Social media is a hot topic in hospitality. Your business model hinges on stellar service, and consumers are turning to social media more than ever for their customer service and guest experience needs.
You may be tempted to take a vacation from your social channels if you’re going away, or are too snowed under with other business admin. But don’t! Social is a vital place for your business to have conversations, network, support — and even sell.
If you quit your social media, or leave it unattended, it could have serious consequences for your customers, and that means bad news for company results. Here is why you should always be online!
Social boosts sales
Think of the content on your social channels as free advertising – you have access to a group of consumers who are already interested in your brand, and you have free reign to promote your company to them.
That doesn’t mean you should just blindly promote to them 24/7 — but just be conscious of how social can be an awesome sales channel. Selling on social is a subtle art, mixing content curation with community management.
- Try to encourage repeat visits by showing new features or renovations on your social channels. Everyone loves a good story accompanied by a time lapse video!
- Facebook is a great place to shout about any changes or events, because you can target your adverts to ensure you are reaching the right audience. If you’re feeling a little unsure about how to use Facebook ads for your business, this guide has some handy tips that you’ll find really helpful.
- You can also use your pages and channels to offer discounts and competitions, which is always a great way of getting your customers to engage with your company – who doesn’t love a freebie?! You could offer your customers an exclusive discount code to get free bottle of bubbly, or a free meal when they book a return visit.
Enhance guest experience
Social media is so instant, making it a great space to go to for up-to-date customer information. It can even help you personalise the booking experience — making your customer’s hotel stay with you more memorable.
- As well as need-to-know, practical information, you can keep your customers up to date with what’s on at your establishment using your social channels. It’s a great place for reactive, ‘the story is developing’ content.
- Publishing blog posts and social updates about local news and activities, is a great way of giving your visitors some ideas on what they can do at your hotel – all before they’ve even arrived.
Four Seasons are a great example of a hotel making the most of their localities on social. They fill their Instagram account with interesting experiences from in and around their resorts:
Image credit: Four Seasons
Build your brand reputation
Sharing beautiful images you have taken of your establishment is a great way to show off your credentials and architecture – and don’t forget to be generous with your hashtags to get more users liking and commenting.
It’s essential that you actively encourage social sharing from guests. This can be done by creating your own hotel hashtag and investing in Snapchat geofilters. Competitions are a great way to get people to share positive hotel experiences — and it’s a fantastic way to solidify brand reputation in consumers’ eyes.
Create a sense of trust
Many consumers now turn to a company’s social media channels to express their opinions, rather than filling in formal questionnaires or getting in touch directly.
It’s a quick and easy method of communication for both you and your customers, so it’s important that you make the most of social customer service.
60% of customers who complain via social media channels expect a response within an hour. Facebook even shows users how long on average it takes a particular business to respond to posts.
See the Facebook page for Chicago’s The Drake Hotel below, where the star rating and response time are clearly stated:
Image credit: The Drake Hotel
A fast response time is essential when it comes to handling customer complaints, comments, and queries. Going ‘offline’ during crisis moments can be very detrimental to your brand, so it’s important to have robust social monitoring in place.
Interacting with business affiliates on social media is a good way for you to network. Liking and sharing partner content helps to build stronger bonds. They’ll return the favor, expose your brand to their followers, and increase your audience reach.
You can also reach out to relevant social media influencers and journalists a lot quicker on social media — and it helps create a sense of community. Active social profiles can become news themselves — and great social content is often picked up and applauded by the media.
Social media is an integral part of any successful business, and that’s precisely why it should never get neglected. Using scheduling tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck will allow you to take some time away from social media without your feeds looking bare.
However, it’s a good idea to have someone overlooking social at all time — because the last thing you want is to get bad coverage on social media – that could be the death of your positive brand reputation.