Most hoteliers do have social media, but only a few use them to achieve particular results or to benefit from the full potential of this phenomenon. How to use social media consciously and build a community of dedicated guests?
Firstly, social media can give you much more than just the numbers. Through consistent planning of your actions, you can benefit a lot, by getting:
- a better understanding of your customers
- precise reach of a message you want to send
- direct relation/communication with your customer
- users (and possible guests) engagement
- users generated content
All this will help you succeed, build your brand’s credibility and help your sales.
Let me present you a list of things you should start with:
1. Define Your Goal
No social media activity should happen without a precise goal. It can be an image-goal (for example building or changing your hotel’s image) or a sales goal (an increase of traffic on your website or an increase of direct reservations). Don’t forget, that every goal has to be measurable.
2. Get to Know Your Audience and Their Needs
There’s no target group such as “everyone”. Try to define who is your audience. Where do they live? How old are they? What do they do for a living? What are their interests? It is really crucial to know as much as possible about your target group. Try tools like Xtensio to build your customer persona. If you lack information, search for the details of your target group using Audience Insights in Business Manager. Sometimes it is great to go out to your guests and talk to them and get to know them better.
3. Choose Your Medium Wisely
You don’t have to be present on every social media platform. Now, that you know who is your target group, you can choose social platforms, where your future customers are present and active. Answer yourself these following questions:
– Is your target audience present on this specific platform?
– What content do you want and are able to publish on this platform and is it actually possible to publish it there?
– Do you have enough time to constantly and coherently publish on this platform?
WHAT, WHEN and FOR WHOM – more or less these three questions are crucial when choosing a social platform.
4. Define What is it That You Want to Say and How
Based on your goal and target group, you need to define how to build a language you will use to communicate with your customers. Remember this golden rule: give your users some perceptible value. For example, it can be a series of posts about the history of your hotel or travel tips and tricks video. Share your story! Make your content simple and light, then measure the engagement. When planning your content, do not forget about your goal! If it’s sales, you will have to (obviously) include some posts about your offer.
5. Plan Your Actions
Yes, it all has to be planned ahead. The best way is simply to start a social media calendar where you can place and plan the content you create. If you want to keep it simple, just create a new Google calendar for the process. Additionally, look online for atypical holidays or special dates important for your industry and put them on your calendar. Thanks to this you will not miss any important date and you will have a chance to prepare your content earlier.
6. Measure Your Actions
Measure your results and compare them to your goals. You can choose from many indicators connected to your goal. It can be engagement (number of likes, comments, shares, users), reach (organic, paid) or action (clicks to your website, direct reservations). If one type of content does not work, change it and try something else.
Does it seem complicated to you? No worries, it is actually easier than it seems. And if you are going to implement your point-to-point plan, you will definitely see the results. Also, always remember about “Triple C” social media rule: clarity, consistency, constancy.
In the second part of these series of articles, I will show how you can use different social media tools to promote your business.
If you have any questions about using social media in the hotel industry, don’t hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.linkedin.com/in/lukaszdworak/