HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN FOR YOUR HOTEL
If you’ve been asked to take over the social media accounts for your hotel and you’re wondering “Which platforms should I be on?” “What should I post and how often?” or “How do I measure the success of my social media campaigns?” then you’ve come to the right place.
We manage social media accounts for brands like Coast Hotels and Holiday Inn Express, and in this post, we’ll share some of the tips and tricks we use to develop and implement an effective hotel social media strategy.
1. Share content your audience cares about
It can be tempting to promote your hotel non-stop by talking about its amenities, but an online brochure is not what your followers are on social media for. If they see nothing but self-promotion and calls to action popping up in their feed, they’ll unfollow you and you’ll be left talking to an audience of zero.
The most effective social media content is helpful, interesting, and matches what everyone else is doing on that particular channel. We also recommend creating personas for your target audience to help you create content that provides value to these individuals specifically.
81% of people only skim the content they read online.
Be concise and use eye-catching images and GIFs to grab people’s attention.
2. know what to post, on what platform, and how often
You can develop the most interesting content in the world, but if it’s not the right format for the channel you’re on, it won’t get results. Here are some quick tips:
- Post anywhere from once a week to three times a day, depending on how much content you have to share and how engaged your followers are (the more they’re interacting with your posts, the more you can share).
- Ideas for content include anything you would want to know if you were a guest: What is there to see, do, and eat at the hotel and nearby? What is the view like? Are you close to local attractions? It’s also a great place to share guest photos. Contests and special offers are always a hit and can help you grow your followers fast. If you have local partners, such as a golf course, winery, or excursion company, you can promote each other’s posts as well.
- Include an image with each post. Sprout Social has a handy document that will tell you what size your images should be for each platform.
- Whenever possible, don’t include a link. Facebook strongly dislikes people leaving their platform to visit an external source, so if you post a link, they’ll show that post to almost no one. If you must share a link, include it in the comments section rather than in the post itself.
Posts with images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts.
- Post as often as possible; ideally several times a day, since posts disappear quickly in people’s feeds.
- Include an image or GIF with each post to grab people’s attention. You can also use line breaks to make your tweet take up more physical space.
- Use 1-2 hashtags per post—not ones you make up, but ones that are already popular with your target audience, such as location-specific hashtags (eg. #yvr), travel hashtags (eg. #luxurytravel), or trending topics, if they’re relevant to your brand.
- Post anywhere from once per week to once per day.
- This is the place to share compelling photos and videos that show the lifestyle associated with your particular hotel, whether it’s a fun family vacation spot, a relaxing place for business travelers, or a luxury retreat for jetsetters. Share what it’s like to stay there—including what there is to see and do and eat.
- Use travel and location hashtags, as well as popular Instagram-specific hashtags like #instagood and #picoftheday to get more people to see your posts. You can use up to 20 hashtags per post and they can be placed in the comments to keep your captions clean. Don’t worry about sounding trendy, but do show your personality.
- Instagram works best if you have a designated photographer on-site who can snap great photos regularly. It can also be a great place to share guest photos.
3. Spend a little to get ahead
Over the last few years, organic reach has been dwindling as social media networks try to create a pay-to-play environment. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get results.
Here’s a real-life example:
On one of our client’s Facebook pages, we posted a special offer that got an organic reach of 29 people. A few days later, we re-posted the offer with a $25 boost and the post reached 1,721 people. That’s an increase in reach of 5,834.48% for just a few dollars.
The minimum spend on Facebook is $1/day, so it’s worth it to at least test out the boost feature. It also has the added benefit of letting you target your post to a specific audience based on gender, age, location, and interests. Just keep in mind if you’re boosting a post with an image that the image has to contain less than 20% text.
4. Be consistently on-brand
Your social media channels are the face of your brand, so every post should represent what your company is all about. Decide on a visual style and tone before you get started, and maintain it throughout. Using your brand colours and brand voice consistently will help people instantly recognize your brand wherever they go.
We recommend planning your social content a few weeks in advance, to allow time for your writers, photographers, content curators, and graphic designers to work their magic.
If you’re just getting started, it can be helpful to look up a few brands that are similar to yours and see what they’re doing on social media (and then come up with something even better, of course!)
Do you have questions about creating the perfect social media strategy for your hotel? Send us a message! We love mail!