by Diana Berryman
Published on 15 September 2014
Social Media Marketing for the hotel industry has been a huge trend in 2014. Increasingly, travelers and business people are using social media to make their travel plans. To be in with a chance of keeping up with your competitors you need a strong social media presence to be found by your potential customers.
Search engines favor social media sites within search results more than ever. SEO studies show that people who are searching for hotels are also using social media to check out activities, attractions and restaurants in the same area. Why not take advantage of this and make your social media marketing campaign all about your local area?
You should also (always) have a decent presence on LinkedIn and Google+. Business professionals spend a lot of time on these networks so make yourself known if you cater to business people or conferences. Even if you aren't a business orientated hotel, you still need a presence as a business so people can check you out.
The hotel industry is traditionally a B2C industry, but not including B2B customers could be a mistake and here is why:
Forgive me if I am repeating myself, but this advice goes for all social media marketing, DON'T MAKE IT ALL ABOUT YOU! The more you help others, the better network you will build. Share content from your competitors (as long as it doesn't directly affect your business), give local businesses a plug, recommend things to do and places to go to your customers. It is guaranteed that at least some of these nice folks will reciprocate and share your stuff, which increases your audience.
And now the science bit…
We have the technology….learn how to use it. Have a dedicated member of staff to do your social media marketing for you, someone who is tech friendly preferably. Even if they aren't particularly tech savvy there are social media and marketing apps out there which are extremely user friendly. Here are some of our favorites:
Qwaya is a tool to create and manage your Facebook ad campaign. It saves you time and effort in managing your campaign for an on-going, consistent, brand aware Facebook ad campaign. Qwaya is aimed at small to mid-sized businesses and their pricing starts at $39 a month.
Falcon Social is a social media management app for teams. It's features allow you to manage your social networks in one easy-to-use app. It is integrated with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Youtube. Falcon Social is aimed at businesses of all sizes and they have a free trial available.
FrontDesk is a cloud-based client management software. It is mobile business management that adapts to your business. It allows you to manage client management and payment processing from any mobile device or computer. Aimed and small to mid-sized business there is a free trial to try-before-you-buy.
Checkfront is an online booking and payment processing system for rooms, tours, activities and rentals. You can manage your bookings, rates, offers and packages all in one place. Checkfront fits all business models and it has a free trial available with discounts on their paid packages for yearly subscriptions.
Pardot is marketing automation software for email and social media marketing with great built-in analytics tools. It lets you synchronize with Google analytics to measure your visitor stats, amongst other things, to allow you to tailor your marketing and target the right kind of customer.
AdClarity is a SaaS solution which allows you to see which campaigns, content and traffic sources are working for you. It also monitors your competitor's social media marketing campaigns so you can emulate their successes and avoid their mistakes. Aimed at all sized businesses they have a free trial.