Social Media Marketing

6 Free Social Media Marketing Tips for the Hospitality Industry

It all starts from the website. Visitors of a hotel’s website are mostly looking to do three things: make a booking, find your address, or call the hotel. Ensure that these details are prominently displayed on the Homepage and all your social media profiles.

Hotels fascinate me. I think the travel bug bit me quite hard when I was a kid, but I really love travelling, and hotels feel like a second home to me. From a marketing standpoint, I am vastly fascinated by how underutilized most of them are by their staff. When they do smart up and hire a social media marketing agency, they are able to fill these gaps quickly and charge them a pretty penny for it.

It all starts from the website. Visitors of a hotel’s website are mostly looking to do three things: make a booking, find your address, or call the hotel. Ensure that these details are prominently displayed on the Homepage and all your social media profiles. I was recently impressed by Movenpick Hotels’ website — I think they’re one of the few local hotels that are doing it right.

From there, you just need to be creative. There are so many things you can try out for social media content. Photographs of the food are common, but I don’t see most hotels/restaurants showcasing their staff. Something as simple as showing your chef in action – preparing some fancy dish or discussing the importance of using the right knives for the right purpose– can be immensely powerful. Just ask Salt Bae.

Ensure to share all the exciting events that take place at your hotel. Share these moments with your fans because you are invested in them having a good time at your place.

Try out one of these and watch how things pan out in 2-5 months:

1.    Facebook Offers

Offers can be especially useful in boosting traffic to your restaurant during off-peak hours. Creating an offer on Facebook is very easy once you have your fanpage set up. You create it exactly like you would a normal post, except you select ‘create offer’ in the post creation box. Keep your offer simple, e.g. “Get 25% off on lunch”. You get to set when the offer is valid – let’s say a month – and the terms for redemption. For the above example, you can state that the offer is only redeemable on weekday lunches only.

Once the offer is live, promote it using Facebook Ad Manager. DO NOT – and I repeat – do not use the “Boost this post” button below the post (I will elaborate on why in a future post). Be keen with your targeting. You want to advertise your post to relevant people only. For this example, you want people who work near your hotel. People who can afford lunch there, and who will find the 25% discount valuable. Set the geographical reach to within 5 km of your hotel, and you can event target employees of large organizations near your restaurant. Advertise it on Facebook alone for 7 days at $10-$15 daily, then sit back and watch the patrons stream in.

The beauty of Facebook offers is that they are claimable with just one click. Once you click on it, Facebook reminds you after a few days about the offer. This is low-hanging fruit that costs you little but can significantly bump up your traffic.

2.    Giveaways
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You have probably seen giveaways on Facebook and Instagram. They are incredibly powerful because of the premise: FREE STUFF. Who doesn’t like getting something for free? Especially if it’s an incredibly valuable gift or experience from a noteworthy person/organization.

The idea is simple: if your hotel has a coveted facility that is usually the highlight of your visitors… give it away. Let’s say it’s your spa. Give away a free spa day to one of your social media followers. Talk about all the things they can enjoy – full body massages by your world-class masseuses, the reinvigorating steam baths, etc. – all the things that will appeal to them, that will make them feel like they HAVE to have this spa day. If you have some videos, even better. Show them what they can expect.

Then dictate your terms. Keep them simple: have them like your post (and share it with the giveaway campaign’s hashtag or tag a friend), then submit their entry by clicking on a landing page that has them enter their first name and email address. Simple, done and dusted. Services like Woobox can help you create your landing page, and analyze the winner by checking the engagement with your Facebook/Instagram post or hashtag. Advertise your post to targeted audiences that are relevant to your business.

The beauty of giveaways is that they can generate massive email lists that are very niche-specific, which are fantastic leads for future business. Announce your giveaway winner, and then email every other entrant a discount coupon that is valid at your premises for a determined amount of time. You can also invite the people who liked your promoted post to like your Facebook page.

With one fell sweep, you can increase your following, raise brand awareness, and generate a great source of leads. The trick, however, is to make your giveaway item something that is extremely valuable that your audiences feel compelled to participate. Make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience that they will be kicking themselves if they miss.

3.    Event marketing

Hotels usually have a lot of online followers, and they have lots of events happening every month at their premises. What surprises me is how little they use the Facebook Events feature. I understand that not all events need to be marketed, but for things like conferences and concerts, this is a space worth exploring.

When someone books an event at your venue, join in the marketing of it by announcing it on your page and doing some publicity for them. You don’t have to advertise, but simply having you listed as an event co-organizer already favours them by introducing them to your thousands of followers, some of whom could be interested in that very event. It honestly doesn’t take much effort to link up with the organizers and ask for details of the events and get some graphics to post on your page. Three posts should do, spaced out in the last two weeks to the event. During the event, tweet at the organizers and contribute to the event’s hashtag. Let your followers know that it is happening, and give away some salient points from the conference.

The reason why this is powerful is because your clients feel that you are invested in the success of their event, and go beyond simply providing the venue. And if they do get some attendees as a result of your marketing, guess which hotel they will be using for their future events? 😊 This goes above and beyond your hospitality services, and it shows that you really do care about them. It doesn’t cost you anything or even take much time, but its value is potentially astronomical.

Here’s a few more ideas you can try out at your establishment and measure their performance:

4. Monitoring

You need to monitor the major social media platforms for posts made in your premises on daily basis then like and leave a personal comment using the hotel’s official page. You can thank them for visiting; if they’re complaining, offer to look into the problem; compliment their choice of wine; ask how they’re feeling after their spa day. Just flow with their posts… The ideas are endless.

5. Sharing high performance posts at your location

Share/retweet high performing posts that tag your location. This works in two ways: by giving engagement, you show them that you care about their visit, and you are paying attention to what people are saying about your business.

6. Work with influencers

Invite the people behind accounts with significant followings or authority within your area to make content at your premises and reward them with complimentary meals or vouchers. This one may seem trivial, but then again, what’s the value of the perfect sunset selfie to an audience of thousands?

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Interested in leveraging your social media presence for business growth? Contact us for a free thirty minute strategy session that will elaborate on a few immediate steps you can take on social media to help you reach your goals.

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