With the number of social media users now at 1.82 billion worldwide, it goes without saying that maintaining an active presence on the most popular networks is an essential component of your hotel’s marketing plan. But how can you communicate your message and engage your audience more powerfully than your competitors, and without going over budget?
Here are 5 free ways to take your social media campaigns to the next level today.
1. Listen to Your Guests with Free Social Monitoring Tools
As you know, online reputation is everything; your guests trust the opinions of other travellers and all it takes is a few prominent negative reviews to see your booking rates suffer. So, how can you find out what people are saying about your property to their friends and family on social media? By using free tools that are designed to do just that.
Here’s a just a few we recommend:
- Google Alerts
- Social Mention
Listening more closely to your guests helps boost your level of customer service and protect your brand’s reputation, while giving you the valuable opportunity to find out more about your guests wants and needs.
2. Get Visual and Creative
Social media and image based content go hand-in-hand, with study after study proving that visual media generates significantly more engagement on Facebook than text based posts.
Sharing eye-catching images with your social audience on a regular basis needn’t cost you the earth in professional photography services (although repurposing high quality photography from your resort website is a great place to start)
There are plenty of free ways to add creative images to your social accounts, including:
- Introducing members of the staff team
- ‘Vintage’ photos of team members from their childhood or teenage years
- Holding a photo competition asking followers to share their best holiday snaps, add a creative caption to an image or create images around a theme
- Creating a collage of beautiful images of your resort and location using tools like Fotor, Photovisi or Picasa
3. Encourage Interactions with Contests and Giveaways
Social competitions and giveaways are easy to implement and a great engagement-boosting tactic, with the power to generate lots of interaction and positive word of mouth around your brand. You can ask followers to share their favourite holiday memory or photo as a contest entry or even something as simple as asking followers to ‘Like’ your page for a chance to be picked at random to win a great discount on their next stay.
4. Don’t be Afraid To Ask
Another simple, free and effective way to get your audience talking more on social media is to ask them questions. You could ask them to share their best travel tips and recommendations for your city, future content ideas for your blog or even a friendly general question like “how will you be making the most of the sunshine this weekend?”
5. Get Serious about Link Sharing
Linking to other websites that may be useful to your guests can serve as a major boost for your social media presence. If you do so regularly, you’ll be able to gain more links to your social pages and increase awareness of your brand while making valuable connections to related local businesses. Social media is a sharing economy, so make sure you share interesting and helpful sources of information that your guests will love.
To market your resort successfully on social media it helps to remember what it was originally designed for; to encourage communication and facilitate the sharing of useful information. Sure, you’re there to promote your business, but don’t let that be all you talk about. Ask questions, set up contests, get creative and truly listen to what your guests are saying to keep the conversation flowing freely.
How does your hotel work to boost engagement on social media? Let us know in the comments below!