Let Your Guests Tell Your Story: How To Leverage Audience Generated Content To Drive Bookings

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Posted on Oct 12th 2017

Making use of audience generated content on social media offers a uniquely compelling way to communicate your hotel’s story, gain the trust of your guests and drive traffic and bookings.

Thanks to Facebook’s news feed algorithm update of 2016, it has also never been more important. The update gives enhanced visibility to posts from friends and family, while limiting the number of promotional posts shown from brands and businesses. With this in mind, audience generated content will help you widen your reach at the very time Facebook is trying to narrow it.

Throw in the fact that 92% of consumers trust the opinions of people they know above brand messages, as well as the increasing apathy audiences have shown towards traditional corporate messages in recent years, and you really need no other reason to encourage and embrace the content your guests make relating to their trips.

How Do You Encourage Guests to Share on Social Media?

Fortunately, hotels naturally have a head start on other businesses when it comes to encouraging user generated content – most people are pretty happy to share posts and photos about their breaks on social media.

There are of course, steps you can take to maximise the amount of posts being made about your property and influence the kind of content that your guests are posting.

Create a hashtag for your hotel

Hashtags are your best friend when it comes to encouraging and promoting audience generated content. If you don’t suggest an “official” hashtag for your property’s social campaigns, guests will come up with one for themselves, so be sure to decide on one that’s unique to your hotel and its story and add it to all your social post descriptions. Hashtags also allow prospective guests to immediately access a variety of posts and images relating to your property, while giving you a convenient place to view all the content your guests are sharing about you.

Run a contest

Social media contests are a great way to drum up excitement around your hotel, while creating plenty of user-generated content in the process. It’s simple. You give your guests an incentive to create and post content related to your property by asking them to post photos around a common theme to enter a prize draw. The theme can be as creative as you can come up with - or something as simple as “Holiday Moments” - just be sure to stipulate in the competition’s Terms and Conditions that all photos can be shared and reused by your hotel.

Encourage guests to share photos during their stay

Your guests are always going to take photos during their stay. Encourage them to share these images by getting creative with signs, stickers and other props throughout your hotel. You can even take a leaf out of the 57 Hotel in Sydney’s book and write personalised messages on your in-room mirrors, encouraging mirror selfies. These photos will act as powerful “word of mouth” recommendations to the guests’ family, friends, and wider social network.

What is your hotel doing to encourage audience generated content? Let us know in the comments below!


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