Many hoteliers feel that social media has little impact on revenue. But when used correctly, social media is proven to drive more traffic to your hotel's website.
In fact, social media is no longer a luxury. It is now a necessity in hotel marketing for any small business looking to engage with guests and drive direct bookings.
New York Times bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk outlines the secrets for building relationships with customers on social media in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World.
The book isn't just another marketing script that leaves you with a can-do feeling but no clear action plan. Vaynerchuk outlines a simple formula that's easy to follow and offers practical advice that you can actually put to use right away.
Business is like boxing
According to Vaynerchuk, marketers should take a similar approach in their strategies as boxers do in the ring: wear down their opponents with light jabs until they find the perfect opening to deliver the knockout punch (aka go in for the sale).
But there’s one main difference for marketers: “Jab, jab, jab” really means "Give, give, give."
When someone meets your brand for the first time, you want to give as much value as you can, before going in for the right hook by delivering a call-to-action (CTA).
Vaynerchuk says the perfect right hook consists of three characteristics:
- The call-to-action is simple and easy to understand.
- It’s perfectly crafted for mobile, as well as all digital services.
- It respects the nuances of the social network with which you are distributing the content.
With this formula, you can lay your hotel's foundation for building a trusting, and ultimately more profitable, relationship with each guest.
5 Must-Haves for Great Hotel Social Media Content
When creating social media content for your hotel, it's important to remember that it's not all about you. It's about delivering value to your guests and followers on social media. Keep this in mind: The greatest social media content is native, doesn't interrupt, doesn't make demands, is concise, and is consistent and aware.
1. "Content is king, but context is God." - Gary Vaynerchuk
One of the major points that Vaynerchuk points out in his book is the power of context. You can create the best content for your hotel's social media accounts, but if it's not relevant to the platform you're sharing it on, it can still fall flat.
Here are his suggested rules of thumb for truly resonating with your guests and other social media followers:
- Storytell on Facebook
- Listen on Twitter
- Glam it up on Pinterest
- Create art on Instagram
2. Don't interrupt
In the past, marketers used to rely on interrupting consumers to get their attention via platforms like ads on billboards or TV commercials. It's crucial that you don't do this with your hotel's social media marketing efforts.
Consumers don't have the patience for this kind of disruptive marketing anymore. Vaynerchuk cites as evidence the rapid adoption of DVRs, internet ad blockers, and other devices that allow us to skip commercials and ignore ads.
Rather than trying to interrupt the experience people are looking for on social media (i.e. entertainment, connecting with friends/family, education, etc.), hotel marketers need to become part of that sought-after experience.
Coming between your audience and what they're actually looking for on social media will only lead to resentment. They will likely stop following you altogether, and when that happens, you've lost a channel by which you can connect with your guests.
3. Don't make demands often
The majority of your content should provide value to your audience. It should be for your guests, not for you.
If you do this right, when you deliver promotional hotel content on social media, it will take your guests and followers a split-second to realize that the story they're engaging with is being told by a brand and not by a friend.
If you're providing quality social media content that actually benefits them, they'll enjoy this interaction with your brand. When this happens, your hotel's social media content is doing its job.
4. Be concise
When it comes to social media guidelines for hotels, it's good to remember that "less is more" applies.
With so much noise on social networks, you don't have much time to grab your guests' attention. So, you should aim to deliver your message as quickly or in as few words as possible.
A great way to do that on most platforms is by incorporating images, videos, gifs, or of course, by including a link.
5. Use content that is consistent and self-aware
Every post on social media is a representative of your hotel's brand identity.
Even though the type of content you post will vary, all of your behavior on social media should be a consistent reminder of what your hotel's brand is all about. It doesn't matter how you tell your story, as long as your personality and brand identity remain consistent.
Straying too far from your the guest experience of your hotel's brand creates disjointed messaging, and may cause confusion amongst your loyal guests and social media fan base.
In summary, social media has become increasingly important in hotel marketing strategies. It plays a key role in relaying your tone, image, and overall brand to your audience, so don't let it take the backseat in your marketing efforts. After all, social media content is still part of Vaynerchuk's saying that content is king!
Want to learn more about how to optimize your hotel's social media content? CLICK HERE to access our Social Media Action Plan for Hotels.