innRoad’s support of independent hotels extends well beyond getting operators comfortable with our cloud-based hotel software. We encourage hoteliers to pair our hotel software with innovative strategies and tools to drive performance across all areas of their operations. For example, we believe social media should be a key part of every independent hotel’s online marketing strategy. It’s effective and easy-to-learn – perfect for time-crunched independent hoteliers. Here are some of its benefits:
Fresh marketing voices
One of the toughest hotel marketing challenges is keeping your message fresh. At times, even the most creative hoteliers struggle to find new ways to say, “Stay here, book now.” However, operators can lighten their workload and give their marketing content a boost by relying on the voices of their social media community. When past guests share their experiences on social media or TripAdvisor, their praise can be repurposed as effective marketing messages.
The key is to first encourage travelers to post stories, photos and videos of their visit to your social media channels – the more they post, the more content you have to use. Then, leverage its value by sharing across your digital network. Traveler-generated content provides independents with fresh, authentic voices that help separate them from competitors and strengthen their identity among other travelers.
Digital security may not be the most obvious benefit of social media, but independents must be aware of its importance. Unfortunately, online booking fraud has exploded into a billion dollar business for digital thieves. Fake bookings sites are scamming travelers and ruining the reputations of hotels around the world. Independents can combat this by taking control of their online identities and eliminating opportunities for thieves to cash-in on their brand name.
Staying active on social media can make it harder for scam artists to assume the identity of independent hotels. Scammers often use high-quality design to trick consumers, but mimicking a hotel’s online personality is much more challenging. By sharing unique content and legitimate booking links, scammers may find targeting your hotel more effort than it’s worth – leaving your hard-earned reputation and revenue intact.
And for hotels that still aren’t comfortable with social media, at a minimum, claim your brand name across popular social media channels. This way, even though the account isn’t active, it’s not available for misuse.