Storytelling can help businesses of all types attract more customers, but hotels have a definite advantage. From celebrating weddings, to closing business deals, to enjoying a much deserved vacation, guests are experiencing your hotel and creating their stories day in and day out. Smart hotel marketers leverage these stories to engage and attract new guests.
In this podcast, “Storytelling: Why Stories Attract More Customers,” Dave Kerpen, author of New York Times best seller “Likeable Social Media,” and Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner discuss how to use stories to attract customers.
To emphasize the storytelling theme of the podcast and intrigue the listeners, Dave actually shares a personal story – the story of his wedding day. Dave and his wife both wanted to get married at a baseball game. Instead of paying for it, they pitched an idea called “Our Field of Dreams” to the Brooklyn Cyclones. The trade was that Dave and his wife would take over the inventory and promotions for the game in exchange for them getting married there for free. They had everything sponsored. For example 1-800-Flowers sponsored all of the flowers for the wedding. Check the podcast out to hear more about this intriguing story.
More importantly, Dave also offers some great storytelling takeaways that businesses (including hotels) can apply to attract more customers and guests.
- Your story needs to be the truth and convey the message that you are very good at what you do. Whether that is being an affordable hotel or being the hotel with the number one restaurant in the country, you need to tell people why.
- “Storytelling is way more effective than going through data or a sales pitch” with a prospect. The story IS the sales pitch. It humanizes your hotel and conveys why someone would want to stay there.
- Leverage social media to tell your story. “Storytelling is a lot easier, cheaper, and a lot less risky because of social media.” By using social media to share stories, you will engage a larger audience everyday and make them believe that your hotel will make their travel successful.
- By utilizing the stories from your guests and staff to illustrate who you are, your story will do the work for you and tell the consumer why they should pick you over your competitors.
Here’s a look at a couple of hotels and brands that are applying these tips.
The Four Seasons has a YouTube video “L.A. Woman & The Perfect Girls’ Weekend: a Four Seasons Getaway” that is a perfect example of telling a true story while showing off their hotels’ amenities.
The Opus Hotel does a great job of using Twitter (@OpusHotel) to tell their story. By tweeting about fashionable celebrities such as: “Who else is loving Michelle #Obama‘s style choices for the US Presidential Inauguration? http://ow.ly/h1QLa @JCrew_Insider” They are showing tha they are a young, fashionable “hip” hotel and that is part of their story.
The Hampton Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront North tells their story on Facebook by using multi-media apps, photos and stories of their guests and employees, interesting events and actively answering comments.
Every hotel has a story. Are you telling stories online that intrigue and attract guests?
To learn more about leveraging visuals on social media, download the guide: The Hoteliers Ultimate Guide to Visual Storytelling on Social Media in 2013