More Hospitality Relevant Channels
In order for hotels to gain the most leverage from their online social media efforts, it is crucial that hoteliers carefully select which social channels to make their presence known. To that end, there are some social channels more relevant to the hospitality industry, while others are not very useful for hotel marketing.
On the surface LinkedIn may appear to be nothing but a place for job seekers to post their resumes, but that assumption would be a mistake. LinkedIn is rather a social media gathering place of concentrated expertise on a myriad of business related topics.
LinkedIn has over 300 million users, according to their website figures. This amounts to a powerful force of knowledge and influence. The network provides hoteliers with a great way to maintain contacts with vendors, travel planners and experts, and corporations which may decide to become corporate hotel customers. This is highly effective for driving indirect business.
The search engine giant’s own social media network claims over 500 million users. However, only about 300 million are regularly active on the network’s streams. The vast majority of these regulars are male, nearly 70 percent. The strength and importance of Google for the hospitality industry, lies not in engaging with users, but rather merely maintaining a presence on the network. A Google account has a potent effect on a hotel’s rank in the search engine listings because of its connection to Google Local. This is particularly important if, for example, a traveler was searching for a nearby hotel on their mobile device.
YouTube is the world’s largest video-sharing website. Owned by Google, the platform also features a search engine second only to its owner. Over a billion visitors per month come to YouTube to watch videos. For the age demographic 18-34 year olds, YouTube is their preferred platform for conducting travel-related searches. Videos of hotel property or the local surrounding area posted on YouTube, with hotel website cross-links, can be a powerful tool in driving hotel bookings. This is particularly effective with a younger audience.
Owned by Facebook, Instagram is a photo and video sharing social network service with over a 150 million users. The combination of the platform’s integration with Facebook and its highly visual nature make Instagram a perfect choice for hotels to share rich imagery. Geared toward mobile users, the Instagram platform is ideal for travelers on-the-go. A great way for hotels to showcase their property is to run photo contests for hotel guests to share their images.
In future blogs we will take a look more specifically at social media strategies utilizing the various social network channels which are relevant to the hospitality industry.
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