With 100,000 tweets sent, 684,478 pieces of content shared on Facebook, and 3,600 photos shared on Instagram every minute of every day, it’s more important than ever to step up your property's social media game (visual.ly). Many travel shoppers are making decisions on accommodations based on content that appears on social media in the form of traveler reviews and photos.
In order to get the most out of social media, it’s wise to build a well-planned strategy. The following are our five tips for successful storytelling on social media:
1. Create Brand Heroes
Every story has a hero, including the story of your property. Your heroes are the guests that your property interacts with. With such a large emphasis on brand storytelling in the global hospitality industry, it’s important for every property to recognize who their heroes are.
By communicating with your heroes via social media, your brand is acting as a mentor in support of the hero’s travel journey. Your brand offers a “gift” to the hero, comprised of the features that make your hotel unique. The gift you’re giving travelers is a unique, memorable experience, standout service and thoughtful amenities.
Call your heroes to adventure by inviting them to your property by way of shared values and experiences. This can be done through visual prompting on social media, by posting photos that will stimulate a travel shopper’s desire, like this one:
2. Create Original Content
Take the creative control in telling your brand story by developing original content for your social media channels.
Good content is social currency. By posting original content, you are creating the social media experience that travel shoppers will want to share with others. Make sure to republish your content to as many social media channels as possible to maximize its exposure!
3. Create Meaningful Connections
By posting content that embodies your brand’s values, you are creating an affinity with prospective customers, and a community of people with similar values. Travel is an emotional experience, and consumers respond to marketing that triggers a feeling. Discover the values that you share with your brand heroes and then announce them to build a connection.
4. Create a Content Process
Set goals for your content management process and try to push the limits on those goals. Put your plan on paper. How much user generated content do you want to curate each week? How much original content do you want to post each month? Create specific goals, and if you can’t reach them, readjust!
Your goals and metrics can look as simple as:
- We aim to share/engage on social media 2 times daily
- We aim to create 3 pieces of original content each week
- We aim to publish a blog each week
- We aim to create and publish two videos each year
5. Use mobile to Create and Engage
With the upswing in smartphone technology in recent years, there are a plethora of ways that brands can capture and share valuable content without having to invest in production. There are plenty of great applications that you can use to enhance visuals and make your photos worth 1000 words!
Look for opportunities to engage your brand heroes while they are at the property using a smartphone. Having a smartphone available on site at all times will allow you to constantly monitor social media and see what guests are saying about your property.
The Nickelodeon Suites Resort responds to guest tweets while they are at the hotel and can improve the guest’s experience by doing things like bringing additional pillows to a guest who tweets that they need them, or bringing a kid’s gift basket to a family that tweets a picture from the pool deck!
Social media, where travel shoppers live on the internet, is a great place to reach and interact with prospective guests. Using the five tips mentioned above, you can showcase your property’s story, build relationships with travel shoppers, and ultimately drive bookings to your property!