When starting out on social media, most hoteliers approach content creation from their property’s perspective, focusing on creating posts that show off all their great facilities, offers and discounts. It’s not surprising, since the whole goal of social media activity for businesses is to get the message of your brand out there to as wide an audience as possible. But while self promotion may be the ultimate name of the game for all businesses trying to reach their customers through social media, the brands doing it best are those taking the opposite approach.
If you want to regularly drive better engagement rates, achieve more reach and ultimately win more bookings, you’ve got to follow the lead of Netflix, Coca Cola, Oreo and other brands that are consistently killing it on social media: you’ve got to put your customers first. The great news is; you don’t need the marketing budget of these huge global companies to create the kind of customer-focused content that really resonates with your guests.
Here are 5 habits of the most successful social media marketers. Steal them – and start creating better social content today.
Good Habit 1: Understand your Guests
Whatever the marketing channel, great content starts with a solid understanding of your audience. Is your hotel’s audience mainly retired couples, young families, staycationers from the local area?
Don’t forget that the people currently interacting with your content might not be the people you actually want to be interacting with your content. To gain an insight into any potential disparity between your current audience and your intended audience, use the analytics tools of each network you use to delve into your engagement data. On Facebook, the ‘People’ tab in Facebook Insights will give you demographic information on your fans, the users reached by your page, and those that are actually engaging with your page.
Good Habit 2: Understand That Your Guests Use Social Media To Show Who They Are
People don’t just use social media to stay in touch with friends and family, they use it to show people who they are: the kind of causes they believe in, the bands they like, and the brands that interest them and share their personal values.
With this in mind, it’s important to craft your messaging so that it not only says what you want to say but also aligns with your audience’s motivations and how they like to define themselves in front of their network.
Before you post, ask yourself:
- When guests like, share or comment on this content, what will it convey about them to their social media friends? As a general rule, people are happy to engage with content that is tastefully humorous or ‘smile-worthy’, if it is inspiring, or timely in the way it draws on current trends or news stories people are talking about.
- If this post was to pop up in my News Feed, would I choose to engage with it?
Good Habit 3: Post When Your Guests Are Most Likely to Engage
There’s a lot of advice out there about the best days of the week and times of day to post, but your social posting schedule should ultimately be informed by your individual audience.
Facebook Insights is a valuable source of information for this data, but it’s worth remembering that this information only tells you when your fans are online, and not when they are actually engaging with your content.
If you’re serious about finding out when your audience are most likely to interact with your content, social media tools like Hootsuite will help you identify the specific days and times to target.
Good Habit 4: Test, Test, Test
Succeeding on social media means testing different content types to pinpoint the kinds that resonate best with your audience, which invariably means your efforts will fall flat now and again. This testing can be time consuming but it’s essential if you want to hone your understanding of your guests’ content preferences.
Make the most of your data and develop a sense of the base level of engagement your content generates, then measure new content types you trial against it.
Once again, Facebook Insights will prove incredibly helpful for this process – you’ll find data on engagement and reach in the “Posts” tab.
Good Habit 5: Change with Your Audience
If you successfully build your social media presence, your audience will expand slowly and steadily overtime. As new prospective guests discover your property online, they’ll bring with them new interests, needs and preferences on the kind of content they like to engage with on social media. It’s important to change with them.
Carefully monitor your audience to check whether the ideas you thought you knew about them still ring true, and be ready to adapt and try new things if they don’t. If you continually strive to understand your hotel’s audience and post content your fans want to share, your property’s social presence should go from strength to strength.
How does your hotel keep your social content guest-focused? How is it working for you? Let us know in the comments below!