The Best Ways to Interact with Guests on Social Media
You know that it’s important to have an active social media presence for your hotel. Through social media, guests get an inside look of what it’s actually like to stay at your hotel - not just what you’re sharing on branded websites. Plus, social media helps boost your hotel SEO. But managing a hotel’s social media is much more than simply posting.
In this post, we’ll share the ways that you can interact with your guests (and prospective guests) to increase engagement, boost your brand, and earn loyalty.
1. Listen for Comments and Messages
Customers are increasingly turning to social media to talk about the businesses they’re patronizing. This can take the form of complaining on a review website or Instagramming a memorable experience. There’s a wealth of content online, and you don’t want to miss a thing.
Because many guests are using social media as a form of customer service, it’s vital that you monitor your networks for comments and messages. You can catch a fixable problem before it turns into a review, or take the next step to provide an exceptional experience. Here are some of the places you should monitor for message and comment notifications:
- Facebook comments, messages, and reviews
- Instagram mentions, tags, and comments
- Twitter mentions and direct messages
2. Share Great Experiences
Once you’re listening on social networks, you’ll find a wealth of great content to share. Let your guests do the talking and amplify what they’re saying - their word of mouth is much more impactful than your branded messages. You can retweet on Twitter, share Instagram posts in your Story, and share on Facebook.
If people “check in” on Facebook or tag your location on Instagram to share a great photo, ask their permission to repost. You can then share the post and save the photo and caption for future reuse.
In these share posts, ask others to share their experiences and photos to increase engagement, or use an engagement-building phrase. Try different posts such as “like this photo if you wish you were here” or “comment who you would bring to our hotel!”
Don’t be afraid to share a strong call-to-action once in a while, like accompanying a guest's photo with a direct link to your booking website.
3. Run Contests and Giveaways
If you’ve started using social listening tools and are finding that there just isn’t much content out there about your location or your hotel, don’t fret. Sometimes, people just need a little incentive to push them to post.
That’s where contests come in. For a small prize, you’ll be able to earn content for your hotel. For instance, you can make a post on Facebook asking for your followers to comment with a photo from when they stayed with you. This can be from local attractions, while they traveled, or of the hotel. Offer to give one $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly selected commenter. Or, say that whichever comment gets the most likes wins - that way, people entering will also share your post.
Make it clear in the post that by commenting, they’re giving you permission to use their photo in marketing materials. Finally, you may want to “boost” the post - add $10 of Facebook ad dollars behind it to make sure your followers see it.
With just $35 dollars, you’ll be able to boost your likes, earn new content to share, and be top of mind for past guests - who are now fondly remembering their stay.
Best Practices for Social Media Engagement
If you are new to engaging with guests on social media, there are a few simple best practices to follow to ensure that you’re presenting your hotel in the best possible light. Keep these in mind and share with anyone who will be posting on behalf of your hotel.
Keep it Professional
Develop a brand voice for all social media admins for your brand to use so that your brand is consistent across networks. We recommend keeping it professional, but chipper. You can use exclamation points and emojis, but make sure that you still sound like a reliable hotelier.
If someone posts negatively about your hotel, always respond courteously and with concern. Remember, you’re not just replying to the commenter - other people will read how you react in difficult scenarios.
Ask for Permission
People own the copyright to images that they post online. You can use the built-in sharing functions of a social media website, but do not save and republish images without consent. If you want to save and reuse a photo someone has shared, just comment to them saying something like, “Hi @user! We love this photo - do you mind if we share it with our followers? Respond with “yes” if we can use your photo!”.
Alternatively, you can include a specific hashtag in your social media bio that gives blanket permission - such as “Share photos with #[hotelname][city]vacation to be featured in our feed!”
Use Your Best Judgment
Just because content exists doesn’t mean you must share it. Use your best judgment when sharing posts that best resonate with your audience. Be mindful of sharing photos of minors and abstain if you don’t think you have every parent’s permission. Don’t share photos that people in them may find unflattering or embarrassing. If you’re second-guessing a photo, err on the side of caution.
Social Media Resources
Need more help building your social media strategy? Check out our white papers to get you on the right track:
- How to Manage User-Generated Content
- Call-Out Culture: How to Respond
- Success of Social Media at the Brand Level
Never miss a thing on social media. Start your free 60-day trial of TMG OneView to receive notifications for every review and post about your hotel!