The Do’s and Don’ts of Crowdsourcing Content for Your Hotel

With the emergence of social media, and visual-rich website experiences, visual storytelling has become a necessity for hotels to stand out online today.

Hotels don’t necessarily need to produce a sea of content in order to have plenty of fresh, interesting media. This is the 21st century, take advantage of the internet and social media by crowdsourcing content from guests.

What is Crowdsourcing?Crowdsource

In case you didn’t know, crowdsourcing means accomplishing a task with the help of a crowd of people on the internet. Collectively working together and putting their ideas together online with hundreds or thousands of other people allows for an optimized result. It is basically the outsourcing of a task to a crowd of people to complete cooperatively, and it works particularly well for hotels looking to become visual storytellers. You can use an online community to obtain endless amounts of unique and inspiring guest photos and videos by encouraging guests to tag your hotel in their social media posts, especially on Instagram.

Freehand Miami

Just take a look at the Freehand Miami, a hostel that truly stands out thanks to their excellent job of curating, publishing, and amplifying guest’s photos on their website. Even with a limited budget, properties can successfully crowdsource via any social media channel, especially Instagram, to create exciting and compelling visual stories.

Get Started with Crowdsourcing

With all that in mind, why shouldn’t your property take advantage of this modern and exciting marketing tool? Encouraging guests to share photos and videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and review sites is a great way to keep content current and see your property through the eyes of consumers. Often the photos shared by guests online are telling your hotel’s story on your behalf or even identifying a story you may not be aware of. Use this to your advantage by curating and amplifying those visual stories.

Best Practices

Before you get started, have a look at some of the essential Do’s and Don’ts we’ve compiled.

checkDo keep photos fresh and up-to-date by curating crowdsourced images on a regular basis in addition to your professional content
crossDon’t completely let go of your professional photography, travel shoppers want to see your full story through a mix of authentic and professional photos

checkDo check the social media site’s terms of use and consult a lawyer before publishing your guest’s photos on your website in order to avoid any risk of copyright liability
crossDon’t publish your guest’s photos on your website as your own without doing your research, and without obtaining permission first

checkDo use crowdsourcing to monitor how customers view your hotel, and what they find interesting enough to share online
crossDon’t ignore the free feedback that those guest photos are providing your hotel, use the feedback to make improvements

checkDo select the best and most compelling guest photos to host on your website to ensure a consistent story and message
crossDon’t confuse travel shoppers by using absolutely every photo that gets posted about your hotel

checkDo encourage guests to post the photos on social media using a predetermined hashtag to make finding and selecting photos as easy as possible, and not to mention publicly available
crossDon’t use photos from a guest’s personal copyrighted website

checkDo include as many photos as you need on your website in order to accurately tell your hotel’s story
crossDon’t set a limit for yourself and don’t withhold images that tell your story

checkDo curate your guest photos with the intention of appealing directly to your target audiences
crossDon’t send an irrelevant message that won’t resonate with your target audience

checkDo be creative with crafting visually compelling amenities, decorations, breakfasts, etc. in your hotel that lures guests to snap a photo and share it online
crossDon’t leave guests without a reason to take photos of your hotel during their stay

checkDo involve guests in this engaging and exciting experience by giving them credit and informing them online when you used one of their photos
crossDon’t treat social media as a one way broadcast channel, instead you should treat it as a two-way dialogue

The Standard Way

The Standard is another hotel that is using crowdsourcing right for their visual storytelling by following the essential do’s and don’ts. They don’t solely rely on guest photos to fuel their website’s gallery, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t prominently featured. Travel shoppers have the pleasure of seeing professional and crowd-sourced photos on a single page, painting a focused and authentic story. By including a balanced combination of professional and crowd-sourced photos, the Standard creates a highly impactful visual story for their brand.

The Standard Hotel

Visual Storytelling+ Crowdsourced Media = Superstar Storyteller

Visual storytelling can make a world of difference to travel shoppers who are deciding to book their next vacation or business trip. With the help of crowdsourcing, hotels can easily collect and amplify their story online in a genuine way. The travel shopper’s journey doesn’t end after they step out of your front door, so make sure to monitor and curate their online activity, and allow your hotel to take full advantage of this unique opportunity.

Want to learn more about turning your website into a visual masterpiece?

Download our free eBook Anatomy of a Visual First Experience: Best Practices for Hotel Marketers to learn how to get your hotel website into shape through visual revitalization!

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