The use of social media to market hospitality businesses has been gaining traction over the past few years, and with good reason. According to Hootsuite, 2019 set the record for signing up 3.48 billion social media users (that’s 9% more than the previous year). With a figure such as this, it’s no wonder that businesses are flocking to present themselves to the massive audiences found on social media platforms. But which is the right social media channel for your hospitality business?
The first step towards a successful social media marketing campaign, however, is to choose the correct channels for your business. To kickstart this article, we will raise a few questions that will help you to determine which platforms will benefit your venue. Thereafter, we’ll delve into mentioning our favourite platforms and how they can work for you.
Questions That Will Help You to Find the Best Social Media Channels for Your Hospitality Business:
Who Is Your Target Audience?
The first step in any marketing campaign is to determine who you want to connect with. For instance, is your hotel family-friendly? Or does it prefer to host corporates? Does your venue feature a restaurant? Does it welcome day visitors? When you know who you need to reach out to, then its easier to find the right audience.
Where Are Your Competitors Investing Their Time?
It never hurts to do a quick investigation into where your competitors spend their time. Do your research and see which social media platforms you can find them on as well as where they are receiving the best type of engagement. This may help you to refine your own social media channel choices.
How Seriously Do You Take Your Business’s Photography?
Are you taking quality photos of your hotel or restaurant? Hi-res and professional images are important if you plan on using image-focused channels such as Instagram and Pinterest.
How Much Time Are You Willing to Invest in Your Campaigns?
Whilst any type of successful marketing takes a huge investment of time, the nature of certain channels may require more dedication than others. For example, to maintain engagement, you will need to post more often on a platform such as Twitter than you would on Facebook (where one daily post is repurposed).
Remember, an inactive and unattended social profile gives a cold first impression. And we’re sure that you do not want this to be a reflection of your customer services.
What Is Your End Goal?
This is quite possibly the most important question. Let’s add a sub-question here too: Why do you feel it’s necessary for your hospitality business to have a social media presence?
From communicating with your customers effectively to putting yourself “out there” so that people know you exist, social media provides a hive of activities that could benefit your business.
Favourable Social Media Platforms for the Hospitality Industry
Now that you have a good idea of who your audiences are and what you expect from your social media presence, the next step is to select the social media channels that you feel will be most favourable for your hospitality venue.
In this section, we will mention a few of the most popular social media platforms. We will give a brief insight into how each one works as well as how it could promote your hospitality business.
A good Facebook marketing campaign will help you to solidify your brand. By creating a page for your hotel or restaurant, you can post images, videos, and polls – giving you a variety of fun marketing strategies to work with. You also have the option to boost posts and run paid ads, which means you can increase your levels of engagement. Facebook is a great place to build a community of customers or “fans”. Within this community, you can build trust, encourage “shares” and referrals, and work on your online reviews.
Tweets may have a short shelf life but it’s a great way to get your messages, company news and promotions out to the masses. You can also use this channel to chat with guests, handle queries, and attend any complaints. Many hotels use Twitter to connect with travellers whilst building a brand presence.
Corporates love LinkedIn and if you if your venue is a great place for businessmen to congregate, then an active page on LinkedIn could be to your benefit. You can use this platform to share achievements, make new announcements, and highlight good reviews. Use this medium to establish your hotel’s leadership within the hospitality industry.
But bear in mind, LinkedIn is representing your company from the professional side, so plan your posts accordingly. It’s also always a good way to attract new employees.
Having a profile on Google+ will get you onto the ultimate map i.e. Google Maps! Apart from increasing your chances of being found on search engines, this channel ensures that any comments from guests or patrons will also appear in search results defined on Google Maps.
Remember we asked if you are willing to put effort into your photos? If your answer is “yes’, then Instagram is a great place to showcase your venue. This channel is a visual paradise and for the best effect, images must be accompanied with appropriate hashtags. Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media marketing channels for businesses because it keeps things simple and appealing.
Instagram stories are another quick way of showing off your venue and boosting interaction. You could give your guests a sneak behind the scenes. Or why not use it to promote short-term deals to create a sense of urgency.
Like Instagram, excellent photos are a must for Pinterest accounts. The aim is to get your images re-pinned by other users and to gain a fan following. This channel requires a little less maintenance – although the audiences are not as huge as some of the other platforms.
When a hotel or restaurant’s social media strategy is refined, it can give a massive boost to revenue and brand presence. Here at Stampede, we use WiFi marketing as a strategy to redirect customers to your social media pages, thus increasing engagement and brand awareness.
To increase your effectiveness on your social media channels, get in touch with us.