Social media have a profound influence on travelers and the decision making process. That’s not just coming from personal experience or daily practices because of the profession. There have been numerous studies proving that social media marketing offers amazing opportunities to hotels all over the world, independent or chains, with or without budget. A recent infographic from a well-known group of hotels in the UK shows that 48% travelers who use social media as a reference for their travel plans change their minds after doing so. Moreover, another very useful stat to consider is that 33% of travelers changed their initial hotel choice after doing some research through these networks.
In other words, it is not that surprising that the majority of hoteliers in Europe and the States turn to the most popular social networks in order to boost their hotel’s online presence and chances for conversion. However, there are still some mistakes we all tend to make and instead of helping a hotel brand stand out, we have the opposite results. Today, we are going to discuss the five things we have to avoid when socializing our hotels and to be more precise, in our case, our customers’ hotels.
#1 Blurred Lines
A very common mistake made by hoteliers is getting into action without an action plan. Don’t mess your accounts with irrelevant, irrational and, most of all, random posts. Careful! I don’t mean that you don’t have to act randomly sometimes when you opt for interaction with your followers. Nevertheless, you have to follow the agreed plan and work on your posts accordingly. Evaluate that plan frequently and make the appropriate changes to make it as effective as possible. Remember at this point that even the effectiveness of a plan has to be determined beforehand. In some cases you might look for awareness while in others for a bookings.
#2 Don’t show-off
Even if you have to brag about your hotel’s beauty, your guests’ awesome memories and the incredible services you offer, try to avoid flashing it a lot. As you probably already know, today’s travelers and social media users are looking for fresh, valuable information and the majority – if not all of them – tend to avoid advertising material and posts that sell. It might work sometimes – when you promote a special offer and so on – but the point is not just to show off your business. The point is to build a strong network of dedicated followers. In plain English, make sure you provide interesting information.
#3 Fall for them
If you really want to succeed in your social media marketing efforts you have to truly love your job. Social media request a certain degree of dedication. If you ask me, I would say that you have to love socializing via these networks to do it properly. Don’t hold back from sacrificing your time and effort on creating beautiful posts. Don’t avoid researching and offering information that travelers desire. In other words, don’t post for the post’s sake. Post because you really believe in that post’s potential and beneficial nature for your hotel’s branding goals. So, what is the common mistake in that case? Avoiding effort and going with a purposeless piece of info.
#4 Don’t push the limits
The fact that it looks very convenient to bombard your account with 10 tweets in 5 minutes, so that you don’t waste time throughout your busy day, doesn’t mean that it is a correct practice. The exact opposite. Same with your Instagram account. The fact that there is an event happening as we talk in your premises does not mean that you have to post all the photos you take at once. Keep them for a later post. The accessibility of your social media accounts should not lead you towards pushing the limits and spamming your hotel followers’ feeds with countless posts. The best case scenario will be that they will stop following your pages. The worst is that you will lose your credibility as you will look unprofessional.
#5 Don’t be a ghost
That is a two-sided problem. First off, you have and need to take the most out of social media opportunities for interaction with your customers. Don’t let comments or messages unanswered. One of the biggest advantages of social media marketing is the chance for engagement and 2-way communication. Are you going to miss that? Secondly, even if it is not a personal profile, you absolutely have to show off your human nature. Be it your guests, your staff or whoever you think would be more relevant, you have to prove to your audience that you are human and that your pages are not just pages with automated posts. Be present, be real, be quick, engage and present your hotel’s team.
That’s all for now. Just keep in mind that no matter what’s your hotel’s location, type and size, you should absolutely focus on social media marketing but always remember that it is not as easy as it looks and that if you make the same mistakes twice you will probably decrease the number of your fans/followers and so on. So, stick to the above five and we’ll come back with more things to avoid.. After all, nobody is perfect and we all tend to spot new mistakes we are doing when promoting our brand frequently enough!