4 Social Media Tips for Independent Hotels in 2015
Customers are connected. There’s no doubt about it. 61 percent of Internet users in the US research travel online before purchasing1 and 22 percent of online hotel searches come from mobile devices2. Unless you’re a large chain, getting the word out about your hotel can be a bit of a challenge initially. As part of your hotel’s online marketing strategy, pay attention to the power of social networks. From location-based networks such as Yelp and Foursquare to live streams such as Twitter, there are a number of places online your business can connect with potential and current customers. Here are 4 social media tips for independent hotels.
One way a hotel can use social media is as a customer service outlet. With the majority of potential guests using the internet to conduct research, your brand needs to have a presence where many of these people are located. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great places to connect with customers who have questions, complaints or positive feedback. Make sure your company is transparent on social media and that complaints and questions are addressed. How a business handles customer service online is often a way for guests to make a judgment of the service of your in-person hotel staff.
Often times, people take into account what is in the surrounding area when choosing a hotel to stay in. From nearby eateries to upcoming events, there is a lot for hotel guests to do in your area and they won’t be spending all their time in their room. Use social media networks to promote other businesses, events, travel adventures and opportunities in the area. Partner with the companies running the events or restaurants to give hotel guests a discount. You can increase the number of eyes on your own hotel by getting social promotion from another source and you will be able to convert those eyes into customers with special offers. Your hotel isn’t the only one benefitting – guests will be able to spend some time in the area and will see added value when choosing your hotel.
Pay attention to different mentions of your hotel on social networks. Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and top-tier networks such as Facebook and Twitter are all social channels you should be monitoring. Look for potential guests on these networks who are searching for hotels in your area. You should of course, be reaching out to those who mention hotels in your area or your hotel specifically. By following what customers are saying, you can gain better insight into what they are looking for in terms of service, features, and the experience. Retweet or share comments from customers and engage with them.
Reward loyal customers, fans and followers on social media. Some hotels offer up special rates for those that follow them on social networks. You can also create engagement on social networks by giving out special rewards, such as discounts or prizes, to your most active users. Encourage those who have been guests to write reviews about your hotel on sites such as Yelp and Foursquare. Keep track of who your most engaged social media connections are and reward them. When others see how your business values loyalty and engagement, there is a good chance new people will choose to interact with your hotel more.
As you are getting your new hotel up and running or are looking to kickstart your hotel’s bookings in 2013, make sure you are active on social media networks. These platforms provide your business with the opportunity to connect with customers to answer questions, reward loyalty and create engagement. While not all platforms will prove valuable for all hotels, you need to test each and be active to see where and how your business can benefit from social media activity.
Author Bio: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on tips such as commercial real estate listings and insurance for special events as well as social media trends. She is a web content writer for the B2B directory.
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