Hotel Social Media Strategies during COVID-19
As the travel industry reacts to COVID-19’s impact on tourism and hospitality, hotels’ focus must be on keeping lines of communication open with their guests. Hotels should be using social media to move the conversation online, and engage with your customers.
Essential, up-to-date information about availabilities and travel restrictions should be clearly communicated on your website and booking channels. This leaves social media as a vital channel to promote brand awareness, where you can market your hotel without losing the flow of communications.
Here are our recommendations for how to leverage your social media to market your hotel during this early phase of COVID-19, as well as information on updating your social media accounts with important travel information.
Social Media Content Ideas during COVID-19
Posting on a regular schedule is important, don’t let your social channels go quiet during this time. Rely on your backlog of “evergreen” post ideas: ones that will not age as the situation changes. If you don’t have anything like this, evergreen posts include amenity or “lifestyle” photography that showcases your hotel. Post these photos with messages about how you’re looking forward to welcoming guests back and staying positive.
Mix those more general posts in with relevant, new information that is specific to current events. Some examples of timely social media posts to start working on:
- Provide local updates about your community. Share the hours of essential stores nearby, closures of local attractions, your involvement with the community, etc. Establish yourself as a member of the local community, both for guests and the community itself.
- Share updates about your property’s information including hours, closures, cancellations, policies, and contact information. Always link back to your hotel website when policies have changed.
- Creating your own video virtual tour can take a little time, so why not use this opportunity to give it a try? We recommend using this time to refresh your hotels’ visual media assets for use across every channel.
- For a simpler video strategy, video content could be as easy as using existing photography to create a custom slideshow with descriptive text. Or, film testimonials from your staff.
- Healthy and safety is on everyone’s mind. Provide your guests with information on your updated cleaning practices on property in light of COVID-19. Be transparent and show how you’re being proactive during this time.
- Getting lots of questions from your customer community? Create a post with your most frequently asked questions and their answers.
Social Media Platforms and How to Update Them
Google My Business
Update your Google My Business (GMB) with your hotel’s new hours of operation or temporary closure due to COVID-19. Create a GMB post to update your customer community with news, including any of your business’ charitable contributions or uplifting messages for the community.
Learn how to make a GMB post here. Not set up with GMB yet? Find out how to easily set it up yourself.
Take the time to also update your Facebook page with your new hours or temporary closure, cancellation policy, and the best contact for reaching your staff. Find out how to edit your Facebook business information.
Don’t have a Facebook page for your business yet? Learn how to create one.
Capture a new travel demographic on a possibly new-to-you social channel. Now would be a good time to set up a Pinterest account for your property. Create content that users can “pin” to their boards or share with friends. Pinterest pins have high click-through rates, so include your best photography and catchy copy!
Looking for ideas? Union Gables Inn has Pinterest boards to highlight their property’s antique charms, local attractions in Saratoga Springs, and other bed and breakfasts that inspire them.
Learn how to set up a Pinterest business account and how to make a pin for users to share.
Twitter is ideal for updating property information in real time, driving brand awareness, and sharing guest experiences at the hotel. Feel free to get creative with it too – Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara uses their Twitter to post highlight virtual community events as well as their travel inspiration.
Check out our recommendations for possible topics to post about below.
New to Twitter? Learn how to make an account and share your first tweet.
Take advantage of this time with your team and work on your video-editing skills! Put together a virtual tour or video of your property to easily post on YouTube. Share your video(s) on all your social media accounts and impress travel shoppers with this engaging visual content.
Find out how you can make your own YouTube account and how to create a video for YouTube.
Key takeaways for COVID-19 social media management
While your team is making use of this time to create a robust social strategy on your social media accounts, keep the following in mind:
- Do your best to keep your customer base as informed as possible and updated every step of the way. Regular communication and transparency are important in these uncertain times and will be remembered by your customer base long after COVID-19.
- Focus on highlighting the steps your business is taking to be proactive and give back during this time. This could include posts about: charitable donations, increased cleaning practices, or mood boosters to spread positivity.
This downtime is an opportunity to realign your digital marketing efforts. Sharing the ways that your business is giving back will drive positive brand awareness. In these early days, focus on brand awareness and reputation while travelers are still unlikely to book. Social media is essential to creating a strong and consistent online presence, which directly feed into a more loyal customer following and increased direct bookings. For more ways to increase direct bookings during COVID-19, read our direct booking strategy guide.
For more COVID-19 marketing strategies:
- Hotel Marketing During COVID-19: A Direct Booking Content Strategy
- Keep the Conversation Going during COVID-19: a communications strategy to stay in touch with guests
- Reassuring guests during COVID-19: How to write a travel update
- Digital marketing strategies for hotels during COVID-19: how to stay afloat and get ahead
- What we can learn from the past to start recovering from COVID-19’s impact on the hotel industry today