Social networks are a part of our lives, our jobs and our businesses. The question that most marketing directors and managers of hotels and resorts ask is,"Which social media sites should my hotel be on?" As social media continues to expand, so do the various platforms. Of course when asking the question, " which social media sites should hotels and resorts be on," most automatically say, " I think just Facebook." This answer would be wrong.Most hospitality marketers are beginning to learn that social media is vital to their industry. Most of us try to work an eight to ten our work day right? So how are you or your team supposed to be on all the networks, all the time? The answer is simple, you don't!
Your resort or hotel needs to take a permanent vacation to the following social network sites:
- Facebook- It is great for reviews, customer service, marketing, and vacationer's feedback. One of our client's vacationers canceled their reservation at the resort down the road simply because their tweet was responded to, and it was done quickly. Ten minutes to be exact.
- Twitter- Don't assume that just because you don't understand Twitter that your current and future vacationers don't. The younger generation loves twitter and they love to tweet about their latest stay. Plus, where else can you go looking for your vacationers, just because you know the right hashtag to use.
- Google Plus- If you want to play the Google game, you have to use Google's platform. Enough said.
- YouTube- Again, Google's platform, plus you don't want to slow down your website's bandwidth by hosting your videos directly on your site. Use YouTube as a great backlink, exposure and free hosting!
- Pinterest- Vacationers love looking at pictures and imagining themselves at your location. Plus it is helps your SEO.
- Instagram- The jury is still out on this one. Instagram is designed to be used on your phone and not everyone takes the best pictures with their phones. It can be difficult to find a particular property and it hasn't been proven that this is a place vacationers turn to when making a decision about where they want to stay. Not even the younger generation.
As you can see, just because the platform is popular, doesn't mean you should use it. Another one that I am often asked about is SnapChat. More teens and college kids are on SnapChat and it is simply an app that sends a picture or short video to a person (that you are connected with) and then the picture or video goes away. Another one is Vine, again a seven second video that is streamed in your followers feed. There has been no evidence that vines put heads in beds.
When developing your social media strategy, use what will work. Some will work better than others and will also give different results. Decide what you want that network to be used for.
Another question you might be asking yourself now that you have a glimmer of what is involved, is can this be outsourced? The answer is yes. Social media can be a headache and time consuming. Do you or your team have time for that?