How the Hospitality Industry Can Attract Guests Using Social Media

Social media is now a key part of any successful marketing strategy in the hospitality industry. It’s a great way to update your existing customers of upcoming events or deals, but it can also be used to reach out to new potential customers.

If you’re not currently using social media then you should really re-evaluate your marketing plan.According to research, 87% of online users are reportedly influenced in their hotel decision making by the online social presence of their prospective choices, with 57% of travel reservations now made online.

Therefore it’s highly likely that a large proportion of your guests will have investigated your online presence – or lack of! So, whether you love or hate social media, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s now a key aspect of the decision-making process. Creating a social media account is quick and easy, with the majority of platforms allowing you to get set up in a matter of minutes.

Once you’ve created your social media accounts you can then work on attracting your guests. It might be a little daunting to know where to start, so I’ve shared a few tips on how to get started.

1. Community Management

Once you’ve got your social media accounts set up it’s important to keep on top of these networks. When ignored or mismanaged, social media could negatively affect your company. Many companies select someone to be in charge of their social media, that way there’s one person with the responsibility for the page.

The majority of social media accounts have a social media strategy behind them, including what to post and the best times of day to reach your audience.

Once your strategy is established, it is important to follow it strictly, posting regularly pays off! The hospitality industry prides itself on customer satisfaction, so of course this should be reflected in your social media updates.

An example of an independent B&B which uses social media to their advantage is the unique boutique B&B, The Llama’s Pyjamas, in the Lake District:

Example

The Llama’s Pyjamas is a themed B&B with resident llamas. They have over 1200 likes on Facebook and the owners keep their followers entertained with amusing updates about their themed breakfasts – like the llama toast in the image above. They also post updates from their llamas, hilarious llama stories, as well as striking imagery and they always respond to their guests.

2. Use Images

Your social media accounts might be the first thing your new potential customers see, so you want to show your personality.

A great way to be creative on social media is to add images to your updates. Pick colourful and vibrant photos that will inspire potential holiday makers to stay at your establishment. User-generated images are the most popular on social media, so ensure that these are used over stock images.

It’s important to keep the images of your establishment up to date, especially if you’ve had a revamp or rebrand. If your guests share their own images on their social media accounts thank them, and share them with your own readers, showing loyalty with your existing guests.

Coalport Station Holidays offer a unique holiday experience staying in a luxuriously restored vintage self-catering railway carriage. As the concept is unique, and interesting, the company is using their social media to reach out to new potential guests by sharing clear, attractive, images of their carriages.

The images will help to intrigue new potential guests who are then more likely to book a visit. Here’s a recent update show-casing springtime in the station’s grounds:

3. Promote Your Social Media Channels

Social media is a fantastic tool for promotion. Not only can you engage with your existing guests but you can also reach out to new customers who might not have heard of you before.

Make sure that when new guests arrive at your hotel that they know of any social media channels, or hashtags that your hotel uses. This will encourage guests to share comments about their experience, also spreading the word to their own social media followers.

The interactive Every Hotel in London’s Piccadilly, brings social media to the heart of their guests’ stay. Every room contains a ‘smart TV’ where guests are able to log into their social media accounts to share their experience. 

The hotel also has complementary Wi-Fi and touchscreen throughout the hotel where guests can search for local restaurants or browse the internet.

Whilst this might be at the top end of your budget, you can still encourage your guests to interact with your social media channels and related hashtags by displaying them prominently throughout your establishment.

4. Guest Stories

As well as promoting your social media channels to guests you can encourage them to tell their stories about their stay. If guests mention you in their social media updates make sure you respond to them and thank them for their stay.

This will help to build a relationship with your guests, who are then more likely to return. You can also share their updates on your own channels as a way of demonstrating to potential guests how others have enjoyed their stay.

5. Run a Competition

One of the main reasons for creating a social media presence is to develop a strong online reputation. One way to get your social media channels off the ground, and to increase awareness of your brand, is by running competitions.

Competitions aren’t only a great way to attract new guests, but also work for rewarding existing guests for their loyalty. You could ask your audience to like, comment, or share one of your pages as an entry, which would share your account to a larger audience.

Once you’ve got the new followers on your social media accounts they’ll be able to see your other updates from your social media schedule, thus helping to attract more business.

The hospitality industry has defining elements that set it apart from similar businesses, including customer service. By ensuring that every customer is happy a great sense of brand loyalty is achieved and this should also be reflected in the online world.

Ensure that your guests, and potential guests, are made to feel welcome on your social media accounts and you are almost guaranteed new business.

Do you want to increase your social media marketing?

If you’re looking to invest more in social media and you require some investment to get your social presence off the ground, Liberis provides business cash advances for small to medium business.

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