Somewhere along the way, most companies missed the point of social media.
Think about how hospitality businesses used it, even just a few years ago. Three or four times a week a post would appear, almost always promoting a package or an event. Every message was carefully written and (usually) salesy. Business feeds had all the excitement of a corporate brochure.
This doesn’t work today, because social media is meant to be a community. A place to chat, to interact. Thankfully, when it comes to social media, many of those same companies have evolved. But too many haven’t—and it’s the biggest mistake we still see in our industry.
So how can you make the most of your efforts and find true ROI? Here are some quick tips for taking your social media marketing to the next level.
Create a savvy social media ad campaign
If the most you are doing on social media is boosting your posts, you’re doing it wrong. Social media offers the most advanced targeted advertising programs available to marketers—you can target by geography, age, interests, even fans and followers of your competitors. You can use your customer email list to showcase ads to your past clientele who also have social accounts. Our hospitality clients are booking between $30,000 and $100,000 in revenue each month from ad spends as small as $1,000 a month.
Create a special offer, link and promo code specifically for your social media advertising. Make the offer compelling but easy, something that comes across quickly in a headline: A percentage off your best available rates, buy 2/get 1 free, etc.
Keep your organic feed pure
A feed looks desperate and out of touch when it is constantly pushing messaging and offerings. Instead, let your social media advertising do the heavy lifting to drive ROI, while keeping your organic feed conversational, pure and un-corporate. Think humor. Funny memes. Inspirational messages. Utilize the various apps out there to take advantage of making your own photo overlays, gifs, etc. Show your personality! It will help followers feel like they’re interacting with actual human beings, not just a brand.
Pay attention to your hashtags
Social media isn’t a one-way street—it’s about building a community, so do your best to create conversations and relationships. Learn who is using your hashtags by monitoring them daily, and when someone interacts with you, reward them! Comment on their feed. Repost their post if it’s good. This goes for people who comment on your feed, too. Send an emoji, a clever reply or fun comment back. Keep it simple, but keep the conversation going.
Know your social influencers
If someone asked you to name the top travel influencers, lifestyle influencers or mommy bloggers, would you know them? If not, you should, because the hospitality industry is inundated with requests from people who call themselves “influencers” but really aren’t. The real influencers usually get paid a lot of money to promote businesses, but they all love to travel—so invite them for a complimentary weekend in exchange for posts and Instastories/Facebook Live posts during their stays. Ask them to run an ad campaign to their followers with a special exclusive rate. One client of ours increased their fans/followers by 10,000 in a month after hosting just two influencers.
When you get these new fans and followers, don’t forget to target them with your advertising. There’s a reason they chose to follow you—now, it’s time to turn those fans into customers!