Boost Your Hotel’s Social Media Strategy In 2022: 5 Must-Have Tips
social media for hotels
Even for the most tech-savvy hoteliers, managing the social media presence for a small hotel can be challenging. From creating engaging content and consistently scheduling posts (on multiple channels, no less) to reviewing your results and refining your strategy, it can be hard—or even downright impossible—to find the time to manage an active small hotel social media presence.

In 2023, many (or most, dare we say) of your potential guests will have their first experience with your hotel online, either through OTAs, your website, or your social media, so it’s important that you make a great impression wherever they find you. With a streamlined booking engine and simple channel management tools like innRoad’s, your website and OTAs are covered. But what about your social media?

Chances are, your small hotel doesn’t have a dedicated social media coordinator. And when you and the rest of your team are busy managing the day-to-day operations of running a small hotel (like dealing with unexpected plumbing issues or seeing to your guests’ needs), it can be hard to find the time needed to create and share great hotel social media content.

In this post, we’ll share seven of our favorite strategies for boosting your small hotel social media marketing strategy, generating bookings, and increasing your revenue, including:

  1. Building a connection with your guests
  2. Resharing customer reviews and pictures
  3. Focusing on eye-catching imagery
  4. Highlighting attractions and other things to do in the area
  5. Using Stories on Facebook and Instagram
  6. Creating a content calendar
  7. Using scheduling software

Let’s get into it.

1. Build A Connection With Your Guests

Genuinely connecting with guests is a key opportunity for small hotels to stand out from their competition. Unlike large hotel chains, small hotels are uniquely positioned to develop closer connections with their guests by directly engaging on social media.

One of the best ways to connect with guests is to interact with their content. Like their posts, watch their stories, and reshare their content—especially if it mentions your hotel.

HOSPITALITY FACT: We don’t recommend tracking down your guests on social media using reservation contact information—it could make guests feel uncomfortable. Instead, look for mentions of your hotel, or other attractions or businesses in your area, and engage that way. Social media listening tools can make this content easier to find.

You can also build an authentic connection by highlighting activities and amenities that help you stand out from the competition, such as:

  • Showcasing staff: Share staff stories or spotlight your team’s favorite activities or restaurants in your area. Everyone loves an insider tip!
  • Go behind the scenes: Share unique content about what it’s like to work at your hotel. How is your garden progressing? What’s new on the menu? Have you added a new spa treatment or upgraded room amenities?
  • Ask for feedback: Use interactive polling features to solicit actionable feedback or simply to engage with guests in a fun way.
  • Show faces: Faces, whether they are your staff or your guests (with permission, of course), create a more personal vibe that can help emphasize the unique experiences a guest can expect at your small hotel. Try introducing your front desk staff, housekeepers, and other team members guests will see around your property during their stay.
  • Answer questions: Expect messages and questions to come in via social media. Dedicate some time to responding to queries and reviews to help build an authentic connection with potential guests.

2. Reshare Customer Reviews & Pictures

Resharing customer reviews and pictures (also known as “user-generated content”) offers three key benefits when it comes to social media marketing for hotels:

  • It makes it easier to fill your content calendar without demanding more time and effort to create the content yourself—a huge benefit for smaller hotels who don’t have dedicated marketing teams.
  • It can increase engagement and help develop trust amongst potential guests by providing positive social proof.
  • It can help you connect with influencers—people who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche.

To kickstart a user-generated content strategy, encourage guests to leave reviews and share pictures on platforms like Google and Facebook, other OTAs, or on their own social media profiles (with a tag of course so you can see the content). Keep an eye on your various profiles for new content to share, and always ask for permission before you share it.

Sharing user-generated content can also help you reach influencers you may be able to partner with to generate new content, as well as widen your reach amongst your target audience. For example:

  • You could develop a partnership where an influencer shares several pieces of content directly promoting your hotel and the experience on offer.
  • You could set up a loyalty program with influencers, offering discounted stays when they promote your hotel or an exclusive discount for their followers.
  • You could offer complimentary stays to travel or lifestyle influencers and encourage them to share their experiences with their followers.

Think beyond travel influencers—consider your hotel’s target audience and look for influencers in this niche. Are you located near a beach? Try looking for surfing or water sport influencers. Are you located near hiking trails or mountains? Hiking, birding, mountain biking influencers may be a good fit for you.

3. Focus on Eye-catching Imagery

You could write the most compelling post of all time, but if it’s accompanied by a blurry photo (or no photo at all), it’s less likely to get noticed.

Whenever possible, always include a high-quality photo that relates to your post. Eye-catching imagery will “wow” your regular followers and help get the attention of casual observers who may then become followers and future guests.

Not sure what types of photographs to post? Here are some ideas:

  • Don’t be too shy to brag about your hotel. Whenever there are new developments at your hotel that will help improve your guest’s experience, share them! Whether you’ve installed new high-pressure shower heads in all guest rooms or planted new flowers around your hotel, these are enhancements that will help set your hotel apart from your competition, both locally and online.
  • If your hotel is pet friendly, take a cute photo of the next furry friend that’s staying there.
  • Have a great selection for breakfast or a brand-new coffee area for guests? Take a photo of it and post it with a warm, welcoming caption.
  • Share images of nearby destinations, attractions, and restaurants.

HOSPITALITY FACT: Use hashtags to help you get discovered. Look for popular hashtags that are related to your hotel, and mention the city where your hotel is located.

4. Highlight Attractions And Other Things To Do In The Area

Sharing other local attractions, interesting historical tidbits, and fun trivia about your community and surrounding area as part of your hotel social media marketing strategy can help generate more local tourism—and that means more opportunities to capture hotel bookings from new guests.

When posting about other attractions in your area, consider sharing a video or picture of the attraction and along with key details about it. For example, if you have a mountain lodge with a zip line or hiking trail close by, share details about both activities so followers can plan ahead when they visit your hotel. Plus, if a guest sees your hotel posting about a particular activity on social media, they might ask you more about it in person, giving you the opportunity to build a stronger connection and get to know your guests’ interests more.

Consider running a campaign that highlights one new local tourist attraction a month, or a campaign asking hotel guests what their favorite attraction was when visiting your town. You could even ask your staff about their favorite activities and share unique insider tips.

5. Use Stories on Facebook and Instagram

Facebook and Instagram Stories aren’t permanent, which makes them perfect for sharing slice-of-life and behind the scenes content that is personable, friendly, and easily digestible. It’s also a great opportunity to explore new content themes and see what resonates with your audience and followers.

So, what kind of content should you consider for Stories?

  • Video content. Share short glimpses of what it’s like at your hotel, guest room tours, garden tours, menu previews, a day in the life of an innkeeper, videos of events nearby, and more—the sky’s the limit. Just make sure it is recorded vertically or in portrait mode for the best engagement.
  • Polls to engage your hotel guests.
  • Highlight new developments at your hotel or new staff members.
  • Promote deals, discounts, and offers.
  • Make important announcements.
  • Promote upcoming events.

6. Create a Content Calendar

Creating a content calendar is a key to successful social media marketing for hotels—especially small hotels. When time is limited, planning everything out in advance will make it easier to actually follow through when the time comes.

Factor in your creative ability and availability by picking the days of the week you can commit to posting. You don’t have to post daily—instead, aim to post consistently a couple of times a week. Consistently posting will also signal to prospective customers that someone is actively managing the page, so if they wish to engage with your hotel by asking a question, they know that someone will see their inquiry and respond.

When you create a content calendar in advance, you can also identify holidays and other key travel periods such as local festivals or conferences and schedule related content around those themes.

7. Use Scheduling Software

Social media scheduling software like Hootsuite or Buffer allows you to plan, analyze, and publish, and schedule your hotel social media content in a few clicks, saving you valuable time—ideal for smaller hotels who may not have the time or dedicated staff to tackle consistent posting.

Instead of finding time every day or every other day to create and post content, you can carve out an hour a week to create posts in advance, then schedule them so they trickle out over the next week or so till you have another opportunity to schedule content. You can even cross post to different platforms and customize content to keep your message consistent but tailored to each platform. This can be especially useful if you have multiple properties to manage.

The best scheduling platforms will also offer analytics so you can monitor post performance and learn from top performing content so you can adjust your strategy to focus on content people respond to. Combine this data with the advanced reporting insights you can glean in your small hotel property management software to measure the impact your social media marketing strategy is having on bookings, revenue, and other key performance indicators.

HOSPITALITY FACT: Social media scheduling software can also make it easier to read and respond to messages that come in on social media so users aren’t left hanging waiting for an answer.

Checking Out

Managing the social media presence for your small hotel can be challenging and time consuming for small hotels who may not have dedicated marketing teams (or tech-savvy teens) to rely on. But social media for hotels is key to generating interest and securing new bookings, and it’s a key opportunity for small hotels to stand out from larger chains.

Factoring these tips into your hotel social media marketing strategy can help boost your results (and save you time) in 2023:

  1. Building a connection with your guests
  2. Resharing customer reviews and pictures
  3. Focusing on eye-catching imagery
  4. Highlighting attractions and other things to do in the area
  5. Using Stories on Facebook and Instagram
  6. Creating a content calendar
  7. Using scheduling software

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