After first determining the specific relevance of various social media channels to a hotel’s overall marketing efforts, and choosing which ones to concentrate on, the real work of social media marketing begins. Targeting the hotel’s audience and listening for what is important to them, proper branding, creating content, and engaging with brand followers are all crucial pieces in any hotel social media campaign.
As stated earlier in this blog series, hotels cannot afford to have their marketing effort diluted in an attempt to be everywhere at once. In the process of selecting which social channels to build a presence, targeting to some degree should have been accomplished. Audience targeting must be refined even further.
The most important questions requiring answers are; just who the hotel’s guests are and why do they stay there. Past hotel guests must be broken down into increasingly smaller categories. Much smaller and more specific than say business, pleasure, or part of a group as in usual practice. Travelers must be divided up in order to reach them with the correctly relevant marketing messages in a timely fashion. Examples of such a breakdown may include such categories as, “male solo business”,” “young adventurous couple without kids,” “vacation couple with children,” etc. Additionally, keep track of their home address, income bracket, lifestyle, and any special needs or requests. All of this information will prove invaluable later.
Keeping hotel branding consistent across all marketing channels is vitally important. Hotel social media pages should have a look and feel in keeping with the hotel website and vice versa. Social media channel cover and profile photos should be updated in tandem with any changes made on the website. All online marketing for the hotel should be kept fresh with frequent updates and posts. Any comments left by customers, particularly remarks which put the brand in a negative light, should always receive a response from the hotel. This will be discussed further in the next part in this series.
It is always considered polite to listen first before joining a conversation already in progress. This applies as well to social media postings, especially from a business. Social media is not a soapbox from which to speak at people, like conventional advertising. Social media is rather an ongoing conversation that can be joined in progress. Listening first, before putting out extensive marketing information, is the best course of action for a hotel. In this way the hotel brand can better understand their customer base and become in-tune with what their wants, needs, and desires are. This is the best course of action before making assumptions, which result in posts that miss the mark.
The last part of this series will examine the process of creating relevant content for hotel brand followers and properly engaging with them.
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