Why Storytelling Sells & How to Analyze If Your Story Does

By Darlene Rondeau Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising, Leonardo | February 15, 2015

What’s the first thing we do when meeting someone new? We ask them questions in an effort to hear their story: Where are you from? What kind of work do you do? Do you have kids? What we’re trying to do, more than just to pass the time – is we’re looking for a way to connect to that person.

Stories make life interesting, but they are also useful because they give people a way to relate. Humans love storytelling, which creates a big opportunity for hotel brands and their properties. And now that social media is maturing from just a friendly addition to your marketing plan to a necessary component of your overall strategy, its role is more vital than ever.

Strategically Social

A solid social media strategy ensures you’re taking part in conversations your guests are having. It also means staying true to your hotel’s social voice and character. By sharing your hotel’s individuality through all your social media posts and shares, you’re differentiating your property from the competition – not to mention engaging with your audience in a compelling, personal way (and not sounding like a robot!)
A well-planned social strategy also includes having content readily available to go about creatively repurposing that material appropriately for each of the channels you’re using to interact with hotel shoppers.

Why Stories Sell on Social Media

Stories are deeply and fundamentally engaging to consumers, and because people can relate to stories, creating content with this in mind on your most important social platforms creates the basis for authentic conversations. The contemporary guest appreciates being informed, educated and delighted, not “sold to.”

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.