Hotel Social Media Marketing: 5 Proven Tips to Drive Bookings

Social media marketing for hotels provides hoteliers with a toolbox of resources to reach audiences of various demographics across multiple social media platforms.

While digital marketing drives bookings through more passive or back-end approaches, social media marketing puts your hotel out there for fresh eyes to see on their feeds, pages, and search results. Understanding and implementing social media marketing for hotels goes beyond simple posts and requires regular interaction with potential guests.

Below is a background on social media marketing and its aspects, as well as five tips to drive bookings through specific social media platforms and search results.

Social Media Marketing Background

As stated in the name, social media marketing is a multi-layered marketing strategy specifically created and geared toward social media platforms and their users.

This marketing plan entails a business establishing its presence on multiple platforms and consistently updating content on each of them. Along with posting, businesses also interact with current and prospective guests on these platforms to answer questions, promote specials, and resolve queries.

Social media marketing for hotels has expanded beyond the existence of social channels alone due to the growth of social media influencers. Working with influencers and brand ambassadors expands your hotel marketing to new audiences with a mutual interest in the influencer and traveling near your hotel’s location.

The combined use of social media channels, partnerships with influencers, and marketing on search engines and social channels with SEO results in the targeting of new customers—all while simultaneously cultivating relationships with current customers. Altogether, this combination drives bookings from multiple ends.

Tip #1: Brand Consistency

Part of introducing robust social media marketing for hotels is consistent branding. From logos and fonts to header images and graphics, maintaining a uniform library of branding tools helps your social media pages look polished and connected.

Before creating a branding strategy, you must have a strong understanding of the types of guests who frequently stay at your hotel and why they choose it. Leaning into these attributes will clarify how much emphasis you should put on certain factors, like nearby attractions or the hotel restaurant’s menu, when creating a branding campaign.

Incorporating these details and possessing a strong knowledge of your hotel’s appeal and location matter greatly when creating branding materials. Some characteristics of effective branding in marketing campaigns include:

  • Fonts
  • Colors and color schemes
  • Images
  • Graphics
  • Logos
  • Taglines/slogans

Pick fonts and colors that not only match the decor or aesthetic of the hotel but look nice on social media and the hotel’s website. Additionally, investing in high-quality images of the hotel’s features and relevant graphics/logos will bolster the hotel’s image and reputation across your social media pages.

Present a well-rounded view of the hotel, not merely restricted to just the rooms or amenities. Focusing on additional details that make the hotel stand out compared to competitors show customers an experience they might not get to experience anywhere else in the area.

Advertisements provide an option to showcase your consistent branding and reach new eyes. Buying ads on social media sites enable you to display the best version of the hotel to users interested in traveling to your area who need a place to stay.

Tip #2: Emphasize Hotel Quirks

With stiff competition in the hospitality industry, especially during peak travel times, emphasizing the uniqueness of your hotel is an effective way to drive bookings.

Unique attributes vary based on each hotel and potential guest but take some time to identify unusual or quirky aspects of your specific hotel. Highlighting these unique attributes makes your hotel stand out from the crowd without turning it into a novelty.

For this marketing tool to be possible, hoteliers must understand their target demographic and the habits of the hotel’s visitors, similar to the research conducted when creating a consistent brand.

For example, if the hotel frequently attracts seasoned travelers, play up the attributes that make the hotel appealing to people who fit this demographic. Conversely, if your hotel is a top destination for tourists or new travelers to the area, emphasize hotel attributes that suit this demographic and make them feel welcomed.

While highlighting these factors of the hotel is effective in drawing in new bookings, make sure to do so in a moderate way, so that repeat guests do not feel inundated with the marketing of the hotel’s image. It is essential not to take the hotel’s image too seriously while also maintaining a professional reputation and manner.

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Tip #3: Make the Most of Social Media Accounts

Social media marketing for hotels relies heavily on your presence on social media channels. Along with making accounts on a few popular social media sites, there are a few more ways to maximize your presence online and attract more guests.

One effective social media strategy is user-generated content (UGC). This content is photos, videos, etc. directly from guests to your hotel that provides an insider look at the space and what it has to offer.

Through hashtags, tagged locations, check-ins, and more, UGC repeatedly appears on each platform and provides a more diverse and approachable social media marketing plan. Utilizing this type of content on at least one social channel makes for an accessible, relatable view of your business.

Facebook

Facebook allows users to post combinations of text, photos, and videos, making it an excellent platform for writing out features, promotions, or special events at a hotel accompanied by images or video.

Additionally, photo albums enable you to organize images and video chronologically or by themes/aesthetics, so visitors to the page can view different aspects of the hotel.

Features

Along with individual profiles, Facebook’s business option is the way to go to create a page for a hotel. Business pages have access to more options like integrating other social channels, a reviews section, an about section, maps, and more.

One useful option on Facebook for Business is the “book now” button, where users are directed to the hotel’s website and learn more about pricing and room options. For hotels and other businesses that rely upon bookings, this feature is a must.

Check-ins to a location also provide exposure to the hotel from guests and depending on the guest’s settings. This check-in will show up on their timeline along with their friends’ and sometimes friends of friends’ pages.

Additionally, tagged photos from guests make great UGC for you to showcase on your own Facebook page, demonstrating the views and visual experience of a hotel stay to the guest’s friends as well as viewers of the hotel’s page.

Twitter

While more limited in the length of its writing, Twitter is an excellent platform for posting shorter-form content about the hotel and responding to feedback from guests or potential visitors interested in the hotel.

Features

A feature specific to Twitter compared to most other social media networks is polls. Polls provide a way to gauge interest or opinions from guests or potential visitors, but they can also be fun tools for interacting with guests. Polls on specific menu items or preferred hotel experiences, for example, engage visitors at the hotel while also advertising amenities.

Hashtags are popular across social media channels, but Twitter is where they shine. Creating hashtags in your branding process and rolling them out online helps organize your posts and find people interested in travel or attractions near the hotel. Hashtags related to seasonal specials or promotions help drive bookings around specific periods of time as well.

The character limit placed on tweets might seem restrictive, but using fewer words to convey your message is an excellent way to share information about the hotel’s activities and specials concisely. Keeping tweets straightforward and short is the way to go while posting detailed infographics allows you to include more information visually.

Instagram

Made for sharing photos, Instagram has evolved into a social media site where short videos and photo stories thrive too. For any visual communication, Instagram is the best social media channel to display your hotel’s stunning images and inner workings.

Like Facebook, Instagram also lets you modify your account to a Business profile, which unlocks more features than a typical personal account. This program, called Instagram Business, enables business owners to gauge the popularity of their content and the analytics of page visitors.

Features

Posts are the heart of Instagram. Curating a feed with a pronounced aesthetic or theme advertises the hotel’s appearance while also solidifying your hotel’s brand. Include wide images of the hotel’s exterior and identifying features, but also close-ups of unexpected details and seasonal features to mix up the images without sacrificing consistency.

Since posting too frequently is a nuisance for many users and posts sometimes get lost in the shuffle, stories provide a more regular channel for sharing content. Stories range in type from images or collages of images to short videos and looped videos, and more.

Posting stories daily or every few days is ideal and less obtrusive than posting images every single day. With a business account, you can view how frequently people visit a post and when which informs you of the best times to post going forward as well as what content gets noticed most.

While stories live on your profile for only 24 hours, highlights enable you to preserve these stories on your Instagram account for viewing later. Creating a series of on-brand thumbnails for each highlight streamlines the appearance of your page and matches the branding of your feed’s theme.

UGC photos from guests provide another way to market your hotel on Instagram through guests’ points of view. Reposting guests’ photos on your feed or in your stories facilitates interaction with current and prospective visitors. Additionally, promoting seasonal specials or deals under hashtags organizes posts and encourages page visitors to participate in the deal.

Integrate Channels

These three social platforms are the most salient when engaging in social media marketing for hotels. However, integrating these feeds into your website or other places on the web creates a cohesive brand identity and clearly links all your social media pages together.

For example, a hotel’s YouTube channel could post videos of promotions or walk-throughs of rooms and amenities. On the channel, hoteliers can link to other social media accounts and post them somewhere within videos for added exposure.

Additionally, Pinterest is another reliable visual platform where users organize boards of cohesive images that are sometimes vague in origin. Posting hotel images on Pinterest and linking back to the hotel’s Instagram or website is a strategy to redirect Pinterest users to the source material.

Integrating reviews is another way to utilize your social media channels to their full potential. Promoting positive and well-thought-out reviews on your social media pages draws attention to the most attractive and appealing aspects of the business.

More critical reviews, however, provide opportunities for bettering your hotel in the future. Responding to queries publicly on social media, and then pivoting to direct messages or private chats, will resolve customers’ individual issues and demonstrate your commitment to one-on-one communication with guests.

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Tip #4: Work with Influencers

Regularly posting on social media leads to growth in bookings and exposure in the hotel industry, but working with influencers takes this exposure to new heights.

Influencers are social media users with considerably large followings. They usually work in particular niches, like fashion or travel, and followers of this content look to influencers for recommendations and advice within that niche. Some followers and viewers, though, gravitate to this content just to view images or videos of specific experiences, like luxury vacations.

For either case, influencer marketing involves a built-in following—independent of your hotel’s social media following—with which you can market your hotel and its promotions. Mainly, travel influencers or influencers familiar with the area of your hotel are the logical choices for business partnerships.

Partnerships with influencers depend on the reputation of your hotel as well as the popularity of the influencer online. These partnerships take form in different ways:

  • Free or reduced visits in exchange for social media posts featuring/tagging the hotel, often revolving around a hotel special or amenity
  • Discount codes for followers to use, with a small commission going to influencers
  • Sponsored posts or videos, paid for by the hotel, that follow certain guidelines negotiated between the business and influencer

Depending on your budget and target demographic, finding influencers to promote your hotel is as simple as sending an email or direct message. However, make sure to verify their following—i.e., that most of their followers are real people and not paid bots.

The ratio of followers/subscribers to likes and comments is one way to check the influencer’s engagement on their own pages. Another way to follow up is to look through previous sponsorships or partnerships the influencer has made with other hotels or businesses.

When everyone is on the same page, working with influencers makes for a strong marketing tactic with room for repeat partnerships during peak travel times or special occasions.

Tip #5: Utilize Google

For potential guests looking for a place to stay, Google and other search engines provide a starting point to navigate through different hotels and travel spots. To drive bookings, consider marketing your hotel and social media through Google and its apps.

Google’s My Business feature allows you to create a business profile for your hotel and consolidate relevant information, like your website and phone number, into one place. The page also enables you to communicate with customers and update information regularly.

Along with other social media networks, Google My Business includes space for photos as well as a map of the hotel’s location in proximity to other nearby places. This feature enables you to display images you would include on Facebook or Twitter that reel in potential guests. You can accompany these images with FAQs or other necessary information about the hotel.

For hotels, this page is especially helpful for seasonal changes in hours for check-in and check-out. Additionally, the incorporation of reviews from Google users showcases guests’ experiences in a visual way through the star-rating system. Like any other review system, you can reach out to guests with less favorable reviews and inquire about their experience.

Along with My Business, Google Analytics equips you with SEO tools to track and analyze the choices of guests and potential visitors. With Google Analytics, users can view and track the frequency of keywords in search results over designated periods of time and compare web traffic between these time periods.

Utilizing SEO is also one way to help promote your hotel’s website over the sites of external booking companies. After viewing popular keywords related to your hotel, the area, or attractions nearby, integrate these words into your website and social channels to boost your hotel’s presence in search results in the future.

Final Thoughts

As social media changes over time, social media marketing strategies must adapt to these changes to keep up with guests’ wants and needs. Through these five tips, navigating the changing social media sphere is more straightforward and hopefully results in increased bookings going forward.

Most Hotels Struggle with Generating Bookings Online...We Fix That!

Since 2009, we have helped many Hotels grow strategically. Let us do it for you!

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