In this article we have some social media tips for Hotels Bed and Breakfasts and Guesthouses. If your expectation is to have a quick fix then you may be disappointed, as to manage your social media marketing strategy you need to initially take time to define you strategy and goals.
So your already have a Facebook, Twitter maybe an Instagram, snapchat or pintrest account and you post content every so often but what now? Chances are if you are a small independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast or Guesthouse you will be the person managing your digital marketing strategy with no goal or aim.
Create a social media strategy
Of all social media tips for hotels, having a social media strategy is essential to seeing real results. Let me repeat that so you don’t miss it, a social media strategy is essential to seeing real results. You must have a social media strategy to see results.
Ok I think I made my point, in order to create a social media strategy you need to firstly know
What you want to achieve?
Who your customers are?
What your competition is doing?
What do you want to achieve?
Having KPI’s indicating how many likes, followers and interactions you have with your customer base is key but only one aspect of measuring your goals. When defining your goals it should align with the overall goals of the hotel. To help you set your goals you should set S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time).
In this example your overall hotel goal maybe to increase weekend bookings with couples. Here is how this can fit in to your social media strategy.
You have identified Twitter and Snapchat as being the two main channels where your audience can be found.
Goal: I will increase Twitter followers on the hotel official account from the beginning of next month from 500 to 1500 by Oct 2nd 2016.
Specific – Indicate who is doing the task, what and when it is happening, why it is happening and how it is happening.
Who is doing the task – Me
What is happening – Increasing Twitter followers
When it is happening – Start of the month
Why it is happening – To aid meeting the hotels overall goal
How it is happening – Using automated tools to help posts and follow relevant influencers.
Measurable: State the indicators that you’ll use to determine whether you’ve met your objectives.It should be a number or be a descriptive quality that defines quality, quantity or cost.
If we break down the target figure, 1000 additional followers in 3 months is 333 followers per month which is 83 a week.
Achievable: Is this goal attainable and within someone’s capabilities?
How will I get 83 followers a week?
Identify influencers who are relevant and follow 50 of there audience a day
Automate tweets so our official account is tweeting once every hour
Launch fortnightly promotions and giveaways
Spend £100 a month on sponsored promotion.
Relevant: Does the goal align with the broader goals of the Hotel?
Increasing the size of our target audience gives us a better chance of achieving our hotel goals as we can market weekend stay directly to our audience.
Time-sensitive: Include the date by which you’ll achieve the objectives
Success of the campaign will be measured after Oct 2nd 2016.
By using SMART goals you can now effectively measure against your goals and you can have multiple goals in your strategy.
If you are not sure who your target audience are there are things you can do to find out. Two examples would be, you can use google analytics to show you who visits your website and from were. You can also use surveys and existing customer data to find out who your audience are. Coshedule.com have a great article on How to find your target audience which is very helpful in identifying your audience.
You should make a list ideally 1 – 2 networks depending on your resources and no more than 5 where your customers can be found. If you are targeting a specific demographic then you should be able find out which networks they use the most and plan to use those.
Here are things you will want to know about your audience which will help when it comes to producing content.
What types of things are they interested in?
What topics do they think about the most?
What are their common problems that need solving?
What keeps them up at night?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, your job should be finding them out.
What your competition is doing?
You should make a list of your top 5 competitors and evaluate how and what social media channels they use. Make note of what content they are sharing, the tone and how it engages their audience. Look at what posts are most engaging and the frequency of which networks they use. The aim should be to take all the best bits away and implement this into your social media strategy.
Create a content marketing calendar
Now this step sounds more complex than it is, a content marketing calendar is just a plan of when you will post on your chosen networks. There are many templates and tools online to help you plan out your content schedule.
Each network will have different characteristics which means you will have to identify when to post and how frequent. For example depending on the size of your following being effective on twitter could mean frequent posting throughout the day as opposed to just once a day on Facebook.
By identifying when to post and how frequent leads you to the next part of your social media strategy creating campaigns & deciding on your content.
Decide on on content (How and what to share)
By identifying what social networks you will use and who your audience is will help you shape what content you will produce. You should also take into consideration your USP’s as a business and your expertise.
Write down, in one sentence, what your Hotel, Bed and Breakfast or Guesthouse brand is about. Make it as general as you can (e.g. Couples country break hotel). Then, break it down into the sub-topics (e.g. Romantic country break, Walking tours, Dog Friendly, the great outdoors, country getaway).
This list should look very much like the categories you use on your blog, each time content is produced it should be held up against this list to see if it fits. If you find content you want to share that doesn’t fit, then lose it.
Create a Campaign
An effective social media content marketing calendar will include campaigns. Your campaign should highlight local and relevant events, holidays, festivals, promotions which fit the criteria outlined by your content analysis.
So now you have your social media strategy there are a few more tips
Plan your budget
A Successful and serious social media strategy must include a budget. You budget will be used to promote your posts across you chosen social networks. However, spending money without knowing where the budget line is drawn is a terrible idea.
In most cases you will be new to spending money for social content, so start with an amount you are comfortable with and account for it within your marketing budget.
You will learn as you go and begin to figure out what works on each network, as time goes on you will learn what works best and begin to get more from your budgeted allocation. The first step is to actually start, and you will want to set a limit. Once this limit is reached you can evaluate against the goals you set earlier.
Choose your tools
There are some great tools out there to manage all or majority of your accounts from one profile, you can also schedule posts and automate all from one or 2 tools. Take a look at Hootsuite, Buffer, Meet Edgar and there are many more. Evaluate which tools work best for you before committing to any payments and also most have free trials.
Outline your SLA’s service level agreements
Once you have everything above in place even if its just you managing your social accounts agree response times for each of your social networks and workout how you will achieve this. Facebook automatically records your response times and shows an average and statistics show that Twitter users expect a response within an hour when tweeting a company with query or concern.
The benefits here are that 42% of users are willing to praise or recommend the brand through Social Media.