3 Essential Social Media Marketing Strategies for Hotels

By Leslie Wilkins Co-Founder, Pipeline Social Media | February 18, 2018

Co-authored by Keith Mather, Chief Revenue Officer & Partner, Pipeline Social Media

There is no doubt that marketing for hotels has evolved over the years. Hoteliers have more options than ever to spend advertising dollars in both traditional forms and digital forms, so how do you choose? While there is a need for advertising methods through specific channels like billboards, Google AdWords, and TripAdvisor, none of these channels can simultaneously maximize your hotel's digital presence in the three important ways that social media can: by managing your reputation, marketing your property by telling your story, and targeting your ideal guest.

I am here to argue that social media is the only place where you can accomplish all three necessary actions and -- to a more advantageous degree -- save money, as it is the least expensive route. Let's dive into these three strategies to explain why each is important and give you the insight you need to accomplish these marketing methods today on your hotel's social media.

1. Reputation Monitoring

In an industry where success is based on reputation, you want to control the conversations happening online about your property. With social media reviews, messages, comments, and check-ins happening every second, it's important to be at the forefront of these interactions, especially if they are negative. These negative interactions cannot be completely prevented, but I can tell you how to equalize and maintain these issues by responding efficiently and correctly. I believe there is a form of performance measurement in social media called a Negative Social ROI, and it occurs when reviews and social interactions do not have a response. Create a Positive Social ROI with quick responses that conciliate your customer, keeping in mind the potential impact of friends of guests or potential guests. To put it simply: if guests or potential guests are trying to contact you through social media, you have to be effectively present in order to connect with them.

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Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.