Here are some low-cost, high-impact social media topics that keep your social media content fresh, engaging and anything-but-stale.
by Amber Wojcek & Heather Carnes
To help get your creative juices flowing, we’ve put together our own list of 10 great topics that your fans and potential guests will love. These are easy, straightforward and can be applied to nearly any type of property.
Sometimes the idea of posting new and fresh content to your business’ social media pages can seem daunting, and trying to come up with relevant content over and over can get exhausting. And having to do so multiple times a week, or even multiple times a day, can seem repetitive. But, social media as a tool to market and promote your hotel doesn’t have to be daunting, exhausting or repetitive. You just have to have the right approach to keep your content exciting and engaging.
Potential guests have seen photos on your website, but a common concern is wondering how old those photos are. Snap a picture of your hotel, whether it’s the outside, a clean room, the breakfast area or the pool, and share that your property is looking forward to welcoming new guests.
The key to remember here is to feature compelling images that will grab the attention of your audience online; images should be cheerful, bright and professional-looking in nature.
Are you near a convention center or arena? Does your town throw an annual festival such as Oktoberfest? Let your followers know what’s going on so current guests know where the fun is and other fans will see you as a trusted local resource. Guests are looking for an authentic experience, so staying in the know about local events and sharing those on your social media outlets is a great way to demonstrate your connection to the local community.
Take it a step further and find someone who has attended an event or has insider info, and feature that info on social media. This further demonstrates your property as being “in the know” and offers followers information they can’t get anywhere else.
Make your guests’ travel even easier by sharing transportation information, such as if you have an airport shuttle, or the best way to get to the nearest metro station. This will show that you care about helping and taking care of your guests, even when they aren’t under your roof.
Map your property to the largest local attractions to demonstrate how close your property is to things guest would want to do.
Favorite local restaurants
After a road trip, travelers are usually fed up with fast food. Share nearby restaurants you love to go to, and maybe even suggest your favorite dish. If you have an onsite restaurant, post your own specials, popular dishes or profile your chef to show and tell everyone about the great things being made in his/her kitchen.
Ask if nearby restaurants would offer your guests a discount for dining with them. Because you’re referring business their way, they’ll more often than not be willing to offer exclusive discounts and coupons. This is another great thing to promote on social media.
Have an especially chipper guest at checkout? Ask for a quote you can Tweet or post to Facebook. Don’t forget to check if guests have left a post on your page complimenting your services, and share this with your fans. Almost nine out of 10 travelers check reviews before making travel decisions, so a good review is priceless in promoting your property.
Highlight good reviews by featuring them (or parts of them) on social media. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn and highlight positive reviews.
Deals and discounts
There’s nothing better than feeling like you’ve gotten a great deal. Consider offering a Facebook special promotional price, or share information about when your room rates drop. If you have a specific deal or coupon, let your followers know where to find it.
Host a contest or sweepstakes for a free room night or special add-ons with a night’s stay. The social media buzz centered around the contest is sure to get people talking about (and sharing!) your property.
Nothing quite makes you want to go on vacation like seeing a sparkling pool on a summer day. Showcase what makes your place great. Snap a pic of a four-legged guest if your hotel is pet-friendly, mention if you have free WiFi, showcase your outdoor areas. Think about what makes your property unique and highlight that as often as possible on social media; it’s the place to show your property as a step above the rest.
Tempt their sweet tooth: Bake fresh cookies for guests, set them out and snap a photo for social media.
Answer common questions
Do you offer early check-in? How far are you from the airport? Are pets allowed? All you have to do is ask the person who answers the phones at your property what questions they get most often. If lots of people have the same question, then be an informative resource by posting the answer before they have to ask.
In addition to answering specific questions about your property, post, share and answer common travel questions. There’s a plethora of travel-related blogs on the web from which to draw info from.
Profile an employee
Ask an outstanding employee – front desk, housekeeping, waiter – if you can share a photo of them on Facebook. Once they agree, snap a pic and get a quote from them. Ask what they like most about the hotel property, or for their personal must-see site or restaurant in the area. Your audience will love seeing behind-the-scenes, getting local advice and will know that your staff is top notch.
Consider showing love to you Employee of the Month by profiling the recipient acknowledging their efforts and impact they make on your hotel.
Ask guests to share vacation photos
People on social media love seeing photos, and they’re more likely to pay attention to a post with a photo than just text. Ask if anyone has a photo from their vacation that you could share or even just a story about their stay. Who knew your guests could be such a great source of content? ■
Shy about tracking down photos from guests? Find photos online of people enjoying local attractions, and share those on social media. That way guests can visualize themselves participating in similar activities.
The 80/20 social media rule
The 80/20 rule applies to social media as well. Remember that 80 percent of the content you post should be geared toward adding value (non-salesy approach), and the other 20 percent can promote your property and be more sales-focused in nature.
Amber Wojcek is the marketing coordinator for Travel Media Group, which provides innovative digital marketing solutions for hotels. Contact her at email@example.com, and follow her work @TravelMediaGrp. Heather Carnes is managing editor of Today’s Hotelier magazine and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have an innovative social media strategy you’d like to share with our readers? Write to our editor at email@example.com.