How to influence travellers and boost hotel bookings via social media?
How to influence travellers and boost hotel bookings via social media?
2 out of 5 millennials agree that they are influenced by the travel posts that they see on social media. Not just this. 97% of guests share travel photos on Facebook, Instagram, etc. With those stats, it’s obviously mandatory for you to learn how to use social media to boost your bookings.
This article deals with the ways through which you can influence travelers and boost hotel bookings via social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the 3 social media sites that have been focused on here. Besides this, you can also market via visual platforms like Pinterest. Youtube is also great for posting long-form video content. But this article provides alternatives to professionally shot videos.
I will discuss the nuances of perfecting the art of social media marketing through the following points.
11 Ways To Influence Travellers and Boost Hotel Bookings Via Social Media:
Going live is a great way to show off every aspect of your property. Also, if you’re going live, you have an enormous time limit. Facebook live videos can last up to 8 hours. Instagram live videos do have a shorter time limit but you can easily start a new live.
You might be wondering, “Why go live instead of shooting a video?”
There are two reasons for this. While videos do have obvious merit, videos are also heavily edited. Videos don’t show every nook and cranny of your hotel because you can easily edit out any unsavory bits. And the audience is well-aware of this.
When they are deciding whether or not to pay for a room, they want to test the real experience. With a live, your potential guests can be sure that you are not hiding any aspect of your property.
The second reason for going live is- you can read the comments of your audience flowing in, in real-time. You don’t have to respond later as you have to do with a video.
Just received a comment that says, “Is this hotel close to the sea”? Why not walk right from the hotel porch to the sea to show them how close it is? You can address your audience’s concerns immediately by going live.
Focus on Image Content
This is mostly an Instagram marketing technique. Instagram and Pinterest are mostly visual social media sites. These are great platforms to showcase how aesthetic the surrounding scenery of your hotel is.
A huge portion of millennials, justifiably, are influenced by the photos themselves. If the scenery is not your main selling point, focus on the pristine interiors of the hotel. Anything that is Instagrammable, highlight it. It might be an Alice’s Tea Party-themed dining room or a vintage grand piano. If it is Instagrammable, it is sure to go viral.
Also, did you know that our brain can process an image 60 times faster than it can process text? This is exactly why you should focus on advertising your hotel through image-based content instead of text-based content. The aesthetics of the travel location or of the hotel is the main concern of most guests. Huge chunks of written content have no value in this regard.
Ask guests to tag the location
This is directly related to the last point. When people click on the tagged location in an Instagram photo, it does not lead them to the official page. It leads them to all such photos of other guests where the same location has been tagged.
This is an incredible spot for gaining social proof. Simply getting people to tag your hotel as their location is incredibly useful. This creates a collection of User-Generated Content that everyone has access to. They don’t even have to focus on the features of the hotel itself. Just tagging the location is enough to prove that they had a good time at that location.
Creating a unique hashtag for yourself serves the same purpose. Linking all your social media accounts is also very important. This way you can simply cross-post the same content instead of doing it over and over again.
Make short reels
When it comes to images-based content, short is always better. Instagram reels are solely designed to focus on the visual aesthetics of a place in a fun format. This is the benefit of advertising through reels instead of still images. Reels show the guest what they can be actively doing in that hotel or travel location.
Instagram is also one of the fastest-growing social media platforms now because of its reel feature. The best part about reels is that it is the happy medium between an image and a video. It’s more animated than a still image and it’s way easier to shoot than a full-length video.
Add to your Highlights list
Stories on Instagram or Facebook are exactly like short lives or reels. There’s only one difference, they last for a day.
The thing is- you can make them permanent. Not just that. Highlighting them also sticks them front and center of your Instagram page. Highlights are the first pieces of content that a visitor checks out when they visit your page. You can make separate highlight sections for your promotional offers, guest reviews, additions to food menus, etc.
Keep up with the chatter
Let’s get to Twitter finally. Twitter is not a visual platform primarily and it also has a strict character limit. This is why Twitter might not be the best place for you to post anything but promotional offers and images.
But, Twitter has a completely separate significance when it comes to influencing travelers. Ask yourself this, if a customer has a complaint, which social media platform are they most likely to complain on?
Yes, the answer is Twitter. Twitter is a social media site where people engage in active discussion. So, addressing the complaint publicly will prove that you are not afraid of being held accountable.
But there’s a way of avoiding social media platforms completely when it comes to bad reviews. Customers only complain on public platforms when they don’t receive any answer from the business owner. And this itself often happens because of an act of negligence on your part. The guest is often confused about where to register the complaint so that it reaches the required target.
This is why having a Property Management System is so useful. PMS is a cloud-based single platform through which all the processes of the hotel are managed. It doesn’t just provide you with more control over the hotel management processes. It also gives the guests way more control over their hotel stay.
For example, with StayFlexi they can directly register their complaint on their mobile hotel app. The staff members in charge of the room will be notified of the complaint and they will immediately take action. If the complaint is not addressed, there is still proof of the fact that it reached the correct people. In such a situation, you- the hotelier, will have a clear idea about whom to hold accountable for the issue.
Invest in influencers
Yes, User-Generated Content is extremely beneficial in boosting hotel bookings. But you might need to bring out the big guns occasionally. Travel bloggers and influencers have immense followings. So, employing them once in a while is not necessarily a terrible idea. If one of their videos goes viral, you will have both travelers and more user-generated content flowing in.
The thing about influencers is that they depend on hotel owners like you as much as you depend on them. So, you might not need to comp off their entire stay. Maybe just provide them with some attractive discounts and offers.
Influencer marketing works brilliantly for the millennial population. A brilliant example of influencer marketing done right is Wanaka, New Zealand. This was a relatively unknown location till the tourism board started inviting influencers. This one decision led to a 14% growth in tourism in a very short span of time.
Consider paid advertising
The first thing you need to do is have a business page on every social media site. This means that the guests should be able to start the process of reservation immediately after browsing. They should also be able to contact the hotel easily. So, make sure the hotel website address and the phone number are clearly visible at the very top.
Paid advertising on social media is not a bad idea if you have the money to spare. Facebook and Instagram are especially useful for paid marketing since you can set up targeted marketing campaigns.
Now, with regards to targeted social media campaigns, you yourself have to understand your guest preferences before you start. This is something that StayFlexi can help you with. StayFlexi helps you digitize the entire process of interacting with your guests and storing their personal details. And it also lets you store extremely valuable data that you can later use to understand customer behavior. This is why StayFlexi is also extremely beneficial when it comes to personalizing the hospitality measures towards guests.
Social media marketing takes way more creativity than any other form of marketing. But this is the go-to method if you want to influence millennial travelers and boost your hotel room bookings.
Did you know that millennials go on 5.6 trips per year on an average? This is way higher than the 4 trips taken by Gen X and 3.5 by the boomer generation. This is exactly why you need to start catering to the youth.
Millennials also prefer limited interactions with the hotel staff. This is why almost all of them prefer to interact with the hotel via their smartphones. You cannot do without a PMS like StayFlexi if you need to satisfy this generation.
Do you want to learn more about how StayFlexi caters to millennials? Do leave a comment below!