I just came back from one of my travels and I found myself again in a hotel marketing industry that seems to have forgotten that social media should be part of their strategy. I know this is not your case. But exactly because you probably know by now that social media shouldn’t be left out, I want to help you stand out with minimum effort.
If you already have a nice hotel, great staff and a lovely view, this article is for you. Marketing strategy can become a problem if you’ve been in this business for a long time. And believe me. I’ve seen this. Because things are not as they used to be. Things are changing, the internet is a must have nowadays for reservations, when 57 % of all travel reservations are made on the internet and 65% of same hotel reservations are made from a smartphone. This is huge.
But what can you do to refresh your marketing strategy and bring more guests? When social media is not a one-way communication anymore, your guests can have a great input. So, I have 5 smart, innovative and really simple ideas for you. Not to mention cost effective.
1. Give your guests FREE WIFI… and benefit from it
Have you recently checked your Facebook newsfeed? Or your Instagram account? These days, social media is filled with holiday pictures that make the ones at home green with envy. It’s the WOE (word of eye), the new WOM (word of mouth). It’s the perfect opportunity to give your guests all the tools to promote you for FREE and make their friends want to come to your hotel.
Imagine this: your guests just arrived, they have their phones, they have their SM accounts and now they have Internet, because of you. The natural thing for every traveler or tourist is to take a picture, upload it and check-in on the social networks. It’s our second nature.
2. Let them know they can find you on social media
Want to be sure that they make you appear on their timelines? When they check-in at the reception, give them a card with the WIFI network and password where they’ll find your social networks. Don’t just let them guess and wonder. Make it all easy for them.
3. Check-in discount
What’s that? Yes, you can take it one step further and give them a 10-20% discount to the hotel’s restaurant or bar if they check-in on one (or more) of your social networks.
a) they will show all their friends your hotel and promote it for you
b) you’ll make sure they’ll visit your restaurant or bar at least once instead of running to the ones around (at the bar you can attract them even more… but this is another topic)
c) increase your chances of making them followers on your social networks
When your guests reserve a room they give you their phone number too, right? If they don’t yet, they should. Cause you can use it in so many ways (please, use it smart and don’t spam them), but here’s one that will make them like you even more. Once they have arrived, you can text them about your new promotion. Choose a hashtag that really emphasizes your hotel and tell them that tweeting and using the certain # will bring them points, which will translate into discounts for them (10% off for spa treatments or whatever you want to promote at that time).
Yes, these must the first things a potential guest looks at. The problem with reviews is that when the trip was ok or really good, they kind of forget to review you. Especially if they booked you directly or from an online booking portal that doesn’t remind them. They mostly really want to write when something was bad. Hopefully, this is not the case.
But when you make sure their experience was amazing, you should take that opportunity and remind them to review you. How? So simple: next day after their check-out, send an SMS thanking them for their choice and encourage them to review your hotel on one of the websites where your hotel is listed with a direct link. Choose them by rotation to make sure you cover all of them.
One extra tip
If you want to make sure they will recommend you to their friends, tell them that next time their friends come, they will get a present (or discount) from you.
Of course, all of these ideas work really well and bring you more and more guests only if the other areas are perfect. Social media can be a double-edged sword if you are not careful. First, make sure your guests have an amazing experience and only then give them all the tools to share their stories with your (potential) new guests.