How to Discover Content & Delight Guests on Social Media [Webinar]
When it comes to social media, it’s no secret that content is king. The more engaging content you create and share, the more influence you have online. Yet, one of the most frequently asked questions we hear from hoteliers remains: “What should I post on my hotel’s social media pages?” Let’s explore how to identify content for your hotel that will excite, engage, and convert travelers using social media as a part of their booking journey. You’ll learn how to strategically use your hotel’s rooms, amenities, and location to position your property to capture more market share as consumers begin to start traveling again. In today’s competitive landscape, it’s critical to share social media content that will make your hotel’s social pages stand out and attract traveler’s interest.
What Is Social Media Success?
Let’s start by posing a couple of questions: what is social media success? Why is it important, and how do I measure ROI? These are the questions we hear every day from hoteliers across the country. No matter how many times we are asked, our answer remains the same. “It depends. What’s the goal of your social media strategy?” Not the goals of property, we know those already: grow occupancy and increase revenue. To identify success, first we have to identify the goals of your hotel’s social media strategy.
Let’s look at three different types of social posts. Which of these three do you think is the most successful?
1. The first post is a simple one, asking users what song would be on repeat during a road trip. Although there were no likes or shares, the post was able to get 11 user comments in response to the question.
2. The second post is also simple, with a short note to its users about missing travel especially in the local area. With no question to engage with, users instead reacted to the post with 17 likes and 2 shares.
3. Finally, the third post, which includes an article of things to do this summer in the hotel’s local area. Now at first glance, the post does not look too impactful with no likes, shares, or comments. But when we dive into the back end and analytics of this post we see that this post alone had a reach of over 400+ travelers.
So which post do you think was the most successful? Well that again depends on the goal or goals of your social strategy…
- If you answered Post 1, your goal focuses around more user engagement. Getting your users more engaged with your posts by asking questions could lead to better conversion when you share “call to action” posts with direct booking links.
- If you answered Post 2, your goal surrounds identifying user sentiment. Learning what your social audience likes and shares can be key in understanding how to grow your followers and increase your hotel’s chance of conversion.
- If you answered Post 3, your goal is clearly associated with impressions and expanding reach. Increasing brand awareness and growing your hotel’s social following leads to improved chances of conversion.
Each one of these social posts can be considered successful and each type plays a critical piece in a hotel’s overall social strategy.
Growing a Social Audience
One of the goals we often hear from hoteliers concerning their social media strategy is growing their social audience. When attempting to grow your social audience you want to avoid making these common mistakes:
- Hoteliers that constantly focus on finding and expanding their audience end up neglecting their captive audience and ultimately it will cost them their current followers.
- On the other side of that, If you only try to engage and focus on your captive audience, you will miss out on the opportunity to capture and grow a new social audience.
The key to growing your audience is finding a balance of both searching for a new social audience while at the same time focusing and engaging your current following. So the next question is: how do we do this? What social content can we post on our feeds that will attract and capture new followers, while at the same time engaging our current following?
So let’s find out, above is information from a Think with Google article where the author breaks down how consumer needs shape search behavior and drive intent. In the article, the author identifies and defines six different and distinct consumer search states or mindsets. All of which align with travelers and their online booking journeys. Let’s play out a real-world example and demonstrate by how posting with these consumer search states in mind can impact conversion and traveler’s booking decisions.
The Hotel Paradise
Welcome to the Hotel Paradise. For this example, we are going to meet 3 different sets of travelers. Each one has different needs and is searching for the best hotel to meet them.
- Kevin & Sierra – They are a family of 4 with two very young children looking for an opportunity to get out of their small, cramped house that they have been stuck in all summer. They want a hotel that they can just hang out in and not have to worry about going anywhere, but they also want something to do at the hotel like a pool or private beach.
- Nick – Is a traveler in his late 20’s who has been itching to get back to taking trips with his friends. He is a thrill-seeker looking for a location with unique attractions in the area and fun things to do. He sees his hotel as just a place to sleep and doesn’t plan on spending much time there, only a place to rest between local adventures.
- James & Jackie – Lastly, James & Jackie who are older travelers that are nervous to start traveling again, but doing so to see family. James has trouble walking and will need a hotel with an accessible room. They are extremely anxious about traveling during this time and willing to pay a premium to ensure safety.
Now let’s identify what search states categories these travelers fall under and how the Hotel Paradise’s social media feed can appeal and attract each one.
Kevin & Sierra
Let’s start with Kevin and Sierra, who are in need of a hotel for them and their 2 young children. As Sierra opens her social feed and starts to scroll she sees a post that her friend had recently liked. She notices that the Hotel Paradise has kitchenettes and a fridge in the room, which would be perfect for their family, since they are not looking to leave the hotel to go out to eat. As she further explores the Hotel Paradise’s Facebook page she sees the beautiful private beach at the property, which would be the perfect activity for Kevin, Sierra, and their two small children.
So by educating Kevin and Sierra through the rooms featuring a kitchenette and fridge, and impressing them by posting a gorgeous picture of what the hotel offers, the property was able to secure their booking for a 3-night staycation.
Now if you remember, Nick’s needs were very different from the relaxing staycation that Kevin & Sierra were looking for with their family. Nick wanted an adventure and something exciting to do outside of the hotel. As Nick searched on Facebook he came across an article posted on Hotel Paradise’s page highlighting local golf courses in the area. Golf would be the perfect activity for Nick to do with a couple of friends that lived in the area. As he continued to scroll he saw another Hotel Paradise post that advertised a pop-up theater in the area of his favorite movie. Nick did not even know something like this existed and was eager to attend the event.
So by posting an article not about the hotel, but about things to do in the area, the Hotel Paradise inspired Nick to consider their property. Then, by surprising Nick with another unique event that he could attend while on his trip the property was able to secure his booking.
James & Jackie
And finally, we have James and Jackie, who are most concerned with their safety and well-being. A post about attractions in the area or even hotel amenities wouldn’t appeal to them, like they would for Nick or Kevin and Sierra. So Jackie finds the Hotel Paradise on social media and is immediately drawn to a post that talks about the extra cleaning precautions the hotel is taking to ensure guest safety. Jackie is excited because all of the other hotels in the area that she has researched have posted nothing about COVID-19 or cleanliness procedures. Right as Jackie is about to call the property to ask about accessible rooms for James, she sees this post that features a picture of what an accessible room looks like at the Hotel Paradise.
So just by mentioning that cleaning procedures at the property have changed since the start of the pandemic, the Hotel Paradise was able to reassure James and Jackie of their safety. The Hotel Paradise was also able to anticipate their needs and help Jackie with her question about accessible rooms for James. The Hotel Paradise was able to secure their booking as James and Jackie traveled to visit their family.
Social Media Strategy
By leveraging a combination of social posts the Hotel Paradise was able to attract all 3 different types of travelers. Imagine if this property had only focused on the exciting events and things to do outside of the hotel. Do you think the property would still catch the interest of Kevin and Sierra looking for a relaxing and calm staycation, or James and Jackie looking for a safe and clean place that is accessible for James?
It was thanks to a blend of content that captured the attention – and ultimately the business – of all three of these different types of travelers, no matter what they were searching for and what their needs were. That is why social content is so critical to success. And if you are a hotel without a clear-cut social strategy on what you plan to accomplish, you are missing out on a number of travelers that are doing searches just like this everyday.
That’s where we come in at Travel Media Group with our social media solutions for hotels. We consult with you, figure out what your goals are, what type of traveler you are trying to reach, and how to achieve it. We post up 5 times per week not only on Facebook, but Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. We all also include social media ad spend which we use to further your reach even more, targeting sets of travelers that could be searching for exactly what your hotel can provide. During these times you cannot afford to miss out on any opportunity to grow your hotel’s occupancy – do not make the mistake of falling behind with your hotel’s social media.
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