Some brands recognize the power that a good hotel social media marketing strategy for has on their business. Others think that it is overrated with minimal returns and has a complicated steep learning curve.
The truth of the matter is social media marketing is here to stay with the majority of the internet users using various forms of social media to communicate and get vital information from the brands they want to know about.
Areas that have seen a tremendous impact from social media marketing are the tourism and hospitality industry particularly the beach hotels and resorts. We are going to look at ten benefits of a resort hotel social media marketing strategy based on evidence from beach hotels that have successfully implemented social media campaigns that have generated leads.
The Power of Social Media
Before guest books your resort it is highly likely that he/she has carried out some research on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TripAdvisor, or some sort of social media page to pick the right hotel for their upcoming vacation. This means that if your beach resort does not have a positive presence in the social media, you are losing business fast.
However, all hope is not lost; the resort owners can leverage their social media presence to influence how the potential guests perceive their resort before they book. As such, the major advantages of social media marketing are:
1. Increased Brand Recognition
Social media gives you the opportunity to let others know who you are and the culture that you want to portray to the public. Let’s face it, if nobody knows you, they won’t come and spend money at your resort. Building brand awareness is faster and more effective in social media platforms.
2. Reach New Clients
Along with increasing your brand recognition comes the benefit of reaching new customers. As your social presence increases and you get more followers and likes to your profiles, new people will start to come across your brand and be curious of who you are. This is a perfect opportunity to give them a great first impression.
3. Increase Booking Conversions
Being relevant and current with your social media tells people that you are open for business. If you have social media pages that have not been updated in a long time, you look like a deserted ghost town and people will think you are closed. Similar to updating your website, you must make sure that you are not abandoning your social media.
4. Laser Target Your Message
Want to get your message across specifically to a certain group of people or a certain location? No problem. Most social media properties will give you the ability to target groups that you can advertise to or set up a media campaign to increase your ROI. The possibilities are endless and this strategy should be a part of your marketing campaign.
5. Instant Connections and Messages With Your Followers
Being active on social media allows you to have 2-way conversations with past, current, and future guests. Whether through Direct Messaging or commenting on a social page, the value is felt from your clients when they know you are available and can answer their questions.
6. Gain More Direct Bookings
You have more control over your sales funnel because of your social pages. You have the ability to drive traffic to your own website and, more importantly, to your own reservation page. This saves your resort fees from OTA’s and gives control back to you and makes the booking process easier for your guests.
7. Build A Positive Online Reputation
Regardless of whether you think you need social media, your guests are on it. They are going to post reviews, both good and bad, whether you like it or not. By being proactive, you can monitor and respond to any reviews that are made about your brand. Responding to both positive and negative reviews shows people you care about who they are and what they have to say.
8. Quick Promotion Execution
There is no better way to get a promotion out quicker than through your social media pages. You can send out specials in a short time and monitor the response which allows you to test multiple variables to see what gets you more bookings and more engagement from your followers.
9. Decrease Marketing Costs
Other than using social platforms in a pay per click and advertising platform, you have the ability to use social media to get your marketing message out to thousands of people for free. The bigger you grow your following on social media the less money you will need for your marketing. This is because you will be able to grow your sales funnel through your various social platforms.
10. Social Signal Help With SEO
Google and other search engines now use social signals as a ranking factor in their algorithms. Social signals in the form of follows, likes, and shares from different social media platforms show the search engines that the brand is active and current and will reward those brands websites with higher rankings in searches.
Innovative Social Media Marketing Approach Example
To have a successful social media marketing campaign, Beach Resorts need to employ an innovative marketing approach that works for their industry. This also means avoiding harmful tactics and shortcuts such as buying likes and followers or sending inappropriate messages that provide only short term benefits at the expense of the long term goals.
Innovative Social Media Marketing involves consistent branding in various social channels, characterized by regular posting and active interaction with the audience. The innovative aspect comes in to enable the resorts to effectively achieve this at a minimum cost.
The Sands Beach Resort Canary Island of Lanzarote is an example of using some innovative ways to drive customers to its doorstep and generate high levels of revenue:
- All Employees are on Google Plus which they use both internally and externally to communicate.
- The Top Management is on major social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn contributing to company transparency and boosting the morale of the rest of employees.
- The resort not only follows other users but also actively engages with them.
- The company encourages employee advocacy on all social media platforms by encouraging them to participate in the companies social media conversations regardless of position or rank.
Because of their efforts, the Sands Resort has a high engagement level with their social followers and that translates into increased inquiries for bookings. They understood that just having outstanding facilities does not always mean exceptional growth. They turned to social media to showcase their exceptional capabilities and have seen tremendous customer growth and engagement.
If you ignore your social media, your business will not grow. Your beach resort relies on people searching you out when they plan a vacation. Nobody books a trip worth thousands of dollars for their family without checking out the different resorts in the area they want to go to. If they can’t see your resort or get a feel of the atmosphere that you provide, they are not coming to see you.
Take these measures immediately to get on track with your social media:
**Disclaimer** Beach Resort Marketing wants you as a client. We are giving you as many tips as possible because we want you to succeed, but we also know that this is not easy work and it takes a lot of time to do properly. You are busy running a resort and catering to your guests and staff to make your resort successful. We do this part for a living and want to do this for you, but you can choose to do this in-house, so here are some pointers:
- Find out what social media channels you currently have and list the usernames and passwords on a spreadsheet so you keep them organized.
- At minimum you should have a Facebook page, Twitter profile, Google+ page, and an Instagram page. If you don’t have these 4, then create the pages and profiles. Make the page covers represent your brand and make the profile names represent your resort as well.
- Get all of your descriptions on the profiles updated and written for the people wanting to come vacation at your resort.
- Link your social profiles back to your website reservations page or a specials page (landing page). This does not have to be your home page, but somewhere in your sales funnel that has a retargeting or tracking pixel.
- Get your current social numbers together. How many page likes and followers do you have in each profile? (not paid…never pay for followers and likes). Put your numbers on a spreadsheet as this will be the start of your tracking of future growth.
- Have a meeting with some of your staff that you trust and that are very versed in the different social platforms. This is important to understand; Beach Resort Marketing wants your business and we want to manage your social media profiles. However, if you want to allocate resources in your own place, then make sure whoever you get to post images and content is dedicated to that task only. It is not a part-time job to run social media, but there is a lot of work (fun work, but hard work).
- Decide on a consistent posting schedule. We recommend a minimum of 2 posts per day, per profile.
- Get some help from past and current guests with User Generated Content. Encourage guests to post pictures with a unique hashtag to your resort. Have fun with this; “Post your favorite turtle picture with #mybeachresortrocks and the winner gets a free lunch.”
- Start monitoring your progress and start monitoring your competition. What’s working well? What’s not working well?
- Be proactive in planning for holidays, specials, and events to make sure that you have proper promotion time to get the message out through your social channels.
- Start expanding to more social media channels to reach more people.
That should get you moving in the right direction. Good luck and if you have any questions, give us a call. We would love to chat and we look forward to talking with you.
Contact Beach Resort Marketing For A FREE Social Media Evaluation and Consultation For Your Resort