There are several applications (and misapplications) of social media marketing in the hotel and hospitality industry. Today, I want to talk about 2 easy-to-use social networks that almost any hotel can use to increase exposure and engage potential and past customers. While no cookie-cutter application of social media marketing will work for every hotel, I hope to cover 2 general applications that any hotel can try on their own.
Hotel Twitter Marketing
Twitter is perhaps the most blogged about social network and Twitter marketing is a hot topic that has been hyped-up by bloggers and media alike. While business in many industries have already tried or plan to try their luck at twitter marketing, I think that this channel makes more sense for hotels than it does most others. As a hotel, here are just a few easy ways you can get your message out there on Twitter. After creating a twitter page for your hotel, consider the following ideas for marketing your hotel on Twitter:
- Offers - Tweet about any and every special offer that you’re promoting through other channels. You’re followers are most-likely following you because they enjoyed their stay at your hotel and plan to come back. Give them a good reason to.
- Hotel events – Throwing a big New Year’s party? Hosting a conference, art show or other interesting event? Letting your fans know through Twitter can be a great way to generate bookings and daily visitors to your hotel. Tweet a brief event description and link to a page where your fans can get more details.
- Local Events – Tweeting about upcoming local festivals, concerts and other events in your area can help generate travel interest in your followers. Timing a strong promotion with an interesting local event can be a great way to encourage bookings.
- Past events – Using twitter to share photos and video of exciting events at your hotel can be a great way to update fans on exciting things that have happened at your hotel. Simply post your photos or video on your website or other social networks like YouTube or TwitPic and tweet a link to your followers.
- Daily specials – If you hotel is home to one or more bars or restaurants that aim to attract the local crowd, tweet your lunch and drink specials (include photos!) daily.
- Customer service – Encourage past, present and future guest to contact you though Twitter for assistance. When using Twitter for customer service, be prepared as customers will give honest feedback. It’s best to be open and responsive with any direct communications that you receive.
Marketing Hotels on Facebook
Consider your Facebook fan page as your hotel’s home away from home. On Facebook, creating a fan page gives you an opportunity to present your hotel to the community. Start a fan page and build it up with information about your hotel including photos, video and links to your website. Then, update the page on a regular basis with a lot of similar content that would on Twitter. Here are a few ideas for marketing hotels on Facebook:
- Offers – Post any special offers to your wall
- Upcoming events – Create an event through your fan page and update your fans
- Past events – Post any interesting photos or videos from past events to your page for fans to see
- Fans - Encourage your fans to post photos and reviews about your hotel. More fan interactions will make your efforts much more worthwhile
These are just a few ideas to think about when trying to engage your customers and future customers on social networks. Here are a few examples of hotels that seem to be doing a pretty good job with hotel social media marketing.
Hotels on Twitter
- The Iron Horse Hotel - The Iron Horse seems to do a good job with updating locals and distance travelers alike with interesting hotel activities.
- Ivy Hotel - The Ivy Hotel does a great job with keeping local followers up-to-date with weekly events for their club, Envy.
- The Charles Hotel - Another good example of an active hotel promoting to past and future customers, travel agents and bloggers.
Hotels on Facebook
- Loews Hotels -Loews does a good job updating fans with promotions from many of their different hotel locations.
Additionally, fans seem to be fairly active with posting comments on the Wall.
- Opus Hotel - Good job keeping content up-to-date and great job with media (videos and photos). I noticed that there wasn't too much fan interaction on the wall but they still show quite a few fan-submitted photos.