Integrating Social Media and SEO Tactics Into Your PR Strategy
By Cindy Woudenberg Founder, LuCorp Marketing | February 17, 2013
Much of hotels marketing efforts are driven today through multiple platforms. Social media today is a key to performance in the search engines-as a PR campaign should be as well. Creating consistent, well defined content and getting it in front of customers is a major role of marketing today. It is the key mode to the buying process for customers. The customer of today is in the driver's seat and they control the decisions. They are asking for suggestions, looking at and for reviews and deals, and looking for news. They want the best options and in response, you must produce a consistent stream of information that addresses the needs of the customer. Integrating public relations efforts with social media is the solution to finding new customers, building connections, appealing to influencers, sharing news/offers/deals, and delivering measurable results.
A great marketing campaign that integrates PR efforts with social media not only helps garner the customer's attention, it also helps drive interest from journalists. Journalists are often looking for content, interesting stories, events, sources and they do this through newswire services as well as searching social media sources. A savvy hotel marketing department will make connections through social media to build relationships with journalists. Social media allows for a much easier way to develop relationships and it is a simple way to magnify messaging.
Hotels must have a social media presence and must be consistently driving messages and engaging the audience. Blogging, commenting, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest are key to magnifying the messages. The future of the search is in engagement of social media integrated with campaigns and these campaigns must be magnified across multiple platforms.
As far as adding new content to your website and social media postings, take a look at blogging and adding timely press releases to generate traffic and interest in your hotel. Effective press releases, blogging and magnifying the messages through social media add not only new content to your website, but also add another way customers will find your hotel online. Posting new, relevant, seasonal content engages and educates customers about your brand and promotes what your hotel is doing. Relevant topics and updates aimed at your target audience is really what the search engines are looking for…the search engines wants fresh content. I call it "feeding the hungry beast within reason".
It's sometimes hard to find time to set up a blog for your business, but it is a great way to increase PR for your company. Circulating new blog posts and articles each week or month is a relatively easy way to socialize with new and old clients and business connections, post fresh content and build awareness for your branding. Your marketing staff can come up with a schedule of blog post topics geared to events on your calendar, seasonal specials, any relevant local topics, and more. And don't let your topics stop at your front door – highlight other local businesses that you can partner up with, as well as upcoming events or industry news. Use your imagination to provide interesting content for prospective customers. Alternatively, you can hire professionals to develop and post content for you on a regular basis.
We all want some of our personality to shine through, and this can be a way to engage potential customers, but don't lose sight of the greater marketing opportunities available through social media. Use your postings as sales "touches" that educate your prospects and customers, and differentiate your business from your competitors. But be careful, as you can post and promote the wrong messages. In developing where to post and ideas to postings and PR campaigns, ask your marketing and management team these questions: