Millions of followers and slick brand campaigns are not the only measures of success on social media. Lots of small businesses are making a mark with some smart thinking.

NB: This is an article from Staah

Most would agree that social media is a fantastic way to connect with your existing and potential guests. By not being a part of the social media network, you could be missing out on connecting with people who would love to hear from you – and book.

But, social media can be overwhelming. Especially, if you’re a small property owner already juggling multiple things on the operational front. Where do you start? How do you be efficient and effective on social media?

Follow our simple tips to ace your social media

Always begin with a plan.

It’s the foundation for success in any business. Set goals and objectives that are measurable and matter. For example, “I’d like to grow my database by 10% by the end of the year via social media.” Have multiple goals. Then conduct a competitor research – who’s saying what and how many people are ‘listening’ or engaging. Next, do an audit of your existing social channels (if you have them). As the last part of this step, find what sets your property apart and develop a social calendar based on this.

Don’t try to be everything to everybody and everywhere.

It is hard enough for the big guns with agencies to be active and effective across all social media channels. The secret to success is focusing on platforms you are most likely to find your target audience. For example an Instagram audience is far younger than a Facebook audience.

Understand whom you are trying to connect with.

Who is your target audience? What do they like? Where are they? Dig deep into the data of your booking or front desk platform to find out more about your guests. A friendly chat with your guests could get you more information than machines sometimes. The better you know your audience, the better you can target them via social channels.

Connect with your audience.

You know them and you’ve probably found them on social platforms avi groups or paid ads. Now what? Connect. Build relationships – make it personal with gestures such as thank you messages to loyal guests or for those who leave reviews. Engagement on social media is a two way street – and brand speak has little space. Connect like a human.

Be authentic and compelling.

What’s your story? How is it different from the hotel across the street? Rich storytelling supported by powerful visuals or videos are a great way to get the attention of your audience and ramp up engagement.

Quality matters, not quantity.

The idea is not to have thousands of followers. You must aim to build a pool of quality audience who engage with your content regularly. To do this, pitch and sell isn’t always the best approach. This is a social platform and the need to be human is important.

Invest in the right tools.

Time is precious and you want to put your limited marketing time to best use by leveraging the right tools. Luckily they don’t always cost a fortune! Hootsuite, Buffer or similar apps are great to schedule posts across multiple platforms and listen to what your competitors or followers are saying. Look at designing tools such as Canva to make your posts stand out. BuzzSumo or Pocket are good content curation tools.

Be responsive.

If someone messages you or comments on your post, respond as soon as possible (here’s where the tools to manage these tasks come in handy). Be aware of conversations your key audience is having so you can tailor your communications around it.

Track and refine.

Social media strategy, like all things digital, is constantly evolving. Track your performance against the goals you set at the start. Have regular checks to see how you are faring and refine your strategy as needed to improve performance.

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