Social media is an integral part of any marketing strategy. To stay competitive in today’s marketplace, you need to regularly post content that is engaging, entertaining, and informative. That can be an overwhelming task; It takes consistent work and creativity to run an effective account. In fact, for many businesses, managing social media is an entire job description. But for independent hoteliers, social media manager is just one of many hats. We know that. So if you find yourself struggling to come up with content to post on your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, we’ve got your back. Here are a few suggestions for engaging social content:
An easy way to ensure your social media posts are adding value for your followers is by posting insider tips and advice. Post information about nearby attractions, events, and local businesses. In addition to making you an authority on the area, piquing interest about things to do and see in your locality encourages followers to travel to the area. And if you’re the one who convinced them to come, it’s likely you’ll be the property they choose to stay at when they do. Consider approaching other businesses about cross-promotional opportunities. You can work together to promote your community and highlight each other’s businesses when you do.
Social media is, by nature, a personal medium. It’s where people share their lives. So there’s an expectation that brands will share personal details as well—which is a good thing. Sharing behind-the-scenes content humanizes your staff and endears followers to your property. So take advantage of it. Consider posting pictures and stories that showcase your company culture. Something funny happens onsite? Snap a photo and share it on social media. Recently host a company event? Post pictures and let followers know what you’re up to. You can even use your platforms to showcase stellar staff and welcome new members to the team. Give guests a glimpse into what makes your business special.
It’s a good idea to avoid traditional advertisements on social media. They’re jarring for users, and constant selling is often ill-received. But that doesn’t mean you can’t post promotional material. It just needs to be organic and balanced (promotional content should make up less than 20% of everything you post). So show off what your property has to offer. Include posts about special packages, noteworthy amenities, information about loyalty programs and photos and videos that showcase your property.
Good user-generated content (UGC) can be leveraged to boost credibility and win bookings. As a business, you should be doing everything you can to encourage and take advantage of UGC. One good way to encourage sharing? Ask. Post questions that followers can respond to (things like “what is your best memory at our property?”, or “what did you like most about your stay?”) and then leverage those responses when they do.
Success on social media is measured by engagement. You need people to see, like, and respond to your content for it to be an effective marketing tool. And that can be tough to do. That’s why many businesses provide an incentive (in the form of contests) for likes, shares, follows, and comments. In fact, accounts that run regular contests grow 70% faster than those that don’t. So consider hosting your own giveaways to build followers and increase engagement. You’ll need something to give away (think a free night’s stay, complimentary bottle of champagne, dinner for two at your restaurant, etc.), terms and conditions, and a way to enter (tag a friend, use a hashtag, or upload a photo).
Creating content for social media is a big task, but it’s a necessary one for marketing effectively. Give these posts a try and don’t forget to use analytics. When you find out what works, repeat it (just not too often). Good luck!