It’s hard enough to manage a portfolio of hotels, but a global pandemic complicates things even more. Now more than ever, management groups require a reliable and effective digital marketing strategy.
NB: This is an article from Travel Media Group
Here is a link to a recent webinar Travel Media Group conducted on this topic: Marketing Strategies Webinar
So, what does a successful multi-property marketing campaign look like post-COVID-19? Today, we will discover how to incorporate social media marketing, online reputation management, and review response into your management group’s overall marketing plan. This will be an excellent guide for hotel groups attempting to create a custom marketing direction for an entire portfolio.
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Setting Performance Standards
Below is a chart illustrating ADR & Occupancy performance and the importance of setting and meeting operational standards for your group of hotels. Ideally, we want our entire portfolio of hotels performing at a point of high occupancy and maximum ADR. In a perfect world, each individual property is either meeting or exceeding performance standards put in place at the management group level.
With the uncertainty of the global pandemic to consider, your group of hotels could land anywhere on this spectrum right now. Although the group standards you have set are still in place, there could be a handful of outside factors influencing performance and the ability for an individual hotel to meet those standards. There are four major areas hotels in your portfolio may fall under:
- A hotel with both low occupancy and ADR is an older property with lots of employee turnover over the last year.
- Another hotel with high ADR, but low occupancy is located in an extremely competitive market and also is newly acquired by the management group – so they have yet to figure out how to implement those operational standards.
- Another hotel is an economy brand, which has been the hotel segment least impacted by the pandemic so far but is also extremely seasonal, resulting in their high occupancy, but low ADR.
- Occasionally, you have a property with high ADR and occupancy that has been able to exceed expectations or standards due to a great, tenured staff and excellent location.
What type of impact can these variables have on each individual property’s digital marketing?
The answer is a lot. A hotel that has experienced high turnover could find it difficult to keep a consistent employee responding to its online reviews or posting to its social feeds. A seasonal hotel might not have the time to respond to all its reviews or post on social media during the busy season, leaving about half of its online reviews unresponded and only posting when the property is slow. The newly acquired hotel could have a 100% response rate, but very few reviews with less occupancy filling its rooms – leaving it vulnerable to competitors in its highly competitive market.
Then, you have the property doing all the right things when it comes to its social media strategy, online reputation, and reviews response. Their consistent revenue performance starts with and goes alongside a tactical digital marketing strategy and setting purposeful standards for your group of hotels. There are comprehensive steps you can take to create those standards for your group, and our multi-property reporting can help you develop the effective digital marketing that is so critical to a hotel management group’s success.
Social media is a major part of a hotel group’s digital marketing – and where it all begins. Let’s walk through some of the steps in creating and optimizing a successful, effective social media strategy and standards for your group.
Create an Account or Profile
You would not imagine the number of times we talk with management groups that claim to have social media under control and are missing social profiles for a number of properties within their portfolio. A common mistake we come across is when we say social media, the group hears Facebook. But social media is not just Facebook: Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are social channels used by millions of users every day, and best of all they are completely free.
It needs to be the standard that all of your hotels create profiles and remain active on all social media platforms, not just Facebook. Set the KPI that your hotels are posting 4-5 times per week with fun, engaging, relevant content. It’s content that will help you accomplish the next step, follower growth.
Grow Your Following
You want to see an increase in month over month follower growth. This expands the number of travelers that are seeing your posts, increasing your chances of conversion. So how do we increase follower growth? The first, least expensive way is to get to know your social audience. Jump into your social media analytics and learn what they are reacting to, liking, and sharing. Create a social media formula for each one of your properties and implement a game plan that works specifically for them.
The other way to grow your social following is through ad spend. Effectively leveraged social media ad spend can target travelers and increase conversion. If you do plan on using social media ad dollars make sure you are working with someone who knows what they are doing or have a clear-cut strategy in who you are attempting to reach.
That’s why we provide our management group partners multi-property social media reporting. It helps members at the corporate level hold those individual properties accountable by ensuring they are meeting social media standards set by the group and hitting key social KPIs like follower growth, number of posts, reach, impressions, and engagement.
Comparison of Two Hotel Calendars
Let’s consider a couple of hotel examples and their social media strategies. If you were to visit this hotel’s Facebook page you might not be able to tell the extent of which it’s social strategy is actually missing the mark. In fact, the GM or DOS at this property might actually think they are doing a good job of keeping up with their property’s social media. But when we apply this to an actual calendar view you can see the enormous amount of opportunity missed in the month of August. Travelers are visiting this hotel’s Facebook page every day – the hotel should be doing a better job of keeping relevant and engaging content on their page in an attempt to capture their attention as well as their booking. So for the entire month of August, this hotel had a total of 4 posts, which ultimately had no impact on expanding its reach online.
This is an example of one of the hotels within a management group that we partner with at Travel Media Group. This is for the same month: August 2020. Imagine if these two hotels were in the same market as competitors. The first major difference that you’re going to notice is it’s not only Facebook where you are seeing posts – this property is also active on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Expanding this hotel’s reach and putting its property at the forefront of as many traveler eyes as possible. The next major difference between these two calendars is the amount of consistent posting that’s being done. The hotel partnered with TMG demonstrates that no matter when a traveler is finding this hotel or which social platform they come across there is always fresh and new content being shared. Ultimately, this leads to a rise in user engagement and a ton of new follower growth. This is what your hotel’s social calendar should look like across your entire portfolio; if not, you are missing out on major opportunities.