87 – Planning Your Hotel’s 2022 Social Media Calendar Part II

by | November 10, 2021

In the second and final part of this special edition of the Suite Spot, we continue to help hotels fill their 2022 calendars and strategize social campaigns. Host Ryan Embree is joined by Client Success Team Lead, Aislynn Roberts, to cover the summer and fall seasons. Listen and learn as we discuss planning posts around: holidays, events, hotel amenities/features, and local stories. If you are interested in learning more about how Travel Media Group can help plan your hotel’s social calendar, call or text 407-984-7455.

Episode Transcript

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Ryan Embree:
Welcome to Suite Spot where hoteliers check-in and we check out what’s trending in hotel marketing. I’m your host, Ryan Embree. Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of the Suite Spot. This is part two of two of our episode: Planning Your Hotel’s Social Calendar for 2022. If you missed part one, we already reviewed the winter and spring seasons for the 2022 year. In this episode, we are going to continue the conversation with Aislynn for our summer and fall months. Enjoy. Let’s keep it rolling as we head into the summer. I know we’ve got a couple of major holidays. The kids are out of school. Let’s talk about holidays in the summer.

Aislynn Roberts:
Yeah. Great. So summer’s really great time. As you mentioned, kids are out of school, so there’s a little bit more time available for parents and families to do things. So when we’re talking about holidays, you have Father’s Day, 4th of July. So there’s always a really great opportunity where you can showcase those holidays to invite people to come in for an extended weekend or celebrate dad this year and book a stay with us, type of posts. A great way to highlight the holiday. So it’s easy to do, but also you can promote something about the property, a feature or an amenity in the same time. And then you have some smaller holidays. Like, for instance, in July, there’s an All-American pet photo day. Simple posts to share a photo of your pet or a pet and ask your followers to share photos of their own pets. Quick and easy to do and it could yield high activity because people love to share photos of their pets and they love to see photos of other people’s pets. So while you’re getting this really great fun, simple post out there, you also have the opportunity to promote your property being pet friendly and that all pets are welcome. And we can’t wait to see your four-legged family friends.

Ryan Embree:
Yes. If you ever want to get some quick engagement on a post, all you have to do is find the nearest pet and post that on social media, because I guarantee you are going to get a lot of likes and share. People, like you said, Aislynn, they are obsessed with their pets. But really summer just feels like an entire holiday in itself. You know, it is never a bad time to post about it being summer. This is when we are the busiest in our industry. So making sure that we are hosting, you know, encouraging and inspiring travel is so important and that kind of overflows into the event side. Right, Aislynn?

Aislynn Roberts:
Yeah, absolutely. So like you said, there’s always something going on during the summer months. And in fact, a lot of artists who actually had concerts and tours booked for 2020 that they had to cancel, they’ve already rebooked either for the end of 2021 and leading into 2022. So there’s going to be so much more happening in the new year than we had in the last two years. So definitely take a look at what’s planned for your area. Sports venues are always really big. You have a lot going on with those teams that are either local, whether they’re professional or even sometimes we have, if I work with a small town, they even promote their own like league that they have. So it’s, it’s just like people who get together of the community and play baseball or whatever the sport may be. And that could just be really fun for people to enjoy, or if they have family coming into town for a visit, you know, that they’re coming for the game and then they can stay with your property as well. So there’s just a lot going on. You have different things at bars or festivals, or maybe there’s like a, a great little fun thing that’s going on just in like a farmer’s market that you might have. I think a lot of people love to peruse those things as they’re visiting town, just to see how different towns and different farmer’s markets change. So those are always really great things to highlight on social media.

Ryan Embree:
And don’t forget, 2022 is also the World Cup. So obviously, unless you’re listening to us from Qatar, that’s not going to really help occupancy-wise, but it’s still fun to, you know, talk about, you know, showing the games and, and using these kind of worldwide events as good posts and engagement. So I think that’s, that’s really important to keep in mind. Obviously, we had the Olympics last year, should have been in 2020. Let’s talk about amenities in the summer. And I know the biggest one on everyone’s mind is the pool.

Aislynn Roberts:
Yeah, absolutely. Pools are big for summer, especially for those properties who do have a seasonal pool. So you’re closed, but maybe Memorial day weekend, some properties, they open their pool again. So those are really big, easy content ideas to promote on social media. It’s a great way to highlight your property, share different images of the pool itself. If you have an attached bar and grill and restaurants, we also have some properties who do happy hour. So share your cocktail menu, your happy hour menu. What I’ve worked with with properties that have a bar they’ve actually done a live video on Facebook of their bartender, who gets a lot of comments on their reviews, a lot of five-star comments at that, and he created a how to make his signature cocktail. And he walked everyone through, showed them on that live video and it had some really great engagement with it. So maybe throughout the summer, once a week, you do how to create and it’s a popular cocktail, maybe not a signature one, cause you don’t want to give away that recipe. Or maybe it’s just something that most travelers would identify with like an old-fashioned. You show people how to create an old-fashioned. Those can be very, very popular and get people engaged and not only show travelers outside of your market, what you have to offer. And if they’re booking their summer stay, they’re like, oh, this place looks really cool. Let me look into them and see, but also you have this opportunity to touch into your locals and you might bring in more locals to come to just the bar and grill and happy hour bringing in additional revenue to the property.

Ryan Embree:
Yeah, we knew the importance of locals in 2020 and 2021 when people were taking their trips a lot closer to home. Another idea with that pool area, obviously, is to do the dive in movies. We hear that a lot. That overlaps with the events and creating that, but love the idea of a countdown for opening up the pool, getting people excited. That’s what social media is all about: Advertising and marketing the hotel. Let’s move on to local stories in the summer.

Aislynn Roberts:
So if you are near beaches, those are really great to highlight for summer. Families, even solo travelers, everyone loves to just chill on a beach for a couple hours and just soak in the sun or just relax and enjoy themselves. Ice cream shops that might be nearby, or even if you’re restaurant or like on-site restaurant or bar and grill has some really cool ice cream options. Great for families, so that way there’s a little sweet treat for those parents to give their kids really quickly. Local eateries, especially if you have any great barbecue places, barbecue is a huge thing over the summer. You have a lot of people at their own houses, barbecuing out and inviting friends and family over, so showcase that. If you have grills in your courtyard, highlight those, especially when you go back to amenities and show people the different types of things that you can experience by also tying into what the season has to offer.

Ryan Embree:
Here’s a great idea for hotels out there, is contacting a local ice cream truck and having it come out to the property for an hour or two to give to the families that are staying at your property. It’s those type of experiences that when it’s shared on social media, really give your business character. It really shows that you care and it creates memories and gives impressions. When you do things like this, you’re going to see that reverberated through your reviews from the people that stayed at your property. So it’s just, it does so much for the property and we know hotels are doing this. They are doing it across the country, but what they’re failing to do is advertise it and market it on social media. Let’s talk about room features next.

Aislynn Roberts:
Absolutely. I would say when I’m working with our partners, I really recommend to put more of a focus on suites during the summer because you do have families traveling together. So it gives them more space while also not breaking their wallet at the same time. So those are really great to promote. If you have the ability to request extra towels or just provide extra towels at check-in, those are also big for multiple people might who might be in the same room and even those pool days, right? So if they’ve gone down to the pool, maybe they took a towel from the room, not realizing there were towels at the pool area, so they might need another one to shower after the pool. TV and wifi are always really great to promote during this time as well, because eventually those parents are going to need a break. So that TV and wifi will keep kids occupied, whether they’re on their iPads or using their own technology or watching cartoons on TV in the guest room. So that way parents can either get ready for the day, finish packing up their stuff to head to the beach, or they’re just relaxing after a long day outside, just for a few minutes,

Ryan Embree:
I would also say selling sunscreen at the front desk is another opportunity just for little rev-gen here and there, but sharing that you have that ability. One of the things social media also gives you the ability to do is answer questions that you know are coming from travelers. The towels example was a great one. People are constantly reaching out. Do you provide towels here? Are they at the front desk? Do I need my room key? So sharing those on, on social media, setting, the expectations that might save you some time with a phone call that a guest might want to make, or somebody having to come down to the front desk, asking about your policies there. These questions can be answered in the form of posts. So it actually kind of is a two birds with one stone type scenario. All right. So we have just passed the busiest time of the year, we’re getting into the fall. School is starting again. Conference season is about to kick off. Let’s talk about some of those holidays you find in the fall for 2022.

Aislynn Roberts:
Right, absolutely. So when I think fall right away, I think Halloween at the end of October, we also have like, just like the leaves and colors changing, which’ll open up festivals and fall things like that. But when we take a look at the smaller stuff, there’s a National Donut Day in November, as well. And this could be a really fun thing to do maybe for your staff. So maybe on National Donut Day, you bring in a couple of boxes of donuts for your employees and you take a quick photo and you share that on social media expressing appreciation for their hard work. Another great appreciation post is there’s also housekeeping appreciation week, which I think is in September, if I’m remembering correctly. That’s really big content and a huge for social media. All of my properties that I work with that post about photos and the events that they did throughout the week, maybe it’s a breakfast that they did to show appreciation. They brought in little gifts and knickknacks for their housekeeping team. Those always get activity in some form, whether it’s likes or comments or shares. People, always show appreciation for a business showing appreciation for their employees.

Ryan Embree:
Absolutely. It’s a great way to give a voice to your business, to humanize your business. This is the type of content that we see is heavily engaged with for those reasons. So I love that idea. I think also something to keep in mind, not just for the fall, but for all seasons, is just the change in seasons, the day. So I think fall started this year on September 22nd, just a quick post highlighting that. Then asking a question, where are you traveling this fall? Try to get some, some comments, try to get some likes on that post. Very simple, but hoteliers, as busy as they are, they’re always looking for ideas for content. So that’s a simple one, but can be very effective at least four times a year in filling your content calendar.

Aislynn Roberts:
Big time of the year for football, right? So especially American football and in America, people wait all year for September to hit. So that way football starts, whether it’s professional or college, like this is something that they look forward to all year and they do their own countdown. On my timeline, my friends and family, I have a constant countdown waiting for football to start. So that’s really big. If you’re near a college, doesn’t matter what conference they’re in, what division. Post about their football team and games, because they will have parents and families and fans coming in and that you can offer, you have these great rooms available. You’re so close to the college, the stadium, wherever they play. That’s a really big thing to promote. And we’re talking about professional, especially whatever region you’re in, you have some really passionate fans for professional football. So you want to share that. You want to be very cautious about how you share about the games and the football teams, because there is some copyright and rules that you have to consider, but just showing them that how close you are to stadiums. If they have tickets for the big game, come on down, we still have rooms available. If you have a free shuttle that will take you to, and from the event spaces; huge, especially when you’re talking about football and tailgating, it gives the opportunity to them, to, for the group to relax and not worry about not having to be able to drink and enjoy themselves because they still have to drive to and from. So those are always really big. Fall festivals, whether it’s a pumpkin patch or apple cider events, where you go and pick out your own, or maybe they teach you how to create a apple cider. Another great thing that a few of my properties have done over the years is that they do a pumpkin carving event at the property. So their departments will carve their own pumpkin and then they post those photos on social media for their followers and guests to vote for the best pumpkin. So little smaller ones at property are always really great. Instead of doing that department-wise, you could even do it as a fun little guest thing, especially if you cater to families. It could be a really cool family event for kids to get excited and have some fun while they stay with you.

Ryan Embree:
Yeah. Costume contest is another one. Obviously, pet costume contest would take it even to the next level because you get, you get to in involve people’s pets, and we already talked about that. Going back to your football comment, I would say almost think of it like the World Cup, where football is such a big event that, you know, even if you’re not within shuttle distance of a stadium, people look at football games, Monday night football, Sunday night football, as a way to just get together and have a social interaction. So if you do have a restaurant on your property, you know, let people know that you’re showing that game or you’re in that region with a football team, let them know where they can watch the game. It could attract some people to the property, too. Again, just an extra place to spend revenue. Let’s talk about amenities for the fall.

Aislynn Roberts:
Yeah. So amenities, definitely. If we go back to, when we talked about seasonality changes to your breakfast items, I work with properties who do pumpkin spice breakfast items on their menu during the fall. So whether that’s a pumpkin muffin or maybe you have pumpkin spice waffles or pancakes, or even a flavored syrup for those waffles and pancakes. Those are always really great to promote. Guest rooms, so maybe this is where you, you can kind of change around. Cause now school’s back in session, so you might not have as many families staying, but you might still get a couple of people traveling for those football games. So you might want to focus on your king rooms and double king bedrooms. Definitely keep those going through the system and highlighting them on social media and just showing the type of comfort that travelers can have when they stay with you.

Ryan Embree:
Yeah. I love that point. You know, the kids are back in school, so you might have more business travelers coming through on weekdays, whereas you might’ve had a lot more families during the summer. So a lot of places to adapt what you’re doing at the property. Those events that you were doing, dive in movies, maybe those translate into providing newspapers at the property or something like that. So adapting and adjusting based on the time of year, I think is absolutely critical. But again, if you’re not sharing those changes and you’re not setting those right expectations, your travelers aren’t going to know about it. Let’s move on to local stories.

Aislynn Roberts:
Yeah. So fall is a great opportunity to share different things that’s happening around town. So we already talked about fall festivals and pumpkin patches, but something that can be really big, especially if you’re in an area where your colors change, is taking photos and sharing them online of your fall foliage. That just inspires travelers, especially from states who don’t get to see that regularly, right? And it’s something that they want to experience. So sharing a quick little photo of the tree right outside your property, as soon as the colors start to change or are right in their peak change, is going to give so much inspiration to travelers to start planning the trip either for this fall or if they’re, they can’t make it out this fall, they’re going to keep you in mind for next fall. It’s a great way to get them to start dreaming and planning and get them out there to experience that type of season that you don’t get everywhere across the nation. Another big thing is chili cook-offs. You know, I don’t think I realized how much people love chili until I worked with a property and shared their chili cook-off event at their local park. And the activity that it got was just amazing. So a lot of people engaged with it. They’re passionate about chili. You have people who love the spicy, the spicier the better. And then you have some are like, Ooh, don’t make it too spicy. So it was, it was a very fun debate on that post where people were commenting on how they prefer their chili and what the winner should have and things like that. So if you do have an area that’s hosting a chili cook-off definitely recommend posting it. It’s an easy way and a great way to boost engagement with your followers.

Ryan Embree:
Yeah. I love that. It’s really about how we’re framing these posts out there because we could easily have just shared that chili cook-off event and just called it a day, right? Close our laptop and said, all right, I’ve checked off, you know, that I needed to post about this event on social. But going, going ahead and adding that extra sentence of, do you like your chili more sweet or more spicy and, and getting people to actually engage, that’s how we grow audience. That’s what we want to see when we’re partnering with hotels and their social media. So really important point to make there. Let’s go into room features.

Aislynn Roberts:
Yeah, absolutely. So fall is another great area where you get to highlight coffee in the room or in lobby, cause you don’t have families now, but you might have those business travelers, right? So before they leave the property to start their day, they want that steaming cup of coffee. So that way they can have that boost to get going throughout their day. Same thing with wifi, for those business travelers, so that way they can always stay connected. They don’t have to feel out of touch. They can get their stuff done in a very comfortable room. And then you can also, cause fall, temperatures are dropping again, coming out of summer, heading into the winter. So again, bring, cycle back through the AC and heater, being able to be controlled by the guests and the options that they have and to maximize their comfort because your property is all about a comfortable stay for your guests.

Ryan Embree:
Absolutely. So at this point, Aislynn, we’ve got all of our listeners with a year’s worth of content. They are ready to go, ready to post on their social media. But really the question is what type of tools are out there to organize a social calendar like this? Are we still going back to writing everything, you know, on, on paper or is there a better way to do this?

Aislynn Roberts:
There’s absolutely a better way to do it. And there’s a lot of tools out there. I’ll, I’ll be honest here, but one of the tools that I’ve found has been the most successful transition from paper scheduling and writing to just in the moment, posting on social media to actually planning it out digitally is the TMG OneView platform that we provide our partners. So the post planner in TMG OneView digitized a content planner. So that way everyone on the property’s team can see what is scheduled to post and when it’s scheduled to post. So that way there’s also no repeats, especially when we’re considering those holidays. You don’t want two posts to go out about Labor Day weekend, right? There’s complete transparency. Everyone can see what’s happening and you know, what’s coming up and who requested it at the same time. So it easily helps you plan out your month and the year and allows you to easily collaborate with the TMG team, as well, with an area to provide monthly notes on over arching themes of content, like highlighting the pool for summer and really promoting that or highlighting hunting season, so that way we know to target hunters that may be coming up for that season. And you can even request specific content from our team to create and promote on your behalf. So it’s a great way to everyone involved, whether it’s from the property side or the Travel Media Group side, to have complete transparency and easily create content for the entire year in one space.

Ryan Embree:
Yeah, it’s all about organization and efficiency. We know there’s a staffing shortage right now. So maybe something like social media, you’re down to doing this once a once a week, you have multiple people just trying to get those posts out. So a social calendar like this can show you what you have in the upcoming months. We’re going to help you sit down. We’ll have a strategy meeting just like this and start to fill out that calendar for you. So you don’t have to worry about it. And one of the things we didn’t even touch on today was the amount of ad-spend and boost that you can put in to some of these posts. So working with all of these hotels and partnering them with their social media, we’re able to see which posts are performing the best and when the right time to promote and use that ad spend is. We will post on behalf of your property anywhere from four to five times per week with a lot of the content that we were sharing today. But we know that every single hotel is different. Different amenities, different events, different room features. That’s where Travel Media Group can come in and customize the social strategy specific and tailored for your hotel. So Aislynn, I’m sure we’ve got a lot of listeners ready to hire you as their social media coordinator, but unfortunately, she is staying here, but she can help you with your social media and putting it together. So if you are interested, you can reach out to us at (407) 984-7455 or visit us at travelmediagroup.com. You can learn all about our custom social solutions. Aislynn, I want to thank you for being on the Suite Spot, but we’d like to open it up just for any final thoughts on today’s episode.

Aislynn Roberts:
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, Ryan. So I know we’ve definitely covered a lot of information, right? We covered every season, the type of content that you can share, but overall, what I really, when I, especially when I’m getting started with a new property that hasn’t really had a social media strategy in place, right? They, they didn’t really have content or they maybe didn’t even have pages. What we start with is, pick three or four things that you want your property to be known for. That could be anything from customer service, specific amenities, your guest rooms, or even focusing on all suites and highlighting that you get more for the price or the guests gets more for the price. So it could also be something that ties into your location or even the brand directly, but having these three or four things allows your team and our team to be able to create content continuously. And if we don’t, because staffing so short, if we don’t get to connect on a regular basis, we have something that we can draw from. And if we’re pressed for time, your team’s in a pinch, it’s easy, quick post to get online and engage with your followers. So these three to four things, plus the holidays, are already put you in a really good position to pretty much have your content for the year already mapped out. And you just have to do little fillers for events, local stories, and the room feature that you want to highlight.

Ryan Embree:
Incredible advice, Aislynn, thank you so much for joining the Suite Spot. Again, if you’re interested in Travel Media Group’s social solutions and putting together a social strategy for 2022 for your hotel, please reach out to us. Talk to Aislynn and her team. They are full of insights and best practices, and they’re the experts. They know how to run a successful social strategy for hotels. So thank you, Aislynn, for being on the Suite Spot. Thank you all for listening, and we’ll talk to you next time. To join our loyalty program, be sure to subscribe and give us a five-star rating on iTunes. Suite Spot is produced by Travel Media Group, with the cover art by Bary Gordon. I’m your host, Ryan Embree, and we hope you enjoyed your stay.

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