Keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of social media can be challenging. When the social craze first began, your biggest worry was how to maneuver around on Facebook.
Then along came Twitter where you quickly nailed those 140 character tweets. Add LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and recently Instagram and Vine to the mix of more popular sites, it’s now increasingly more demanding to manage.Navigating social media can be tricky, so, to help with your efforts, we’ve created this list of the top 10 social media blunders hotel marketers should avoid making:
1. Sharing An Incomplete Profile
Ensure you have filled out all of the necessary fields and have changed the default settings on your profiles across all social media networks. Sharing an incomplete profile sends a poor message to visitors that may leave them with a less than stellar impression of your hotel. Guests will undoubtedly check you out on social media, so use your profile as the perfect place to set the tone of your property. On Facebook, as an example, represent your hotel with a distinct profile picture, a creative cover photo, and a brief text description. Remember to include a link to your website as well as contact and location information.
2. Uploading Photos With No Text Descriptions
A photo with no text description is like summer without sunshine –it’s just not right! If an image is important enough for your hotel to share, it should be accompanied by a short caption to explain the story behind the picture. The trick here is to provoke enough emotion to inspire guests to share across their social media networks.
3. No Link or App To Book
A descriptive and engaging social presence may motivate guests to want to book your hotel right then and there. Should that be the case, give them clear and direct access to the online tools to take action. Your pages should always include a booking link.
4. Using Social Media As a Megaphone
Social media is a great platform for amplifying your hotel’s story; however it shouldn’t be a one-way street. Engage in two-way dialogue with followers that will create more personal relationships. Prompt guests with questions and encourage them to comment on your hotel’s posts. Don’t know how to reach out to your guests online? Ask them questions like: Where is their favorite vacation spot or activity? What’s their most memorable vacation? Best place by your hotel to have coffee?
5. Ignoring or Deleting Negative Comments
Negative feedback can be difficult to take, but guests will admire your hotel for acknowledging the issue. Turn the negatives into positives by responding to comments with a solution to the problem. Simply acknowledging guests and making them feel heard will go a long way.
6. Under or Over Posting
Knowing what, when, and how often to post can be a tricky balancing act. Posting too seldom (only once a week) will not create enough traction and engagement with your followers. On the other hand, do not overwhelm fans by posting every hour. It is recommended that your hotel posts 4 times a week on Facebook, 2-3 times a week on LinkedIn, but throughout the day on Twitter (socialmediatoday.com).
7. Sounding Impersonal or Automated
One of the reasons social media is such a big hit, is because people can interact with each other. Ensure your hotel is taking the time to send individualized comments to followers instead of automated responses. Making that extra effort by adding a personal touch will go a long way in putting a smile on the faces of your customers.
8. #Too #Many #Hashtags
Hashtags are used to help consumers quickly find specific topics of conversation and referencing that keyword or phrase and can be very beneficial when used appropriately. Don’t flood your posts with unnecessary hashtags that create clutter, making it hard for consumers to read your posts.
9. Using Your Page Only As a Promotional Tool
Although it may seem like social media is the perfect place to share your hotel’s promotions, not every post should focus on publicizing your property per se. Social media guru, Guy Kawasaki, suggests that only 20% of your posts should be salesy. Share interesting and fun facts about your hotel and its surroundings, and be sure to include amusing photos of people enjoying themselves in and around the area.
Creating a social media presence takes time. Having a large following for your hotel should not be the ultimate end goal and certainly won’t happen overnight. Be patient and foster quality relationships with existing fans by creating conversations that are relevant and engaging. As you continue to communicate in an interesting and likeable manner, your devotees will grow over time.
To learn more about how social media is impacting hotel marketing, download A Playbook for Amplifying Your Hotel’s Story on Social Media.