Does your hotel want a good social media marketing experience? Today we see many who are getting a little late into the social media game jump into it believing they will get a piece of the growing social media audience pie. Their intentions are good, but the lack of a sustainable and effective social media marketing strategy is a little alarming.
We see too many hotels throwing spaghetti on their social media feeds believing it will stick.
When I do research and look at several social media feeds, often I see that in most cases the spaghetti doesn’t stick because it is poorly executed, and it appears more as a mess. And in other cases, there is an over-focus on the hotel that doesn’t take into consideration what the customer really is looking for. Overcooked spaghetti also sticks to the wall but serving it to the customers will generate concerning word-of-mouth effects.
Here are 7 elements of a good social media marketing experience for your hotel.
1. Listen to the bigger picture
Today it is critical that your hotel reach the right audience at the right time with the right content. This can only be done with improving your social media listening skills. This is a process that tracks relevant conversations, keywords, phrases, competitors, customers and industry issues, and then leverages this insight to discover opportunities for growth.
Beside monitoring mentions about your hotel in general, you have to analyze and give some relevant reflections to the insight. Listening covers the bigger picture of ongoing social media engagement and helps collect valuable data and new knowledge.
2. Swift response comes with big rewards
Cutting through the daily social media disruptions is a challenge for many hotels today, but it is critical to understand that great opportunities show up in the strangest places. If your hotel is able to respond swiftly with an appropriate message, you can reap significant rewards.
Many customers use their smartphones to seek recommendations from their social media community about hotels in a given area. Being able to listen and respond to these requests in real-time will make your hotel stand out from the crowd.
3. Build a community
Does attracting a crowd of new customers to your hotel have a place in your social media marketing strategy?
Building an active social media community with fans, influencers, brand advocates and brand ambassadors is the secret sauce that will take your social media marketing to the next level. Your community needs to know you are there for them, and that you really care.
Tell your hotel story and then embrace your community’s stories.
What makes your hotel unique? Why should someone choose your product or service? What’s so special about you? And what’s the STORY behind that?
Implement creative local elements that will add new value to the community.
4. Quality will always beat quantity
Plan your social media content in creative and effective ways.
I do research and interview hotels and typically, the number one challenge I find is related to content creation.
But often when I go behind this concern I find that real concern is more related to concern revolving around quantity.
Just to be clear, social media marketing has nothing to do with quantity. That is a total misconception that will take your hotel down the wrong path if this is what your social media marketing strategy revolves around.
Social media marketing is about putting relevant content into context. If your context drivers are built around quality, then your audience will end up taking the appropriate action steps.
5. Creating a successful value proposition
For a successful social media marketing strategy, it is critical for hotels to know which elements to concentrate on and which ones to ignore or eliminate.
There are four key elements that hotels need to look at:
What element(s) need to be raised
What element(s) need to be reduced
What element(s) need to be eliminated
What element(s) need to be created
The ultimate goal is to find a path that allows your hotel to optimize the customer experience.
6. The customer experience is found in the customer journey
Today the savviest brands create a social media marketing framework that implements loyalty and advocacy throughout the customer journey.
Hotels need to be on top of every snackable micro-moment that will add new values to the customer experience.
It is critical to understand that your hotel needs to take the intimacy, connectivity and conversational experience from the in-person/offline world and inject it into your social media community.
Introduce hotel marketing values to social media marketing in creative and innovative ways.
But again, I need to come with a little warning. Social media is not a customer experience solution! Your hotel team still has to surprise and delight at the property.
Your hotel team has to be part of the customer journey. Happiness, humanness, authenticity and transparency are key elements and skills that your team must have.
7. Reciprocity and relationships
Customers are driven by their perception of what they will get from your hotel or relevant competitions offered, as they are often driven by where they can get the most for the best deal. This is where you have to combine community, quality, value and experience.
Relationships today in social media are built around quality and values. When you bring this into a community, you are starting to embrace win-win scenarios. Focus 80% of your social media marketing efforts to giving to your community.
Many in the hotel industry experience ‘Influencers’ who request an exchange of free services, but do NOT give away stuff for free. I will note that I absolutely recommend considering implementing Influencer marketing at your hotel, just make sure you know all the ins and outs before start exchanging services.
Reciprocity is an earned social media marketing benefit that derives from the value your hotel provides to your community. With a proper social media marketing framework, influence from reciprocity and relationships will help your hotel create a more valuable perception of your offering. When your hotel serves your community they will reward you back with serving you.
A social media community can offer hotels a one-stop-shop for managing their social media marketing such as the community infrastructure, database, listening functionality, profile management, collaboration, content marketing and management, and of course, the analytics. It will help your hotel to grow smarter and faster when you focus on the value proposition and collaborate in effective ways.