Living without social media? That is hardly imaginable these days. Worldwide, 4.39 billion people are online, of whom 3.48 billion use social media. The total number of social media users has doubled in the last five years* as the Digital Report 2019 states. So let´s take a closer look at social media for hotels: How important is social media marketing for hotels and is it worth it at all?
Why social media for hotels?
Social media has evolved faster than any other digital platform. And the number of users still rises. People do not only communicate with each other on social networks, but also inform themselves. This has an impact on hotel marketing and the entire communication between hotel and guest. Guests expect information 24/7, no matter where they are. They get inspired on social networks, exchange experiences with others and obtain information about their accomodation.
It´s all about unforgettable experiences, memories and emotions. And that’ s why social media is perfect for hotel marketing. Hosts can strengthen personal relationships, enhance guest loyalty and receive great hotel ratings. After all, they attract more guests. Thanks to social media, hotels, guesthouses, holiday flats and campsites face their guests at eye level.
The marketing potential of social media is immense. But which channels suit you? First of all, ask yourself what you want to achieve with your account. Would you like to build a community? Generate followers? Increase the visibility of your hotel? Do you want to cultivate your image? Or find new employees? And which channels does your target group use at all? Once you have the right answers, you will find the right channels.
Visibility, image management and recruiting
Get an overview of the most important social media channels:
Facebook’s more than one billion users make it a cultural, economic and social phenomenon. A personal Facebook page is, therefore, a must-have for hoteliers. Despite a difficult last year, Facebook is still the world’s #1 social media platform in 2019*. Most important for page managers: posts must have added value, otherwise the complex algorithm won’t give them any reach and thus zero visibility.
Instagram has become very important for hoteliers, because a lot of travellers use it for inspiration. They want to discover new places, trendy spots and beautiful pictures of hotels. Many guests report directly from their hotel and show what it looks like on-site and which things they like most or don’t. This way Instagram forms opinions and boosts hotel ratings through live coverage. Aside from posts in the newsfeed, the so-called stories are getting more and more popular. These contents are only visible for 24 hours but have a very high range.
Xing and LinkedIn are business platforms. Xing is particularly represented in the German-speaking region, while LinkedIn is international. Since these two platforms are primarily for business contacts, industry-specific topics and job advertisements, they are particularly suitable for networking and recruiting. With their own company site, hotels can post job offers and search for employees. Also, there are numerous groups in which professionals exchange information on current hotel topics and events and network.
Twitter is a microblogging service that allows users to publish short messages with a maximum of 280 characters. A characteristic feature of Twitter is the hashtags ” # “, which connects all tweets in which the same hashtag. All major newspapers, magazines and news sites share relevant topics and events at an extremely fast pace there. Therefore, hoteliers rather benefit from fast news on Twitter, stay up-to-date on developments in the hospitality industry.
The corporate blog allows hotels to publish their content at any time, according to their own rules. Compared to social networks, this brings some major advantage: corporate blogs do not depend on a complicated algorithm. If a social network should once go down the drain, its content will still exist. So publish content on your blog first, then integrate it into the hotel website and then link to social media – with an individual post for each channel, of course.
Almost everyone is using WhatsApp these days. It is obvious to include WhatsApp in your marketing strategy, isn’t it? Thanks to messengers like WhatsApp, hoteliers stay in touch with their regular guests and inform them personally about news and offers. Finding the right amount of news is extremely important there. It is clear that WhatsApp will play an interesting role and will need its strategy in the future.
The influence of social media is increasing and has an impact on your hotel marketing. It can be used for continuous brand management. So don’t let it step into the background of your marketing strategy.
Boost your hotel marketing with social media!
But how do hotels use social media to get noticed? Take a look at our next article and discover some ideas for your social media accounts.
*Source: Digital Report 2019: Social Media Durchdringung nach Region: https://hootsuite.com/de/ressourcen/digital-in-2019-germany