses.
Techy Apes Digital Solutions has worked with Mercure Hotel Kuala Lumpur and Istana Hotel Kuala Lumpur to promote their social media channels in the past. If you need help with social media marketing or content creation, drop us a line.