Social media has rightfully gained an important role in the marketing efforts of hoteliers. No longer seen as a fringe endeavor on the cutting edge, social media has become a mainstream piece of most hotel marketing strategies. Social networks are now absolutely essential platforms for public-facing companies, especially for the hospitality industry. Therefore, it is equally vital for hoteliers to stay abreast of the latest developments in effectively utilizing the various social channels and forces driving those changes.
Pay To Play
Probably the most profound evolution of social media in recent years has been in gaining its ability to monetize itself. The days of a brand generating an organically grown following on any social network are probably long gone. At one time, hotels or any brands, could reap tremendous success from a carefully crafted social media campaign. This could be accomplished through consistently posting high quality content which sparked engagement with rapid responses to followers’ comments. Now the only way for a brand to even get into the game, from a SEO perspective, is to pay for sponsored content. And that is without any guarantee of success as well.
Of course, advertising via social media channels offers hotels a good return on investment. Facebook is the obvious choice with its massive potential reach, but other platforms can be just as effective. The social media giant has become expert at delivering powerfully targeted ads and customized audiences to its paid clientele.
Competing With Airbnb
Massive amounts of hospitality business have been drawn away by the home lodging brokerage Airbnb in recent years. However, there is something each hotel brand, large or small, can do to combat this trend. Guests should be made to feel, through posted content and in addition to their experiences on-property, that hotel staff personnel are available to create a highly personalized and safe experience. This is in contrast with the more hands-off approach of Airbnb operators.
In part two of this series we will look at a few more changes in social media marketing for the hospitality industry.