Social media for hospitality is crucial these days to reach your potential guests. But it takes time and knowledge to really build a social media presence that will compete with everyone in your field. Whether you are marketing for your hotel, restaurant, or other travel business, here are our top tips for creating a hospitality social media strategy.
Click the links below to skip to any of the following sections:
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of social media channels in existence, and you need to choose which channels will work best for your business.
To begin with, choose 2-3 channels that fit your target audience. To begin with, we should suggest choosing fro these top social media channels:
Facebook should definitely be one of your two or three channels to begin with. The majority of people are still on Facebook and the platform is still one of the best ways to reach your potential audience.
You should also be spending the majority of your social media time on Facebook, with posting and interacting with your audience. Building an active audience on this platform will give you a good base for marketing your business and staying in constant contact with your guests and potential guests.
Instagram could be a good platform for your hotel, restaurant, or travel agency because it’s very visual. You can also encourage engagement on this platform, but understand that audiences on Instagram will be much higher in the marketing funnel — they may not have immediate purchase intent.
Twitter is a great platform for building knowledge. It is a great platform because it’s often overlooked by many marketers, and is therefore much less competitive.
Pinterest is also an amazing visual platform. It really only works for some kinds of businesses, but for a hotel or travel agency, creating visual pins to promote your product or destinations can bring in many potential guests. Users of Pinterest often have more immediate buying intent than those on Instagram — because many come to Pinterest specifically to sort through their buying options.
YouTube is still one of the top search engines in the world, but has a high cost of entry. This is simply because producing a video is much more labor- and cost-intensive than simply putting together a post for other social channels.
However, if you do have video content, YouTube is a must-join for any business. Customers go to YouTube in the same way they go to Pinterest, to sort through their purchase options.
Before you begin posting to any of the above social networks, it’s so important to learn your target audiences. Many businesses do this backward, by targeting the people they WANT to be their guests, instead of the people who are actually staying at their property or eating at their restaurant.
To find your current audiences, you should be creating profiles of your current guests or clients, and then specifically target those profiles. This would include things like: age, location, gender, if they are parents or not, income, jobs, etc.
How you post on social media has a lot to do with what your end goals are for these posts. Do you want to first build an audience, or do you want people to convert right away? Some of the types of goals you should think about are:
- Impressions (how many people see your ad)
- Clicks to the Website
- Conversions (this can include anything from a phone call or form fill to a booking)
- Page Likes
Whether you are managing your own social media or you are hiring someone to do it, you should have a content calendar for everything you do. This will give you a visual and strategy of everything upcoming. And of course things will always come up last minute — but the calendar is to have a basis of what you will be posting on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
You can do this any way you would like — whether in Google Calendar, or in a program like Airtable.
In general, it’s smart to follow the 30/60/10 principle for social media:
- 30% of your own content: This includes your own articles or blog posts, photos, videos, or other helpful information you have produced.
- 60% curated content: Content others have produced, whether it be those in the industry or even competitors.
- 10% promotional content: This is when you sell yourself (although one can argue that you are also selling yourself in the other 90 percent of the posts).