While various channels may change and disappear, social media is here to stay.
NB: This is an article from WebRezPro
It’s like the blackberry bush in your garden. You can pull the roots up all you want, but it isn’t going anywhere. You may as well harvest the berries. More than half the world uses social media for everything from baby updates to cat videos, and it’s where 36.5 percent of travelers find their inspiration.
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It’s worth investing thought and time into your social media channels. Here are five fundamental tips for a strong hotel social media strategy that increases guest engagement and bookings.
Be a Good Listener
You may not have time to post engaging content every day but never stop listening. As of 2017, a third of consumers would rather use social media customer service than phone or email. It has become a go-to place for service, and you need to meet your guests there.
Customers turn to social media because of the instant gratification it provides—they expect a fast response. Always reply to direct comments in a timely manner to nurture rewarding guest relationships. If you’re understaffed and have trouble taking care of everything right away, you can put up an automated message letting customers know when you will get back to them.
Reputation management platforms like Hootsuite and Revinate feature social listening tools that monitor various social media channels for both direct and indirect comments about your property. Log in to your platform or manually check your social media accounts and review sites at least once a day to ensure no customers go ignored. If a review or comment is bad, it’s still much better for your reputation to respond politely rather than ignore or delete it.
Encourage Guests to Share Their Experience
Social media and review sites are today’s supercharged version of word-of-mouth. If chatter about your property is quiet, there are practical things you can do to encourage guests to share their experience.
User generated content is crucial to social media success. Consumers trust other, everyday users more than celebrities or social media stars. When asked who was considered most genuine, 38 percent of survey respondents said everyday users (e.g., your guests), compared to celebrities at 14 percent and social media stars at 9 percent. Only subject matter experts scored better at 39 percent. Calling yourself an influencer doesn’t mean you have the most influence.
You can drum up everyday user reviews through contests, post-stay surveys, and direct requests. You can even make reviews part of your loyalty program by awarding points to guests who review your hotel or post about it on social media. The only caveat is that these rewards have to be randomized or the same for each guest. You can’t reward guests based on review scores.
Plug your social media pages on your website, check-out receipts, hotel app, and on-property/in-room signage, so guests know where to reach you. Resharing and retweeting guests’ positive experiences on your property’s own social media pages spreads the word, boosts engagement, and builds lasting relationships.
Going the extra mile also never hurts when you’re after online attention. You can inspire guests to post selfies and braggies on social media by providing photo-worthy experiences like unexpected in-room treats and amenities.
If you’re a pet-friendly hotel, encourage guests to post with their animals. Pet popularity is the law of the internet, especially if that pet’s doing something mischievous (see countless videos of cats swatting things off counters).