The hospitality industry is one of the hardest-hit businesses during the time of the pandemic. Many individuals are uncertain about traveling and staying in hotels because of the “new normal.” A lot of these businesses have to adjust protocols when it comes to hygiene and safety.
Aside from the changes within business operations, there are also definite differences seen in marketing hospitality establishments. Travel spots, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and dining locations are ramping up their marketing activities to entice people to go out and consider the services they have to offer.
One of the areas in digital marketing where we can see more hospitality businesses are social media channels. Indeed, many restaurant and hotel social media pages create sponsored posts, engage users, and generate content to give people ideas on where to stay and what to eat. If you are in the hospitality industry, the wisest thing to do at present is to jump on the bandwagon and start on effective social media strategies.
What are some marketing trends you should adapt to your social media accounts? Below, you will see the latest and best practices that will show long-term growth for your hospitality business.
Social Media Trends In Hospitality Industry: Effective Strategies To Apply
For an effective social media strategy, influencer marketing is the way to go. Did you know that influencers promote not only products but also hospitality establishments? If you are wondering how you can scout for quality influencers and how to offer them a partnership, you can do the following techniques:
- Sign up at influencer networking agencies: There are websites to see a pool of influencers based on category. For example, there are travel or local influencers who may be able to partner with you. Through influencer networking, you can filter out the individuals who can help you out with promotions.
- Consider influencer metrics: The next step you have to take is finding those that will help in your social media brand awareness. For this, you can look at the influencer’s engagement rate, the number of followers, or their record of previous successful campaigns.
- Set your guidelines expressly: Since the restaurant and hotel industry may need a higher level of commitment from influencers, you need to place your guidelines in a specific manner. For example, you should indicate the deliverables, deadline, hashtag, and content styling on the contract.
Another notable social media trend in the hospitality industry is user-generated content. This type of content can go in multiple ways--you can showcase them as regular posts, videos or reels, or sponsored posts for paid promotions.
Here are some ways to include user-generated content as part of your marketing strategy:
- Encouraging hashtag use: It can be helpful to have a branded hashtag and encourage customers to place the specific hashtag when they visit your establishment. If they take a picture of staying in your restaurant, hotel, BnB, or any other hospitality setting, you can access the hashtag and see your customer’s posts. You can encourage this by creating cards or posters that promote hashtag use.
- Email repeat customers for a testimonial: Many satisfied customers will be happy to leave a testimonial on your Facebook page or website. You can ask for such reviews to boost credibility and encourage potential guests.
- Influencers and feature pages: Influencer marketing which was elaborated on the first strategy, is one of the ways to generate user content. Aside from that, you can also ask to be featured in niche social media pages that show local spots, restaurants, or travel locations.
- Inviting personalities: Although not exactly user-generated, asking personalities such as celebrities or famous figures in your establishment can help build credibility. The production isn’t user-generated, but you can still garner authentic content from personalities who will be visiting. You can invest in professional video shooting to create such features in your social media.
User-generated content aims to help confirm the brand’s authenticity and social proof--letting others speak for you is one of the powerful ways to dominate in your online marketing.
Geo-targeted sponsored posts
One of the best and most useful social media trends you can apply for restaurant and hotel marketing is geo-specific sponsored posts. Now, many sponsored posts can be targeted in specific locations through the user’s GPS.
For example, if a user is recently traveling in your city, this GPS data will be picked up, and your sponsored post will show as they browse their social media platform. This great feature will allow you to generate leads quickly for those who are in the immediate area. It is also helpful to increase brand awareness for locals in your city or community.
The trick to making successful geo-targeted sponsored posts is creating a location setting that is not too wide nor narrow. Placing the specifics within the city or within 20-30 miles of driving distance can help target accurately.
Improving social media customer service
Your establishment’s customer service isn’t the only one that needs attention. If you plan to ramp up your social media strategy, it can also be helpful to have customer service available in your accounts.
There are several ways to go about this:
- Social media management agency: Many digital marketing agencies offer social media management services for clients. Since these experts are well-versed in social media growth for several niches, it can be an excellent route for those who want stellar customer service.
- Social media managers: These individuals have knowledge and experience in maintaining engagement in social media accounts. It can be great for smaller businesses that have lesser inquiries.
- Self-management: You can also choose to manage your social media account for customer service purposes. If you have a smaller budget or lesser traffic, you can start by working on your response times in social media accounts. Having some template responses can help in the speed of your replies.
Social Media Marketing: A Pillar For Hospitality Industry Growth
What once was considered a small part of digital marketing strategies that convert, social media has grown to be a giant to generate leads even in the hospitality industry. Embracing these social media trends in the hospitality industry will help you establish your online presence, build brand awareness, and ultimately grow your customer base.
Looking for expert help with social media marketing, content marketing, SEO, web design, and many more? From online marketing software to customized marketing services, E-Marketing Associates can help you achieve your goals and help your small business grow.