Hotel social media: How to build a following at your small property

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Social media is a key tool for any business nowadays, but especially for hotels and accommodation providers who are looking to build personal relationships and customer loyalty.

When used effectively, social media can help you humanise your brand and connect with past, present and future guests in a more engaging manner – allowing you to maximise your bookings and revenue.

So let’s not waste any time. Here’s everything you need to know about using social media for your small property.

Best hotel social media accounts to use

Depending on what data you look at, as many as 60% or more of travellers use social media for travel inspiration and planning. 

But which sites should you be using? As an accommodation provider your best chance of engaging with travellers and gaining a following are on the following platforms:

Facebook is still one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, and travellers often use it to follow their favourite brands, see where their friends and family have travelled, look for news and updates, enter competitions, and more. 

Your hotel should be using Facebook to give followers engaging content to interact with, and you can also take direct bookings via Facebook if you have an online booking engine.

Being an extremely visual medium, Instagram is a favourite for travellers to view and post photos of trips. Hashtags allow them to easily find examples of what they’re looking for and the layout of the platform makes it simple for them to browse. The stories feature also keeps people tuning in to see constant updates from the pages and people they follow.

Instagram is a great way for your property to showcase itself and also maintain a loyal following.

While it doesn’t have the buzz it did a few years ago, Pinterest is still very popular and useful for travel planning – and many of your guests will still use it for inspiration and to organise all their research. In fact, travel content is about a quarter of all the content on Pinterest.

Pinterest is a great way for you to use stunning images to promote all parts of your business, such as blogs, your amenities, your offers, guest experience, or even attract bookings.

YouTube may be a non-traditional platform to market on but it’s one of the most popular places for travellers to consume educational content as well as be entertained, and engage with topics they’re interested in.

You have plenty of room for flexibility and creativity on YouTube, given it’s video-based.

While you may consider other platforms like Reddit, Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn, we think the four above are where you should focus your attention.

How to attract social media followers at your hotel

Create your accounts

First things first, you need to create active accounts in your chosen channels. It may seem obvious but you need to ensure you fully complete your profiles. This means including key information such as brand name, location, contact details, and also making sure you have images of your property and logo. ‘About’ information is crucial to include too, so travellers can quickly see if your property aligns with their preferences.

Identify your target market

While you want your property to have broad appeal, there’s going to be particular demographics you attract more than others. Take note of who your regular guests are and start planning your content accordingly. For example, a hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand, might post a lot of adventure content with plenty of scenic imagery.

Start posting!

You need to get plenty of content on your pages for your audience to engage with. It’s a good idea to set-up a calendar of what and when you will post, so you ensure your content maintains variety and reaches your audience with the right message at the right time.

Collaborate with other pages and businesses

This is where you can really start to ramp up your following. The content you use doesn’t always have to be your own. There are two ways to do this; resharing and mentioning.

Resharing is when you see an interesting post about your local area or an industry related topic by someone you follow and share their post on your own page. Mentioning is when you’re talking about something closely related to, or supported by, another page. It’s polite to credit them and when you do they’ll most likely share it on their page too. 

It’s a great way to reach new people who may not have known about you beforehand.

Work with influencers

Influencers have an army of loyal followers who trust their recommendations. Therefore, it’s a good idea to work with an influencer and their endorsement. A win-win strategy is to offer them free accommodation at your hotel with all expenses covered. In return, they will write blog articles or share photos on their social media accounts about their experience, encouraging their followers to check you out. You can also give them a promo code if you need to encourage more people to book.

Capitalise on user-generated content 

Don’t do all the hard work yourself, give your followers the chance to have their say. Encouraging guests to share their own story and experiences is a fantastic way to promote your property without actually selling yourself. It also gives other followers more relatable access to your business and builds an extra layer of trust.

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Social media marketing: How to keep your property’s followers engaged

Variety is the spice of life but consistency is equally important

While you need to use varied content to keep things fresh, interesting, and engaging, you also need to stay true to your brand across all social media platforms.

A consistent voice will help your guests relate to your brand and understand your goals. If you are a luxury B&B, you may want to consider a more professional, sophisticated tone of voice. If you are a B&B with a warm and cosy atmosphere, you may want to create a voice that is family-oriented, welcoming, and sometimes humorous.

Timing is everything

There are likely to be specific times of day that are more powerful to post at than others, depending on your audience, content, and the platform itself. Make it a point to identify when is the best time to post about specific topics, such as new amenities or discounts that are available.

Focus on visuals

Photos and videos are the most engaging and interactive content that you can offer. And 54% of people want to see more video content from businesses they support. Because of this, posts with videos get more likes, which pleases social media algorithms. The more likes you get, the more likely it is that Facebook or Instagram will suggest your page to people to follow.

People also recall more of what they see and hear than what they read, so visual content is crucial for ensuring that followers stay engaged and that your brand is top of mind.

Be warm

Funny posts, casual or candid responses, and heartfelt gratitude for those who stay with you all prove that you are more than just a business trying to turn a profit. Make it clear you care about your guests, and they’ll care about you.

Using pronouns like “I”, “we”, and “us”, are also great ways to be inclusive in a conversation, and are commonly used to be socially welcoming online.

Be humble

No one likes a ‘brag’ so if you make too much of your content about your property alone, people will switch off. Marketers often refer to the 80/20 rule, meaning only 20% of your content should be about your own brand. The rest should be industry related, focus on your local area, or be in collaboration with others.

Hotel social media post ideas

It’s not always easy to come up with a bunch of ideas, or constantly think of new content to post.

Here’s some thought-starters that will help you plan social media posts:

  • Anything that inspires FOMO – ‘Fear of missing out’ is a huge motivator for many. Seeing what friends, family, or even strangers are doing online makes travellers want to experience it for themselves. For example, if you hold a social night make sure you take plenty of quality snaps to post.
  • Content that makes it easy to plan – More and more travellers use social media to plan their trips now, so post content that gives them tips and information about your destination.
  • Competitions and giveaways – People always jump at the chance to win something, especially if it’s for free. Posts like ‘like and share this post for the chance to win…’ make it easy for both you to post, and the guest to engage with and action.
  • Anything that starts a conversation – The plan is to get people liking and commenting on your posts so try putting up interesting photos and asking a question that your audience can answer.
  • ‘Viral’ content – Okay, so making something go viral is not easy, and often can be down to dumb luck. But you should at least be striving to post content that encourages sharing. An example might be behind the scenes videos that showcase something really cool about your property or its staff.
  • Your best features – At the end of the day, you do need to dedicate some time to selling yourself to prospective guests. Emphasise features that’ll make your hotel stand out, including elements like unique design, beautiful surroundings, local food specialties, and nearby attractions worth sharing.

Anothing thing to keep in mind is how much people like facts and figures. If you can pull together interesting stats or trends about your property and its guests, and present it in an attractive visual way, there’s a high chance people will share it.

Best practice tips for hotel social media strategy

While there’s no ‘rules’ about how you run your own social media accounts, there are plenty of tips it’s good to keep in mind when thinking about your strategy.

Here’s a few we think are important:

Always be responsive

You can’t just post something and forget about it. You need to continually monitor all posts and evaluate the likes, shares and comments you receive, across all social media platforms. Prompt, professional, and friendly responses are critical to developing a positive social presence, as it’s expected that you will engage in the conversation. 

Combine organic content with social media advertising 

Many of the most popular social networking sites allow you to develop PPC ad campaigns that are targeted to a specific audience. This can help you increase your conversions and your direct bookings, so it can be well worth putting some of your budget towards social media marketing.

Encourage repeat bookings

Some ways you can do this include:

  • Offer promotions exclusively on your social media pages that provide return guests with a discount on their stay
  • Create a photo contest for previous guests to submit pictures from their last stay.
  • Provide guests with a promotional code if they leave a review on your Facebook page
Use a Facebook email signup tab

You will be able to capture email addresses directly from your Facebook page. What are they signing up to? Your newsletter that details all of the promotions and packages you have going on! It’s also a great way to send out regular blogs and updates.

Perform cross-functional research

Ensure your property is listed on review webpages like TripAdvisor as well as OTA sites to find out what guests are happy with, and what they’re looking for. You can then mould this information for your own purposes and post content that will resonate with your followers.

We hope this blog gave you some good insight into how your property can succeed on social media!

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