Content is King: How to Keep Your Hotel Social Media Fans Coming Back for More

By Robert Rauch Chief Executive Officer, RAR Hospitality | December 23, 2012

Co-authored by Junvi Ola, Principal, Hospitality Content Studio

Your hotel's social media fans are a fickle bunch. Who can blame them? The growing number of social media sharing sites and the limitless content that changes by the second is a recipe for shorter-than-normal attention spans or what we call GADD (guest attention deficit disorder). Despite this, the potential is strong for your hotel property to enthrall even the most distracted social media user.

So, what's the secret to battling through the clutter and keeping your hotel's fans and guests excited to follow you? Just remember every top-rated marketer's mantra: Content is king. Travel brands and companies are discovering that high-quality content is the key to any successful social marketing campaign.

One ultra-creative blog post or a string of fun Facebook updates is just a start. Committing to quality content that attracts travelers should happen with every Tweet, LinkedIn comment, Facebook update and blog post. We've come together as a hotel management consultant and travel copywriter to give you 11 simple tips to live by when posting anything to your hotel's Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. This guide will ensure that your hotel is engaging current followers, attracting new ones and keeping them all wanting more.

1. Stick with the top players

First things first. When it comes to your social media accounts, keep it simple. There's no urgent need to be involved with every small niche social media site on the Web. Start with where the vast majority of social media users already live, such as Facebook (more than 800 million users), Twitter (more 200 million users), and LinkedIn (to mingle and network with meeting planners). Then once you're adept in those spaces, add Google+, a blog, Foursquare and YouTube (if you want to start sharing videos). Tools like Hootsuite allow you post to most of these sites from one simple dashboard.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.