Social Media Strategies for Hotel Marketing
Not every traveler wants to stay at a big brand hotel. Some prefer smaller lodging venues, but a limited marketing budget turns “small” into “obscure.” These social media strategies help you market your hotel without breaking the piggy bank.
1.Travel Bloggers Are Your Friends
Many travel bloggers like to boldly go where no writer has gone before. Seek out travel influencers who specialize in budget travel and off-the-beaten track destinations. Don’t ask for a review. Just offer an interesting story, accompanied by high-resolution photos. They’ll appreciate it. Link the article to your hotel blog and social media sites.
2. Keep a Blog
Curate interesting content about your neighborhood, and link to it on your blog. Add your own commentary, and post the blog on your social media pages. Develop a blogroll, and interact with other hotel owners, as well as business owners in your community. Always include a “share this” option at the end of every blog post.
3. Create a Seasonal Bulletin and Make it Sexy
The Ski Lodge Engelberg website uses engaging content to compete with the famous resorts of the region. A quarterly bulletin, created with ISSU, complements their informative blog. This publishing platform makes your bulletin look like a high-end, glossy magazine. Readers subscribe their email address, or through their social media platform. Once they register, readers create a profile and submit their favorite topics. ISSU sends them suggestions based on their preferences.
4. Local Linking
Interact with local businesses by liking and following their pages. Then, link to these businesses by adding the ‘@’ symbol before their profile name. Think like your guests. They want to know about local shops, attractions, nightlife venues, theaters and restaurants. Position yourself as a knowledgeable source about the area.
5. Respond to Negative Reviews
TripAdvisor receives over 40 million visitors a month. The hotel review site has 20 million registered users, and features over 35 million reviews of more than 450,000 hotels. TripAdvisor ranks destinations according to how guests review them, yet their trustworthiness is open to debate. A Forbes article notes that hotel owners often post fake positive and fake negative reviews on TripAdvisor. If you read a negative review, determine whether the person did in fact stay at your hotel. If they did, respond, apologize and offer compensation. If you suspect competitor sabotage, report the problem to TripAdvisor.
6. Respond to and Repost Positive Reviews
Offer gracious thanks to anyone who posts a positive review of your hotel. Link these comments to your blog and social media sites.
7. Make YouTube About You
Create scenic, informative and humorous YouTube videos about your hotel and the surrounding neighborhoods. Share on your website, and across all your social networks.
8. Create a Google+ Business Page
Google more or less forced business to get involved when they made Google Plus an integral
factor in how they display their search results pages. The fact that Google owns the #1 and #2 most popular search engines on the internet – Google.com and YouTube – providing the portal to how many people shop and discover things – emphasizes the importance of this. So if for no other reason, use it for search engine optimization.
9. Create Google+ Hangouts
Video chats, known as “Hangouts,” distinguish Google+ from other social networks. Your hotel concierge can conduct a Google Hangout to help guests plan their vacation. If your hotel hosts meetings, your sales team can use Google Hangouts to converse with potential corporate clients.
10. Organize Contests On Your Social Media Pages
Everybody loves prizes, so give your fans something to win. Whether it’s a free a free night at a night at your hotel, extra frequent flyer miles, a meal at a local restaurant, contests are an effective way to engage your social media community. When designing your contest, ask your fans to submit something — such as a video, a photo, helpful feedback or a funny poem — Asking fans to submit things as part of their entry form. That way, your fans generate new content, and you weed out the lazy folks who are just entering the contest for the prize.
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