For your typical hotel, creating and maintaining a social media presence is hard enough, but growing your network can be even harder. It can be challenging for some hotels to convert even their most loyal guests into fans online. So how can you get guests that like your hotel to in turn Like you on Facebook? Beyond a rigorous social media outreach program, there are a few simple practices you can employ that will encourage your customers to join and engage you on your various social media channels.
Utilize social media icons First off, don’t underestimate the power of social media icons. Keep the icons subtle though, not loud or too front & center. Add your hotel’s buttons to the email signatures of all staff and employees. They should also be posted on your homepage as well as your blog. If you follow up with guests via an online monthly newsletter or something similar, this is also a great place to include those social media icons and is a medium that is often neglected. Going off-line, I recently stayed at a hotel that put its Facebook URL on complimentary water bottles in the rooms. This was a great idea because it showed me that not only was the hotel savvy, but that it also wanted to connect with me online.
Incorporate technology on-site Many properties have computers available for guests’ use in the lobby or business center. Set the computers’ browsers’ default page to your hotel’s Facebook page. If your property uses iPads or tablets, try to incorporate your Facebook and other social media channels into your app or digital services. If you use TV screens in the lobby or anywhere on the property, bring awareness to your Facebook or Twitter by showing a ticker or feed for them on part of the screen.
Provide enticing content Publishing compelling content on Facebook is another way to bring in more people to your community. EdgeRank, Facebook’s news feed algorithm, will reward posts with high engagement by placing them high on others’ news feeds, so all the more reason to give your fans what they want. Getting friends of your fans to Like your page can be easy if they see value! Don’t be afraid to promote a contest or a special just for your community on the site.
These tips can be especially helpful for independent hotels, which might not always have the same marketing opportunities as brand name properties. What other strategies have you found successful to bring in people to your online communities?