24 Jul Hotels: Five tips to monetize your social media efforts
In the hospitality industry, I contend that social media is one of the most talked about but least understood and least monetized of the marketing mediums.
One the most prevalent issues is a lack of understanding on how to generate effective ROI on the time and money that is invested in social media outreach, and trust me, it is a full-time job that is going to change starting today! I’m going to give you five useful tips to convert your social media friends/followers into profitable clients. Using these tips, you will be able to leverage social media to boost bookings and revenue for your property.
So, without further ado, here are five tips to monetize your social media efforts:
Enable bookings through social media
Many hoteliers don’t realize that there are tools that were created specifically to enable consumers to book hotel stays via social media. Isn’t technology amazing? Due to this technology, social media is no longer only a marketing medium. Consumers, especially Millennials, spend hundreds of hours on social media every month so implementing technology that enables booking through these channels makes good business sense for hoteliers; after all, you’re allowing potential guests to be inspired and book without having to leave the app. And when the benefits of social media posts are amplified by advertising, it even further boosts your property’s visibility on the social channels, which can translate to more bookings via social media.
Let’s make a deal!
As most hoteliers know, the primary concern for potential guests when choosing which hotel to book is the room rate and value associated with that price. To boost your ROI on your social channels, use them to promote special promotions or discounts to your friends and followers. Because most hoteliers will have better traffic to their social media channels than their website, this can be a highly effective way of promoting your property and giving potential guests a good reason to book with your property: potential savings. It’s a win/win situation for everyone!
Generating social media buzz with local events
Hotel marketers often wonder how to create fun, interesting social media content without being repetitive. A great way to do that is to hold an interesting, share-worthy event at your property and inviting your social media followers and other influencers to attend. Not only will that get people in the door who may then recommend your property to others, it will also generate social media posts about your property that you can then re-share with your followers.
Millennials are highly influenced by social media recommendations from people that they consider to be noteworthy, so inviting local social media stars will boost your property’s visibility and extend the reach of your event much further. If they post a photo at your event showing something fun or exciting and tag your property, this can be viewed as an endorsement in the eyes of their followers, which can lead to more referral bookings.
Share information about your destination
One of the most time-consuming parts about planning a trip is discovering the local hotspots, coolest things to see, most delicious restaurants and other must-see attractions within a new destination. It can take hours to search online, on social media and travel blogs to find just a few out-of-the-box ideas. By sharing info, photos, videos, links and other practical destination-specific information, hotels can establish their social media profiles as a useful resource, which will generate more frequent return visits to the social channels and more engagement (likes, shares, etc.).
There is an added bonus to this strategy; because the traveler already trusts your hotel, he/she will be more likely to choose with your property when it comes time to book their accommodation.
Just like the name implies, social media is designed to help people connect with others. As essential part of improving the ROI of your social media channels is connecting, engaging and socializing with your friends/followers. It’s not enough to just post photos or videos; you should also be actively following potential customers; i.e. frequent travelers or travel bloggers, liking their photos, commenting on their posts and following their profiles on a regular basis. These actions will boost the ROI on your social media because, the more time that consumers spend on your social media profiles or interacting with you online, the more they are to use the handy social media booking engine that you have available (see tip #1!).
Social media is also a great way to ask for feedback from past guests and, when the feedback is positive, this communication gives hotels the opportunity to incentivize them to share photos of their stay on social media and/or review the property on TripAdvisor.
As you can see, social media can be a highly profitable marketing channel for hotels. By following these five tips over the long-term, you will see a dramatic increase in the ROI on your social media outreach – and a boost to your bottom line!
By Jennifer Nagy, President of JLNPR Inc.