Have you ever had the experience of complimenting yourself in front of others? How about the experience of being complimented by someone else? Do the two experiences compare? Of course not. One is worth far more than the other.
For example, we all know that happy guests are the most effective ambassadors for your hotel brand. As online reviews became more influential in the booking process, hospitality professionals have learned that curating a fantastic experience for every guest has far-reaching effects. This understanding grows deeper all the time because every detail and every interaction matters.
But is it really accurate to say that every guest has an equal impact on a hotel’s reputation? From a philosophical point of view, yes, all guests should be treated equally – but we should also consider the realities of social media. Like it or not, there are people on every channel who are rightly known as influencers. And if social media is ground zero for hotel brand awareness in the 21st century, it stands to reason that influencers would be actively sought as brand ambassadors.
Did you know that Instagram currently has around one billion active users, with higher rates of engagement than Facebook? Instagram stars have emerged with huge followings. It doesn’t take a marketing degree to realise that such people could be powerful allies in building or strengthening a brand.
So how does a hotel, whether a global chain or a local boutique, get in on the action? What’s the best way to actively engage Instagram users, build brand awareness, and ultimately attract more bookings? And don’t forget there are two sides to this social media coin – actively seeking influencers to work with, and responding to those who approach you direct.
This article will cover the active approach, while the next one will look at the best way to respond to an influencer approaching you and how to ensure it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement anchored in results.