Scroll, Swipe, Book. Win Occupancy on Social Media [Webinar]
Today, social media is more than just a place to connect with your old high school friends. Critical purchasing decisions are being made online every day on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. For hotels, this means bookings and an outlet to impact guest conversion. So what is your hotel’s strategy to win more bookings on social media sites?
Life with Social Media
Let’s start by looking at how hoteliers can seize the opportunities that social media presents in travelers’ everyday lives. In 2021, social media is a 24/7/365 platform: something hotels are very familiar with. Travelers are using social media at home, in the car, and at the office. With non-stop, uninterrupted access to travelers in their everyday lives, social media can be the single most powerful advertising tool for hoteliers today – if used effectively. Never in the history of the industry have hoteliers had the potential for this amount of exposure to guests as they do with social media.
Social Media at Home
For example, in the past, one of the only ways to reach travelers at home was by purchasing TV ad time, which most individual hotels could not afford to do. Advertising was left in the hands of the brand, who doesn’t really care if a guest picks you or the hotel down the road, as long as they stay at their branded hotel, and OTAs, who are promoting your hotel rooms for a heavy commission cost.
Today, with the power of social media, you can capture a traveler’s interest right in the comfort of their living room. Some guests today are spending more screen time on their social media accounts than their TV. And best of all, it cost the hotel nothing. In fact, the hotels utilizing their social media strategy effectively generate more and more direct, commission-free bookings, bypassing those pesky OTAs that have been costing properties so much over the last decade.
Social Media in the Car
What about social media use in a traveler’s car? Before smartphones, a good old-fashioned road trip consisted of a lot of games of I Spy and audiobooks. Billboards were an incredibly effective way to advertise hotels, catching guests’ eyes traveling by car to their destination.
Today, those eyes have moved from the outside world to an iPhone. Passengers on a long trip care less about what’s on a highway billboard and more about what’s new on their Facebook or Instagram feed. Even with the popularity of Lyft and Uber, most passengers default to browsing social media on their phones, giving hoteliers yet another opportunity to capture the interest of traveling guests in their everyday lives.
Social Media at Work
Prior to smartphones, there wasn’t much opportunity for hotels to reach travelers while working in the office. With most people spending 40 hours, sometimes more, in the office setting, this represented one of the most significant gaps for hotels looking for additional reach to potential guests.
Today, the work-from-home craze is in full effect, and it’s not going away anytime soon. And as much as employers don’t want to think about it: for employees, that means more screen time on their phones. That’s 40 more hours per week that hoteliers now have to get in front of travelers’ eyes and impact their booking decisions. So, needless to say, social media is more prevalent today than it has ever been before.
Fishing for Travelers
The key to winning travelers on social media comes down to one thing: consistency. Hotels have always tried to figure out how to catch that big fish. In this stage of recovery, every fish – big and small – is critical.
Casting a wide, loose net is not a very effective way of fishing. Fish can easily swim in and out of the net, and the chances of actually catching a fish are small. This is what happens when you are inconsistent on social media. In our hotel consultations, we see this all the time: properties posting only around major holidays or sharing content only once or twice a month. This will not win you bookings on social media. Just like fishing with this net, you fail to capture the attention and interest of your guests.
That’s why social media consistency is so critical. The more you post, and the smarter you post, the better your chances become for capturing travelers on social media and ultimately landing that “big fish.” And if you are leveraging multiple social sites like Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you are increasing your opportunity even more.
Social Media for Hotels
In the end, this pandemic has made the hotel industry, as a whole, reflect on the way that it connects and communicates with travelers. A social strategy that worked prior to COVID-19 might not be relevant today. And now, with the nationwide hospitality work shortage, hoteliers’ time is stretched to the max. Do not make the critical mistake of not prioritizing something as important as your hotel’s social media strategy. It will end up costing you bookings and room revenue, especially as we enter the busy summer season, where the competition is more active than ever marketing and promoting their property.
Contact us today about Travel Media Group’s social media solutions and start winning more occupancy for your hotel!
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