Whether you’re the name-brand like Hilton or a family-owned small boutique hotel, there is one thing that you absolutely need: A great social media following. In the digital age, who you are online is almost as important as your hospitality in person. If you already have an account on all the major social media pages, good job! Now you have to make sure that you grow your following. How do you do this? By becoming a travel and hospitality marketing master and taking advantage of all the free advertising opportunities social media provides. Of course, I’d love to show you exactly how to do it.
Your easiest target audience are the people who already know about your business, and nobody knows about it better than your guests. Getting your guests to follow you is one of the most effective ways to grow your social media presence and promote your travel and tourism business quickly and consistently. If someone has already stayed at your hotel or taken one of your tours, you just need to encourage them to like your pages. Here are five fool-proof tricks on getting people to go from check-in to follow:
Because we are constantly bombarded with information and images in this digital age, you have to make sure your page stands out from the crowd. Your Facebook and/or Twitter need to be full of interesting articles, engaging posts, and content people will want to read and most importantly – share. Your Instagram and Pinterest boards should have amazing pictures that will make people drool over their phones and devices! Not only will this get your guests to follow, it will also get you followers who might not have heard of your hotel before. Your follower numbers will influence others into clicking ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ too. In addition to this, beautiful social media content is one of the best ways to promote your location. A picture is really worth a thousand words. Use images to make people want to visit your city and stay in your hotel or book a trip with you!
One of the most popular ways to get guests to follow you is to use giveaways and contests. Let’s say you have a gorgeous pool, a beautiful view of the mountains, or a gorgeous destination you’re taking a group to. Create a contest for best guest picture in that specific location. You can do this monthly or seasonally. To be able to win, the guest has to follow your account and tag you in the picture. You could also host a giveaway contest which gives additional entries to people for liking your social media pages and reposting your content. Not only will you get guests to follow you, you will also get incredible exposure. The guests get a chance to win something and you get low-cost hospitality marketing for your business.
In addition contests and giveaways are an excellent way build bridges and partner with your local tourism bureau. Create a win-win for both of you and get deeply connected in the process.
Social media is so easy, there are literally eight-year-olds who have accounts. But we all know the reality of running a profitable travel and tourism business, you get busy and social media can get completely ignored or forgotten about.
Having a wildly successful social media presence, however, requires time and dedication. When running a hotel or hospitality business, chances are the least of your worries is going to be posting that picture on Instagram at an exact hour when your followers are most likely to see it and engage. After all, you don’t want to neglect the actual face-to-face service that you pride yourself in providing for your guests.
Instead of trying to multitask everything, hire an affordable social media specialist whose sole purpose will be to make you shine. This person will be in charge of posting on the right media at the right times. They will also make sure that all the posts are of a certain quality and consistent with your branding -there will be no grainy, low-quality photos on your Instagram!,- and will manage all the social media campaigns I’ll cover in my next points. In addition, this person can help with engagement from commenters – these are often past and future customers looking to be connected to your business. Delegation helps you be in more than one place at the same time!
All the major brands have discovered the power of bloggers and internet ‘celebrities.’ These are people who have a considerable amount of followers, and who could advertise your hotel or tour packages to everyone who follows them. Be open to collaborating with travel bloggers, who might request free accommodation, or promotion on your website in exchange for an article highlighting your travel and tourism business. Internet celebrities are more accessible than many think. Reach out and introduce yourself. Make friends in the media to create consistent exposure for your brand to the masses. This is the number one skill to have to create powerful social PR. Build your media list of contacts.
They can also do a ‘take-over’ of your social platforms during or after a visit, as well as post on their personal social media in exchange for perks and freebies. This is one of the most cost-effective, and efficient strategies for travel and tourism marketing. And hopefully you create long term friends and fans, in these new connections.
You don’t actually have to keep up with the Kardashians, but you should be aware of what’s popular at a given moment in popular culture, going viral on the internet and use it to your advantage. Engaging with your guests in a more personal level and what they enjoy in their leisure time will get them to post about their experiences at your hotel.
Basically what this means is that anything that is big or in-style could be incorporated into the daily hotel experience. Get your chef to make some Star Wars themed dishes, have a romantic (but not cheesy) event for Valentine’s Day, or use a fresh take on the most popular music video to make a promotion campaign. Of course, you should keep within the taste, stay on brand and style of your hotel, but there’s a million ways to get creative. Inspiration is everywhere and this is a reminder to pay attention. Once people post these unique, outside of the box experiences on their social media and tag you, you will get your guests excited about following your pages.
Recognizing the importance of social media is one of the first steps to increasing your business. A commitment is necessary for the followers to flock to your accounts. Following these marketing strategies, and adding a whole lot of creativity that is uniquely your travel and tourism business to your campaigns will help you increase your number of followers, and give you more exposure. At the end of the day, however, the most important thing you could do is this: Create amazing social media pages that guests will love to follow! Starting is the first step. So hope over to one your accounts and post today.
What are your tips or tricks for getting your guests and customers to follow you on social media? Share with our community by commenting below. Don’t forget to include your travel and tourism business name, we’d love to share your tip via our Experience Experts social media if it can help others get more followers!
5-Step Guide To Marketing Success
GET MORE BOOKINGS GUIDE
Want consistent reservations in your luxury travel business? Generate more revenue by hitting your targeted guest booking goals. Our team experts will help you build strong branding, calls to action, implement customized marketing strategy and successfully get more group bookings by expanding your property to the global marketplace online.