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Hotel Social Media Advice from 8 Pros

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We asked some of our favorite clients, partners, and hoteliers to share their social media secrets to success. We had two questions: what is the biggest mistake you see hotels make on social media and what is your best media advice? Here's what they had to say.

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Hotel Social Media Advice from 8 Pros

  2. 2. WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME GIVING ADVICE TO HOTELS ABOUT HOW TO BEST ACCOMPLISH THEIR GOALS ON SOCIAL MEDIA. BUT, AS SOCIAL EXPERTS, WE KNOW HOW REWARDING LISTENING TO OTHERS CAN BE, TOO. We asked some of our favorite clients, partners, and hoteliers to share their social media secrets to success. We had two questions: what is the biggest mistake you see hotels make on social media and what is your best social media advice? Here's what they had to say.
  3. 3. BIGGEST MISTAKE Not responding or taking too long to respond to a social posting. Responses should be as immediate as possible in order to pay digital respect to the person posting/liking/sharing—these are guests or potential guests. BEST SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE Don't rely just on organic reach. Promote posts and make use of advertising features within the respective platforms. SAL DICKINSON CEO, DICKINSON & ASSOCIATES AND FLORIDAVACATIONAUCTION.COM @SALDICKINSON
  4. 4. BIGGEST MISTAKE Using a small selection of professional photos rather than really showcasing the property with a wide selection of imagery. I always recommend that my clients conduct a social media photo shoot which is, in essence, a more low-budget and casual photo shoot that really pulls through the brand identity of the property. Solicit the help of a budding local photographer and throw in a complimentary stay on top of a small budget for the photo shoot. Additionally, engage with your social media audience and use their photos of your hotel to extend your image base. BEST SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE Treat social media like other vital advertising platforms and set a budget. Facebook, as an example, has so many great targeting tools for hotels: Facebook Retargeting, Custom Audiences, Facebook Offers and general Promot- ed Posts. You will spend a lot less money communicating with your best customers on a daily basis using these tools. Reach new customers and grow your audience with social media contests. Work with a social media agency to do this professionally to get the most impact. JESSICA MCDONALD OWNER J MCDONALD LTD.
  5. 5. BIGGEST MISTAKE Revealing too much guest information. I have seen this in the form of a public tweet that should have been a direct message or reposting a guest's post that includes some personal information such as their room number. While it's harder in the digital age, protecting guest privacy should always be of paramount importance to all hoteliers. BEST SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE Stay authentic and current. While it might be great that you want to promote a niche new package, people best engage with brands that are relevant to them. Creating interesting topical content and responding to guest comments and posts are both great ways to create conversation. TORI CARTON MARKETING MANAGER HOTEL VERMONT @HOTELVERMONT
  6. 6. BIGGEST MISTAKE When it's apparent that hotels are spending a lot of time on content, but no time on distribution. Gorgeous visuals and snappy copy are wonderful, but their reach will be limited without a thoughtful posting strategy. Hotels should consider timing, platform, targeting and promotional budget to make sure their messages cut through the noise. BEST SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE Stay agile. What works to drive bookings and spur engagement today may not work tomorrow. Test new ideas and be willing to take risks. And, above all else, think about the social media experience from the guest's POV. What would make you take the action (click, share, or book) that you want your guests to take? HEATHER ROBERTSON DIGITAL STRATEGIST BEUTLER INK @BEUTLERINK
  7. 7. BIGGEST MISTAKE Biting off more social media than they can chew. Sometimes hotels feel obliged to engage in every social media platform and often neglect the maintenance and upkeep of a site or two. Having time-lapses in posting or too many instances of social media-silence can compromise your overall efforts in this medium. BEST SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE Better to excel on few sites than over-extended and weak on many. If you do not have the resources, which is not uncommon in our industry, be great on the one or two social platforms that fit best with your hotel. These are usually the spaces your guests are already. For example, if you cater to a younger crowd and your hotel offers many areas that are photo-conducive, consider Instagram as a primary platform. Snapchat may seem like it is a good fit too, but if you don’t have the resources to maintain daily snaps, better to hold off until do you do. STEPHEN GORDON SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, ECOMMERCE NORTHWOOD HOSPITALITY LLC
  8. 8. BIGGEST MISTAKE Lack of character. Just because you are part of a large chain, doesn't mean you can't have a unique voice and personality. I really appreciate chain hotels that do something to highlight their local culture. For example, offering local cuisine or supporting/showcasing local small businesses (i.e. offering local coffee beans). You can do this on your social media by sharing events in the area, featuring stories on the history of the hotel or the city, or by joining in on local events (i.e. fun runs, pet adoption fairs). BEST SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE Don't underestimate the power of "Surprise and Delighting." With companies like Airbnb offering up custom, unique experiences, hotels need to step up their personal offerings to guests. Double Tree is still known for the warm chocolate chip cookies they offer at check-in, making people feel at home when they are away. If a hotel can make a guest feel at home and do something to surprise and delight them, they are going to resonate more with a consumer than treating a guest like one of many. JENNIFER WINBERG MARKETING CONSULTANT @JENNIFERWINBERG
  9. 9. BIGGEST MISTAKE Hotels that always try to sell to their social media followers. Social media is an engagement tool, not a sales platform, so it should be primarily used to build and nurture relationships. Hotels that do not understand this lose the loyalty and commitment of their followers. BEST SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE Stay true to the concept of social media: use it to build relationships with customers by actively engaging in social conversations with them. Ensure that the communication is relevant to them not just to you, the hotel. MIKE SCHUGT PRINCIPAL LEADING NORTH
  10. 10. BIGGEST MISTAKE Not addressing criticism. It’s easy to dismiss complaints, but hiding or ignoring negative comments is a missed opportunity. Thoughtfully responding to a customer’s experience shows that you care about hospitality by admitting to and fixing mistakes. Oftentimes these issues are merely misunderstandings and having a public back- and-forth that ends amiably highlights good customer service to potential guests. BEST SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE Move quickly! Social media is an ever-changing landscape with innovation coming from companies that aren’t afraid to take risks. Try out new platforms, experiment with paid advertising, just make sure to keep track of your data. Detailed analytics make it easier to improve what works and ditch what doesn’t—plus they make stakeholders happy. DREW TYSON SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR BEUTLER INK @BEUTLERINK