Better Together: Social Media & Hotel Websites
Often, when we first speak with a hotelier, they want to know one thing: what is the most important thing I can do to increase revenue?
This question is extremely difficult to answer, as the best solution for a hotel is actually multiple solutions working in tandem. A hotel website will give you a platform to accept bookings and inform website visitors about your property. A social media channel will remind past and future guests about your property and drive awareness and urgency. Put together, you get one solution that drives revenue further than one could on its own. Here’s why.
Websites are Static; Social Media is Dynamic
While websites are curated and designed by business owners to be as appealing as possible to their customers, social media posts can show a more realistic side to the business. Hotel bookers want to know if your hotel still looks as good as the pictures you staged or if you offer the level of service you promise on the website. That’s why before booking, they’ll check your social media accounts.
By using social media, travelers can see not only what you are posting about your hotel but also what others have posted. They can see Facebook check-in posts, Facebook reviews, Instagram posts at your geolocation, and Twitter and Pinterest posts hashtagged with your location.
It’s vital that hoteliers are a part of the conversation on social media. You can proactively publish posts about your property with off-the-cuff photos in addition to your promotional photos. Share new nearby activities or restaurants to keep people engaged without just sharing promotional content. Then, when someone decides they’re ready to book, set up your Book Now button and social links to your website so that you get the booking directly, not through an OTA.
Social Media Builds Interest; Websites Close the Deal
Travelers may have heard of your website through word of mouth, a Google search, on an OTA website, or simply by driving by. According to Google, a quarter of travelers start researching hotels weeks ahead of their trip, and almost one-fifth start researching months ahead of time. That means that most travelers are looking at multiple websites before they book.
Your goal as a hotelier is twofold: beat your local competition to earn the booking, and ideally, get a direct booking to earn more revenue. On your social media channels, promote special offers, discounts, and perks for guests that book directly through you. Meanwhile, you should always offer at least one room rate that’s competitive with your OTA rates.
Competitive room rates aren’t just about price – although that is what is most important to travelers. You can also make your website deals more appealing by offering perks like free breakfast, free parking, room upgrades, or free cancellations. Work with your receptionist to find out what amenities people are asking for the most.
By combining a great hotel website with engaging social media posts, you’ll be able to attract new visitors while securing the reservations you need. Social media will provide user-generated content and reviews while being an outlet for you to share property news. Your website should be a well-optimized and reliable source of direct bookings. Together, they will help you build revenue for your property.
If you’re spending too much on OTA commissions, then it’s time to upgrade your online presence. By getting a vanity hotel website and effectively managing your hotel social media, you can improve your brand’s visibility online while driving direct bookings.