Many hoteliers struggle with knowing what type of content to post on their social media channels. Here are 4 ways you can give fans what they’re craving online:
Let your guests do the talking
Professional photos have always been important for hotels. However, with the new image driven platforms, crowd sourcing media has never been easier. Not to mention, people love to share their travel stories. “Travel is ranked number 9 in the top ten categories on Pinterest” (rjmetrics.com) and based on a study by Facebook “Users add more stories about travel to their Facebook Timelines than they do any other type of life event”(tnooz.com). Photo sharing platforms like Instagram make it easier than ever to gather images from guests for your website. Many hotels now encourage guests to send in their hotel photos and activities by asking them to tag the hotel. Others have an email set up specifically for photo submissions. When using guest’s photos online, remember to be clear about what the images will be used for and always ask for permission.
Show them what you’re up to
Viewing your amenities is critical, but seeing who you are is an effective way to engage travel shoppers personal side by highlighting your staff. It can be as easy as posting a picture at your Christmas party or taking a few photos of your employees at work. On the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel’s YouTube page, they do a great job highlighting staff. In this video they show Executive Pastry Chief, Adam Thomas, baking donuts with his special recipe. This is a great way to let the viewer get to know both the specialty desert, as well as the pastry chief. Guests love to know who will be cooking their meals and looking after them during their stay.
Spread the love
A story is never told just once, but rather is told over and over by different people. Social media makes it easy to share a story with a large audience though a single image or tweet. Take advantage of this, promote your story consistently on all of your platforms and make it sharable. Encourage guests to tag you in the photos or videos they create at your hotel. Return the favor by tagging them when you use one of their images, by doing so, they will likely want to share it with their friends as well. The Dana on Mission Bay does a great job making their story sharable and sharing others on their Facebook page. They often use someone else’s content, adding their own spin on it and then sharing it. By doing so they are able to get shares of their own as well as several comments.
Give them the inside scoop
The followers who do retweet you or engage with your Facebook page are your “super fans” and are critical for sharing your story, so thank them! These people are generally craving new, exclusive content. Give them advanced access to promotions or let them know about renovations prior to announcing it to everyone else. This makes the super fan feel appreciated and helps you spread your story through another person, rather than self promoting.
For those who are not yet super fans, help bring them along by getting them excited about sharing your content. You can do this by simply holding a contest or photo sharing challenge like ALT Hotel Toronto. ALT held an Instagram contest encouraging followers to tag them in images of their hotel. Then, they created a mural of those photos in their front lobby using submissions from the contest.
Social media is a two-way conversation. Give your followers something to talk about and share. Provide them with interesting stories about your hotel, its people and guests and they will continue to come back for more. Give super fans exclusive content to keep them engaged and help push others to join the super fan club by producing sharable content.
To learn more about sharing your story check out: The Hoteliers Ultimate Guide to Visual Storytelling on Social Media.