As we know, social media is one of the biggest influencers across many industries; and especially within hospitality. It’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to engage directly with customers, whether that’s promoting the latest service or product, or whether it’s making them buy into the brand by perhaps just simply liking your company Facebook page.
For the past couple of years, social media has continued to expand, with many people turning to it as their first port of call when checking out the latest restaurant, bar or hotel. Because of this, it’s vital that your brand gets it right, at all times, as at the end of the day, your posts are what can turn those visitors into real-life customers. Here’s our top three tips on how you can get it right for your hospitality social channel..
An active presence
You’ll have a better chance of engaging users and spiking interest if you’re seen to have a very active presence across social media. Multiple posts each day is a great start, as is quickly replying to any questions or comments that users may be have. Take Facebook’s recently-added ‘Typically responds in’ features, which allows users to see how long it takes for a page-owner to respond to a message.
If you’re quick to respond - and this is made clear to Facebook users - they’re more likely to drop you a message around a pressing question or query that they may have; looking to book that table in your restaurant or that spontaneous hotel getaway for the night, in a very short space of time.
Being active across social media also shows that you're enthusiastic about your offering and are keen for customers and guests to enjoy their visit with you. They’ll likely to engage with you more frequently, and you’re messaging will likely resonate better if you’re posting at least 2-3 times a day. Remember, it doesn’t look great if you’re last tweet or Facebook post was from 2012!
Great customer service
It ties into the above, but ensuring that your customer service across social is of the highest standard now goes without saying. People use their preferred platforms - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. - to now directly engage with their favourite brands, restaurants they’re interested in visiting and hotels they’ll look to enjoy.
Whether you receive a question about opening times, a complaint about service, or a complement about that delicious dish that was eaten last night, be sure to handle all engagement in a pleasant, on-brand manner. It show you care about your customs, value their customer, and acknowledge the good (and bad!) parts of your offering.
Creative and engaging content
So not only is social a platform for directly engaging with users, it’s a vehicle for you to showcase what you have to offer. You want users to see just how great your dishes look or how fantastic your hotel rooms are; a combination of inspiring copy, vivid imagery and immersive video will all help to achieve this across the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Creating a content plan can be one of the most of fun parts of developing your social strategy. The creative content that you’ll be looking to be post can also be pre-scheduled, allowing you to set what is published weeks in advance! It’s takes the burden off you having to manage too much each, and allows more time to respond to those customer questions and comments that you’re likely to receives.
Your post should seek to engage users at all times; try not to be too generic, and perhaps but a fun or cheeky twist on your approach (only if it’s on brand and in line with your tone-of-voice, mind!). Stunning imagery generally gets great engagement rates, as does video. Remember, the role of your posts will likely be to raise brand awareness, increase enquires and, ultimately, drive bookings. With this in mind, be sure to include those all-important calls-to-action; directing people to your website, or providing contact information.
In today’s digital world, it’s vital that social media is central to your overarching approach to the marketing of your product and engaging with users.
The hospitality industry is constantly changing and adapting new ways of working to ensure that guests have the best possible experience. Over the years, hospitality trends have come and go, and some have been a permanent fixture. Last year saw the increase of rented apartments from companies such as Airbnb following the high demand for a more localized travel trip. This year, the hotel industry is set to make some huge changes and we’ve explored some of the trends that we might encounter this year.
The importance of storytelling
To make a hotel stand out from competitors, many marketers are taking to storytelling to bring their venue to life. By using a range of marketing materials including video content, imagery and interactive tours, they are connecting with their audience on a more meaningful level. By injecting personality into their hotel allows guests to understand who they are and their offerings rather than having the same tone as every other leading establishment. It’s vital that it’s incorporated across the whole hotel, from menus to meetings rooms to give off the same message.
Staying overnight in a luxury hotel is no longer about a night away in a queen-sized bed and a fancy bathroom. Today’s visitors are looking for a exclusive experience that they’ll never forget. This has led to a rise in unique boutique hotels, such as Liverpool’s Hard Days Night Hotel who provide Beatles themed suites and Manchester’s Gotham Hotel. Although hotel design has always had a vital part, today it plays one of the biggest roles in the industry. The design of a hotel also offers guests the chance to establish if this is the right type of hotel for them to stay in!
Increased loyalty programmes
Although we are aware that loyalty programmes have been in place for many years, hotels should be focusing on their customers and retaining their business. Competition has increased, especially following the rise of cheap accommodation from Airbnb and deals from hotel booking agents.
Already a leading influencer in many guest decisions, social media is set to expand during 2017. It's a great chance for hotels to share with their audience events, offers and other visitors experiences at the hotel. Through social, guests can connect on a more personal level whether that's through following the latest Instagram story, or tagging themselves in on Facebook.
The rise of mobile check-ins
Mobile is leading the way when it comes to making travel plans, whether that’s booking flights, trains or hotel visits through them. Leading airlines across the world have already started allowing passengers to check in by using their mobile, replacing the need to check in and print off boarding cards. Hotels have also followed suit, making it much easier for guests to arrive and check in without any hassle, and check-out in the same way too. High-street hoteliers such as the Marriott have already introduced this scheme but we think 2017 that will be the year when it will plummet vastly.
Although these are our predictions for 2017, we are very excited to see what others trends might be introduced to us working in the hospitality industry this year!
What do you think will be one of the biggest trends of 2017? Let us know! GB Hospitality x
As another Christmas approaches us, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish all my clients and friends a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. During 2016, I have worked closely with a range of the North West's finest hospitality clients including the luxury Mere Golf Resort & Spa, the very creative DV8 Designs, the famous Hard Days Night Hotel and Liverpool's leading bar, Circo. During each project I've had the opportunity to work alongside each of them as they have gone from strength to strength. I am very excited to see what 2017 holds for both GB Hospitality, and my lovely clients!
I'd also like to thank all of those who work across the hospitality sector, who continue to provide excellent service to their guests visiting their establishments to ensure that they have the best festive experience. You are all amazing!
Merry Christmas everyone.
GB Hospitality X