Imagine the internet with no visuals, just long blocks of text. Pretty boring, right? The internet and social media channels, like Facebook, have made a shift to become more visual – and there’s good reason for it.
According to 3M Corporation, humans process visual content 60,000x faster than text. Competing for the attention and dollars of today’s travel shoppers is hard. The marketplace is crowded and consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to planning, researching and booking travel. In addition, social media sites like Facebook are playing a bigger part in the shopping journey. So you may be asking – “how do I stand out?”
Great question. Let us show you how you can use rich and engaging visuals on Facebook to tell a creative story, build a thriving community and ultimately succeed in standing out against your competition.
1. Give Life to Your Hotel
Do you find that your hotel and its special features and characteristics aren’t captured and reflected properly on Facebook? Don’t worry… breathing life into your hotel’s social community can be as easy as CPR- Create, Post, and Respond:
- Create: Creating content is easier than ever with smartphone technology and easy-to-use apps and software. Take a photo of one or more features of your hotel that travel shoppers find special, whether it’s an amenity or a star employee; make sure both are photo-ready. Just snap the photo on a smartphone or camera; put your true creative genius to work here and experiment with angles, lighting and even filters.
- Post: Share your masterpiece on Facebook, paired with a short, creative, and hashtagged text description; this will make your post the life of the social media party, creating the chance for travelers to engage with you and immerse themselves in the experience your hotel offers.
- Respond: When a past, present or future guest engages with your Facebook post (whether commenting or sharing), don’t let them slip away – reply to their comments with a thoughtful and informative reply.
Always remember to check your hotel’s Facebook page’s vital signs on a regular basis and don’t miss an opportunity to give travel shoppers a research resuscitation with a captivating visual story!
Check out how The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort showcase their lobby paired with a seasonal travel offering to assist guests in visualizing themselves entering the hotel for their ideal spring vacation.
2. Tell Your Local Story
Whether a leisure or business traveler, the location of your hotel can be an important factor in the decision making process – especially when it’s in close proximity to local attractions, restaurants or conference centers. Identify which features or events around your hotel are worth mentioning; it could be a local market, a museum, aquarium, historic sight, concert, festival, conference, or shopping mall.
You know your location best, so provide insight into the most exciting features and events of your town or city and visually promote them with photos and relevant links. The Quality Inn Oakwood Spokane does a stellar job at combining room reservations with a local sporting event. For travel shoppers deciding between hotels, this is a great incentive that could drive them to book at the Quality Inn Oakwood Spokane over any competition!
3. Showcase Employee Passion
Beyond the guest rooms and fabulous amenities are the seamless services that your hotel staff regularly provides to guests. It can be the concierge, doorman, housekeeper, or front desk staff that leave a lasting impression on guests. One way to give travel shoppers a personalized view of your hotel is to post a ‘behind the scenes’ picture or video of your employees; whether they’re setting up for a conference, wedding, or simply preparing a guest room, show online travel shoppers what services are in store for them. Another option is showcasing a photo of your employee of the month and giving a short caption explaining why they received the award! When travelers arrive at your hotel, they crave a personal connection – so show them through visuals what they can expect.
Here’s an example of how hotel staff can make profound differences in the travel guest’s experience.
4. A Little Video Goes a Long Way
Ask yourself this question: Would you rather read the book or watch the movie? For travel shoppers, it’s all about the video. Since travel research can be such an extensive and lengthy process, it’s important for hotels to post a few short videos on websites and social channels like Facebook to make the process more exciting. Video also gives hotel marketers a chance to showcase hotel features that may be overlooked – while getting creative along the way. For example, you could take a short video of the lobby, a special car service, or guest rooms to show guests a more in-depth look at your hotel. Your hotel video can be as easy as taking a short 5-30 second video with a smartphone and posting it on Facebook with a caption relating to weather, upcoming holidays, current events, or local attractions.
Give Your Facebook a New Lease on Life
Facebook pages are a great way for hotel marketers to increase their hotel’s web presence while creating social relationships with past, present, and future guests. You have the freedom to create videos and visuals that guests enjoy – so have fun with it and show travel shoppers the personality behind the hotel. A compelling visual story on social media is eye-catching, sharable and capable of reviving your Facebook vital signs.