It’s time to review your social media strategy and make tweaks for next year, especially to incorporate the social media trends for hotels. This past year was a big one for social media, and next year proves to be even more important. Social media in the hotel industry remains an important area for you to focus on. Let’s take a look at some of the hottest trends that you’ll be seeing during the coming year. Knowing what other hotels are focusing on will help you stay competitive and keep you growing.
Center Around Social Media
It seems like there’s a new social media site popping up all the time, whether it’s Vine, Instagram, Pinterest or the next hottest social media site that is sure to come along. Social media is growing like crazy, and the only way to grow with it is to be sure the visitors to your hotel website can engage with you that way. Sites like Facebook and Twitter make up a huge percentage of the websites the average consumer looks at during the course of the day (The average person spends 15 hrs 33min per month on Facebook alone!). And when they’re not on those sites in particular, they’re on sites that are connected to them, or another social network. To put it simply, make social media the heart of what you’re planning to do in your marketing strategy this year and you will stay ahead of the trends for hotels. It will pay off.
Engage Your Fans
This year, your focus may have been on building your fanbase. The more Facebook fans you had and the more Twitter followers you had, the more successful your business was. At least that was the perception. Now, the trend is focused more on engaging your fans and followers with stories told through video and photos. The key is learning more about them. What do they like? What can you improve? Engagement leads to a discussion, which gives your hotel a personality. Your personality is social, and well…you can see where this is going. You’ll create a more loyal customer base when you engage them, and that’s putting your social media skills to good use.
Have A Mobile Presence
Your hotel’s mobile presence is crucial to its success. Last year alone, there was an incredible shift in the way people accessed the Internet. In fact, by 2014, more people will be accessing the Internet through a mobile device than by a desktop computer. Considering that many mobile users will leave a site if it’s not mobile-friendly and never return, it’s vital for your website to be set up for mobile use. With social media sites like Foursquare being accessed through mobile devices, you can see how the two go hand in hand.
Focusing your digital marketing efforts has never been more important than it is right now. Knowing the trends will help you target the audience you’re trying to reach. The result will be maximizing your profits without increasing your budget.
For more information about social media for hotels, or if you need assistance engaging that social audience, contact us today!
I attended a TweetChat recently where a question was thrown out, “Do you need social media for your business.” The tweets were flying. NEED is a strong word. Do you NEED to be using social media for your business is like asking, “Do you NEED a phone for your business?” “Do you need a website for your business?” “Do you NEED a fax machi….” never mind that one!
What you need to be successful in your business are the current tools of the trade. Sure there was a time when we NEEDED a fax machine to send contracts and receive important documents or spam messages from companies that wasted all of our black ink. Times change, business changes and our tools must change as well. Even our phones are less effective today than a few years ago. People don’t answer phones or even have a receptionist that takes messages when you want to ignore incoming calls. Today we have the ultimate gatekeeper…voicemail.
The great news is you have social media tools that allow you to gather information about your prospective clients, connect, and begin building a relationship with someone BEFORE you ever dial their number.
Here are 4 Social Media Tools and Tips to Get the Most Out of Them:
Subscribe to the company page of your prospective clients on LinkedIn
This will allow you to be in the know of corporate happenings. You can send a note or message to the person you are wanting to connect with, congratulating them on any big event.
Invite the person to connect. Be sure to add a personal note letting them know you are interested in learning more about them and the work they do at XYZ company. A personal note added to any social media invitation increases your chances of connecting. Yes, you can follow the rules on LinkedIn and ask to be introduced as well. (I always opt for the BOLD approach but I’m very careful not to abuse any invitation.)
Pay attention to your prospects’ LinkedIn profile. Even if you are not connected yet, you can see the updates on many profiles. This could allow you to like or share content they have posted.
Find and follow any and all executives and prospective client contacts you can find on Twitter.
Create a private list on Twitter and add these people to the list, allowing you to follow more closely what they talk about, what their concerns are and what is going on at the organization you are trying to penetrate. (Sounds a bit like stalking, but let’s just call it “collecting business intelligence”!)
See if your prospect’s company or anyone on the executive team has a Google Plus account or Google business page.
You can “circle” a business page so you will receive any updates that are posted and for individuals on Google Plus, you (as an individual) can also circle them, like Twitter, in a circle titled prospects or potential clients. Be sure to +1 their updates and post a meaningful comment or two, where appropriate.
Mention &/or Google Alerts
Mention and Google Alerts are important tools to help you keep tabs on what is being said about you and your brand or the brands you are wanting to do business with. These tools will alert you when something is written about a brand you are watching, whether that is on a blog or a social media site that you may have missed.
There are many tools that help us do business today, and more emerge each day. The key is to find and use tools that help you connect and build relationships. What other new tools are you using? We’d love to have you share them here in the comments…or you can send us a fax.