Success of Social Media at the Brand Level
By Anne Sandoval Marketing Manager, Travel Media Group | February 05, 2017
It's undeniable that hotel brands have found success in using social media to engage travelers. Some of the more active brands on social media can boast millions of Facebook Likes and hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter. Scores of additional followers join in the conversation on Instagram, Pinterest and Google+, and the most current brands are trying out networks like Snapchat and Periscope.
With this level of undisputed success at the brand level, some hoteliers might think that any engagement at the individual property level is unnecessary, but that is far from the truth. With hundreds of hotel properties to market on social media, local social media marketing is an untapped wealth of exposure and revenue for many brands.
Importance of Social Media at the Local Level
- Claim Listings
The first step to taking control of social media at the hotel property level is for a brand to claim all existing hotel social media profiles. While some decision makers at the brand level might prefer to not have a presence at the local level, the problem is that the local hotel pages exist independently and can be created by anyone. All it takes is for a single guest to "check in" at a hotel on Facebook using mobile geolocation services, and a page will be created for the hotel if one doesn't already exist. This page will continue to fill with user generated content - posts and reviews about the property - with no oversight from property management. The ideal strategy for a hotel brand is to claim these hotel property listings or create them, so that the profiles are updated with accurate property information and optimized for search engines.
- Control the Message
One of the key benefits of claiming and creating social media profiles for each property in a brand or management group is that the brand can have complete control over the message each profile sends. By managing the profile images and cover photos for hotels on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, brands can hold properties accountable to brand standard guidelines for logos and images. Through consistent social media posting, brands can ensure that positive messages are more frequent and prevalent than comments from guests. With control over local social media profiles for every property, brands can also exponentially increase the reach of marketing campaigns and promotions by providing content that's consistent across all properties.
- Manage Reputation
Controlling the message communicated by local hotel properties is vital to managing a brand's overall reputation. Social media continues to play a larger role in hotel reputation management each year, with many profiles displaying reviews, comments from fans and followers and more. The expectations of travelers have also changed when it comes to a property's social media presence. Consumers expect business social media profiles to be professional, accurate and informative. In fact, according to research from Four Pillars Hotels, 52% of surveyed travelers changed their travel plans after researching on Facebook.
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