Posting on Social Media might appear like a kid's play, but it requires more strategy to attract better results though. The rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels has made the market a more competitive place and the hospitality industry makes no exception from the rule. Getting some social media marketing ideas for hotels and resorts will help you promote your business.
Social media marketing is the process of gaining attention and attraction. To maximize its effectiveness, we've put together some of the best ideas to use social media marketing for hotels and resorts, spiced up with the best tips and tricks, best practices and examples in the hotel industry. Sometimes, it's best to spy on your competitors to see what worked and what it's ineffective and learn from the experience of the others.
- Setup a Specific Scheduling Program
- Create Themed Posts
- Work with a Color Palette
- Communicate Important Changes
- Promote Events and Private Parties
- Make People Aware of Gratuities and Loyalty Programs
- Use Travel Hashtags to Attract Fans
- Think Outside the (Instagram) Box
- Stick to Aesthetic
- Offer Helpful Responses, Not Just Advertising
- Show Ideas for Day Trips
- Give Weather Reports
1. Setup a Specific Scheduling Program
It is essential that each hotel business have a scheduling program included in their social media strategy. You can make a weekly plan where you can create a timeline for your timezone and add content. Selecting the hours for scheduling posts should be based on the previous interactions and the engagement you got on your earlier posts. Check Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights or Youtube Analytics (depending on what social media networks you're using) to review your best performing posts and the time when they were added.
Below there's an example from Instagram Insights, where you can find the best hours for posts and videos to get audience retention and also how many people watched them.
Once you have the timeline, you can create your posts. Make sure you follow the 80-20 rule: 80% informational content and 20% commercial content. Publish all kinds of stories - internal, external, with pictures, videos, news and so on.
For an easy content plan design use social media management platforms. There are a lot of examples of these marketing solutions with a clean and intuitive interface.
2. Create Themed Posts
As a hotel or resort, you can't post photos and content only about the location every single day. 1, because it is not relevant, and 2, because it might make you sound cocky. Your hotel marketing strategy should include themed posts. If you followed the first idea mentioned above, then each day can represent a theme. For example, you can create a timeline for each day:
- On Monday, you post the best destination of the week/day.
- On Tuesday, a related quote or a review from your clients.
- On Wednesday, you can add a video, picture, blog about your hotel or resort. Something that makes it unique.
- On Thursday, you can post events of activities that happen in the city or at the accommodation.
- On Friday, you can post everything you want.
- On Saturday & Sunday, you can come up with other ideas or leave them free.
3. Work with a Color Palette
Another idea you could follow is observing a color scheme for your visuals. You've probably seen Instagram accounts that follow the same color pattern or description pattern for each of their posts. You can use it to make a well-structured and equilibrated profile.
Instagram can be used fairly easy to create your own chromatic theme; use the same filters and arrange your posts to transmit a message to your social media followers.
Check out the example below. Le Riad Yasmine (see screenshot below) is definitely stirring our wanderlust. By just a simple scroll you are enticed and triggered to keep scrolling and be a part of the adventure. It focuses on a blue and green color range in combination with warm colors that work very well together, creating a beautiful picture overall.
Another similar example is this Palm Springs hotel that has fresh, hip and fun colors. The Saguaro @saguarohotels excels at sharing photos that capture the color and energy of their brand in each photo.
4. Communicate Important Changes & Exclusive Content
It is important that when some things change at the hotel, you communicate the new improvements to your audience. It can be about a new design, new website, new rooms, new team member (cook, hostess, office people, etc.), payment system, reservation system, management system, new activities and services or any other action that happens. These are just a few ideas for creating engaging hotel social media content.
By communicating the important changes to your audience, you'll manage to keep them closer, get an inside look at what happens behind the curtain and engage with them personally.
Your hotel’s fans will love to see exclusives, sneak peeks, and behind-the-scenes posts. For example, the Charles Hotel in Cambridge Massachusetts posted this to their Facebook page to promote the new rooms following a renovation.
Another example is Sunbridge Hotel Kitchener that used social media by including “behind-the-scenes” images to announce their ballroom renovation through an Instagram post. Once again, this kind of content strategy keeps your guests intrigued and eager to see the result, building anticipation. Everyone in the hospitality industry can use these marketing tips for hotels and build their online presence using different tricks for each social media platform.
5. Promote Events and Private Parties
Using social media marketing for hotels to promote events can turn out to be very effective. A research made by Sprout Social shows that talking about timely events can offer a positive guest experience.
6. Make People Aware of Gratuities and Loyalty Programs
Your message about discounts and gratuities should be clear and direct. It should show what's in it for potential customers. These kinds of posts manage to instantly attract users' attention.
Popular holidays such as Easter, Christmas, New Year's Eve are high competition. You can create new opportunities to reward loyal customers or invite new people to join the community by offering something for free. Give an impulse and wait for the response. Boost slow periods of times that don't bring so many results by celebrating unusual dates or specific dates that mean something for your brand.
COLLOQUY Loyalty Census shows three reasons why loyalty programs succeed:
7. Use Travel Hashtags to Attract Fans
Hashtags are a simple and effective way to make your posts more accessible and relevant. Using dedicated hashtags helps you categorize your online marketing campaigns, too.
Plus you can teach your target audiences to use the same hashtags and afterward republish photos from your community members that used the branded hashtag and optimize your post visibility with well-researched hashtags.
If you're using Instagram in your social media strategy, then hashtags should be added to attract more followers and bring more views to your Instagram posts. To get ideas, you can look at trending topics and hop on the popular hashtag.
If you're strategically adding hashtags to your social media posts (be them Twitter, Instagram or Facebook posts) you'll make them more searchable and easier for potential guests to find.
UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa is located in Trancoso, Bahia, Brasil. The nice thing they do in their Instagram strategy, besides adding relevant and helpful hashtags, is translating their description in Portuguese and English, to make it easy for everyone to follow their posts. They are surely winning at social media following this hotel marketing strategy:
8. Think Outside the (Instagram) Box
Since we've talked about Instagram, the format of the posts can be transformed, you are not forced to stick to the same photo dimension. Be creative and design your feed the way you want. You don't have to think inside the box and leave all your Instagram posts in a square shape; you can try to work with the shapes and be different.
You can make your feed stand out by using white borders without losing the composition of your images on your social network. Alternate your posts and think of a cool pattern to make the white borders get noticed. Just like in the example below:
You can make each post stand out and make it shine.
9. Stick to Aesthetic
Making your social media posts look aesthetic is a plus and a way to attract your fans. Your social media accounts will be aesthetically pleasing to the eye if the posts are properly balanced. Some hotels use patterns and puzzles to make the pictures beautifully arranged.
Here's an example from Town Hall Hotel & Apartments using symmetry and aesthetic in their Instagram marketing strategy:
Since we've talked about patterns, check out Firmdale Hotels by Kit Kemp, a collection of luxury modern classic hotels.
You can highlight the strengths you own and push that forward online.
10. Offer Helpful Responses, Not Just Advertising
Even though you try to promote your hotel, apartment or resort, you should always try to think from the hotel guests' perspective. What do they want? What do they need? What should they know?
Of course, it is important to advertise to attract more bookings and requests, but mix and match. You know that people don't like to hear others brag, so you should avoid the cocky position in your content marketing strategy.
11. Show Ideas for Day Trips
Lure your fans into an adventure, a vacation they need. Splurge them with trip ideas, activities and feed their wanderlust, then offer the cozy space of your hotel to get the energy they need for new explorations. Flesh out all the possibilities they have there.
Check out L’Hôtel Libanais posts, where they promote day trips and activities on their Instagram feed:
12. Give Weather Reports
Help guests prepare by giving weather reports and useful information. I find it very necessary when you need to go on a vacation to know what kind of clothes to get and be prepared without taking the whole closet.
The medium you use to communicate such information is also very important. I think that Twitter focuses more on timely updates, so in this case Twitter would be a better choice for this idea. The other social media marketing tips would work on other channels better.
Below you can see an example from 41 Hotel in London letting their guests how the weather is and making them more friendly online.
Guests staying with us this week will be able to enjoy beautiful weather ☀️ pic.twitter.com/I0gk6BP0qA
— 41 Hotel (@41Hotel) May 22, 2017
Influencer marketing can be a viable solution but that requires more time and money. We thought of some more approachable social media marketing tips and ideas to help you increase hotel visibility and build a strong online reputation through positive customer experience.