…But apart from the offers you’re running or your amazing weekend rates, you’re stuck with “what shall I post today?” Social Media and engaging with your customers online goes a long way to creating a solid fan base amongst travellers. Sometimes however, we hit writers block and can’t think of content interesting enough for our customers to talk about. We’re going to use one of our current customers as an example, their Facebook page is run very well with a good mixture of different types of posts. Take a look at the following ideas, put your own twist on them and be creative!
Post recent reviews Invite your customers to leave reviews on your website with a contact form then repost them on the different platforms of social media that you use. If you have a review card in your hotel rooms, type them up and post some online. If you have some shorter reviews of just a few words, pop them up on twitter instead. Your future customers will want to know previous customers experiences. If your customers can review your business on TripAdvisor, try to acknowledge them, thank them and wish them well. If you have received a bad review, be courteous and let them know what you can do to offer compensation or at least try to explain the situation. You can also use your TripAdvisor reviews to repost on Facebook or blogs. If you have spoken to one of your customers during their stay and they have an interesting story from something that happened locally or a nice comment to share about how lovely the bar staff are, ask for their name and for their permission to post it online. It makes for good story to have on your website and also a great testimonial rolled in to one!
Ask questions…? Try to start conversation. Get your followers involved by asking them about their favourite holidays, what made their favourite getaway so memorable, post a photo of your hotels breakfast buffet and ask your fans what their favourite breakfast food is. You can use any of the answers as market research. You don’t usually do French toast at breakfast but 5 people have said that it’s their favourite. Maybe put it as a special for breakfast one day a week. And now you have a new post ready to go: “You asked and we’ve delivered, French Toast is now on the menu!” *post a picture of your freshly made breakfast*
Behind the scenes Ask your staff to take photos from different areas of the hotel. Your function room may have just been decorated for a 21st birthday party this evening, post a photo and wish them a happy birthday. The hotel spa is set up and ready to go for a bridal party, post a photo with “Our therapists are set up and ready to welcome a bride to be and her bridesmaids this afternoon”. Maybe your bar staff have made some impressive looking cocktails, the sun may look great shining in the beer garden, the presidential suite has just been refurnished. Try to post at least one thing a day to keep your followers interested. Keeping Up Appearances Is the GM giving a lecture in a college or school? Are your sales staff attending a trade show in another country? Your marketing team might be going to promote the hotel at an overseas event. Announce the appearances your staff are making online. Invite your customers to come visit you. Come up with an offer for that day in particular. “Mention you follow us on Facebook to receive exclusive discounts at the Hospitality Show today!”
Media Coverage If your business has had any press recently, let the masses know! Not everyone picks up the local paper but they may have run a short story on your hotel. A well known magazine or brochure may have published a review or interviewed a staff member, not all of your customers will be familiar with the magazine but they’ll be interested in hearing what your business had to say.
Staff Recommendations Have your staff pick out their favourite places to have a bite to eat, somewhere they know is great for a hike or some new local music. Choose a day every week that you’ll post some “Staff Picks”, stick to it and people will start looking forward what your next staff member has to say. As before, same goes for customers, ask them what they enjoyed locally and let the world know. Local Events If your hotel is sponsoring a local event, a charity fun run or holding a coffee morning for mums and toddlers be sure to tell your fans online. If there’s a festival being held in the area that can generate more business for you definitely post about it. Maybe there’s a farmers market every Sunday, let us know. Even if you post a reminder every Saturday evening “Don’t forget, as always, the farmers market will be taking place in the square from 1pm tomorrow! Pop in to us when you’re finished perusing and grab some afternoon tea or have a pint and watch the match!” So remember; post intriguing things that will get people talking, use photos or videos to show off your hotel and its surroundings and always try to reply to all questions or comments. Your current social media “fans” and their friends will see your content, a positive experience for them online may influence their decision making when choosing between you and your competitors, ultimately leaving with you with increased sales!