In 2012, we saw exciting changes and growth in social media, with popular networks continuing to grow and new ones rising up and gaining traction. Visual storytelling also emerged as an important and effective way to captivate social media communities.
To assist hoteliers with their visual storytelling strategies on social media, I hosted a webinar on January 23rd called “Learn how Visual Storytelling on Social Media Can Drive Meaningful Engagement for Your Hotel.” Our audience actively participated in our real-time twitter conversations and was very engaged in the Q&A portion of our webinar, contributing to its success.
Interestingly, when I asked the audience “what is your biggest social media challenge?” the top two responses were:
- 46% don’t have enough time
- 36% don’t know how to begin
These hoteliers were in the right place. Our webinar speakers, Daniel Edward Craig, Founder of Reknown Travel Marketing and Danielle Valenchis, Transient Sale Manager at North Point Hospitality had plenty of easy tips on how to get started and how to tell hotel stories on social media channels without a huge time investment.
Daniel described the concept of visual storytelling and elaborated on what a powerful tool it is to communicate your hotel’s story and appeal to guests. Three key points we took away from Daniel’s advice are:
The characteristics of a good story are that it:
- 1) grabs attention 2) inspires action 3) is retold 4) and is remembered
- Take control – if unflattering and inaccurate user generated photos appear online, update the visuals to reflect the reality about your property
- Facebook loves photos; visuals receive more visibility, occupy more real estate and encourage consumer engagement
Danielle welcomed us to her hotel in historic Savannah, Georgia, a marquis property within North Point’s collection, by showing us their beautiful imagery and sharing her techniques for maximizing visual storytelling on social media sites to engage travelers. These are the highlights from her recommendations:
- Use Facebook as another channel to create guest satisfaction
- Share the “little things” to show what makes your hotel special
- Place Facebook promotional inserts into your guest key packets to create awareness of your Facebook presence and encourage new likes
There isn’t a discreet one-to-one relationship between Facebook activity (or any other social website) and its impact on direct sales. However, Danielle believes that their overall social communication efforts have, in fact, had a positive impact on sales that inevitably, “you will see ROI from Facebook if you dedicate the time to it.”
For additional guidance on how to create more social media engagement for your property, watch the webinar here.