Top 3 Social Media Mistakes Hotels Make
For most of us, social media is an ever-present influence in our lives. And for business owners, hotels included, it’s often an ever-present source of concern and frustration. “Where do I start?” “How can social media increase my bookings”? “Am I doing this right?” We’ve heard these questions countless times.
There are many ways to approach social media for your hotel, but there are also a few practices that you should unequivocally avoid. To help guide your hotel’s social strategy, here are the most important mistakes to steer clear of.
1. Not Showing Up to the Party
Many hoteliers are uncertain whether there is any value in investing resources in social media at all. For some properties, this is a legitimate question: depending on your audience, market position and overall strategy, social media may not be your first choice to pour time and money into.
Regardless of where social fits in your day-to-day digital strategy, however, it is essential to have a baseline presence on the major channels (think Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc). This means having profiles set up and populated with up-to-date photos and descriptions that are consistent with your website and your brand.
Having consistent and up-to-date profiles expands your web presence and offers more potential avenues through which guests can find and interact with you. It confers an additional sense of trust and legitimacy in the minds of consumers. And it can also help improve your performance on search engines.
2. Being Silent
Perhaps the most common social media mistake we see hotels make is to let their profiles just sit there, with no posts, updates or new content added for months or sometimes years.
The most common excuse here is that hoteliers don’t feel that they have anything worthwhile to share. They feel they need guidance from an expert on how and what to post and they don’t believe they or their staff have the time to keep up with staying active on their socials.
While social media can, indeed, be approached very strategically, with every post being carefully considered and targeted, it doesn’t need to be this way. In fact, it is always better to post something on a regular basis, rather than letting your profiles remain inactive.
A photo of the weather outside that day; a link to an interesting local event; a question for your audience--all of this is fair game. Your posts don’t necessarily even need to relate to your hotel. Perhaps you’re sharing a funny video, linking to a news story or simply inviting users to interact with you in some way.
The only caveats here are to ensure that your posts align with your company values and to keep a positive tone. Avoid sharing anything likely to elicit negative emotions or division amongst your audience.
Regular posts are essential for engaging and growing your audience, but even if socials are not a core part of your marketing strategy, the most important result of staying active on these channels is that it suggests to a potential guest who might visit you profile that you’re willing to take the time to provide extra value to your audience and your guests.
3. Focusing On What You Offer, Rather Than Who You Are
A hotel is a business and businesses want to sell their product or service, so it makes sense that hoteliers often feel compelled to use social media to promote what they have to offer: “Check out our restaurant!”. “Here’s a new package deal!” “Plan your wedding with us!” “Book your stay today!”. Makes sense, right?
Not so much. Most people don’t use social media to shop. They use it to, as the name suggests, be social: to interact with other humans. So it’s important to use social media to present your property not as simply as a business entity but as a group of people--or, in a larger sense as a brand with it’s own personality.
Think here about telling stories and showing the human side of your hotel. Use posts to showcase members of your staff or to highlight the experiences of your guests. Share photos and videos of interesting things happening in your area. Help bring awareness to causes in your community. These are all efforts that help humanize your hotel.
If you have the time, it also goes a long way to actually engage and interact directly with anyone who interacts with your profiles. Whenever someone makes a comment on your post or sends you a DM, take the time to reply. Not only will it help build a relationship with a potential guest or repeat guest, but it will also demonstrate to potential guests that you are the type of property that values relationships with your guests.
If you’re still unsure of how to approach social media for your hotel, or what the best course of action is for your specific type of property, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Here at Digital Hospitality, we’re happy to offer guidance and advice. If it makes sense, we can even partner with you to take your social strategy to the next level. Give us a call today--we’re always happy to chat.
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