For busy independent hotel operators, using social media professionally may seem like just another chore to squeeze into an already full workday. Ok, we agree that it takes a little time to get comfortable with using social media for your hotel, but once you’ve figured it out, it’s fun and extremely useful.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll share helpful tips to help independent hoteliers ease into the world of social media. Let’s start by covering some of the basics:
Where to start
Figuring out where to start on social media can be intimidating. However, even with numerous platforms and billions of global users, there’s still room for independent hotels to make their digital mark. The most popular social media channels include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat and YouTube. Each platform works differently and attracts a certain type of user, so hoteliers have several options at their fingertips. Many hotels rely on a blend of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, as well as review sites TripAdvisor and Yelp, to engage with travelers. Ultimately, it’s best to use the platform(s) you’re most comfortable with, but before you start posting, take a look how other travel industry businesses are using social media.
Learn from others
What’s great about social media is that it’s public, so you can learn how it works and how companies use it without logging in. A quick online search for “Instagram hotels” will lead you to various hotel profiles and articles recommending the best accounts to follow. While browsing, take note of the type of content shared, how frequently content is posted, how brands interact with users, etc. Researching how other hotels and travel companies utilize social media will provide a blueprint for what to do and mistakes to avoid when you’re ready to use it for your hotel.
Create a plan
Before posting, independent hotels should plan for how they’re going to manage their online presence over the long-term. Failing to plan is one of the biggest and most common mistakes businesses make when launching into social media. Hoteliers should plan for who’s going to control daily account management, how often they want to share content, the type of content to be shared, how to deal with positive and negative guest feedback, etc. There’s much more to consider when using social media professionally vs. personally, but with some research and planning, independent hoteliers can become social media pros in no time!