Social Media Beginner Mistakes Hotels Should Never Make
Social media can be a major contributor of traffic to your hotel’s website and has the ability to take your company to the next level.
Take a closer look to see if you’re making any of these rookie mistakes, which could keep your hotel from being a major social media player.
Mistake #1: No direction or engaging content
It is essential that you develop a strategic social media marketing plan. Aim to create engaging and creative content at intervals that will not inundate newsfeeds. Create a content calendar to ensure you can proof read ahead of posting and so there are no missed opportunities for high-engagement posts.
Be aware that your audience is interested in a wide variety of topics that don’t include your hotel. Tap into their other interests and connect with them through engaging shareable content. If you consistently post advertising material about your property you are sure to lose the interest of your followers.
Mistake #2: Having incomplete profiles
Nothing makes your hotel look like less trustworthy than an incomplete social media profile.
By leaving out aspects such as links to your website and contact information, profile image and cover photo your page will convey an unprofessional image to potential guests.
Mistake #3: Don’t take social media seriously
Still don’t believe social media presence impacts the profitability of your hotel?
Research from HeBS Digital suggests that more than 40% of online traffic related to travel queries now comes from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. According to TripBarometer, recommendations from friends and relatives have a 43% influence on travel planning.
Taking these two statistics into account you can see the role social media can play for your hotel, as social media provides a place where people connect with family and friends who share thoughts, criticisms and visual evidence of both good and bad experiences mostly through mobile devices. Thus, skipping out on a solid social media will result in missed opportunities to get guests in your hotel.
Mistake #4: Ignoring Google+
Ignoring Google+ as a legitimate social media platform is an easy way to get on Google’s bad side.
Your company’s Google+ profile provides an avenue to interact with potential clients. It also has a direct effect on search rankings, and the more active you are, the more likely your hotel’s website is to rank higher in search engine results. Create circles early on with previous guests, travel agents and other professionals in the hotel industry to make the most of your Google+ account.
Mistake #5: Using @ and # incorrectly
Not knowing how to properly use the @ and # symbols can be detrimental to your reach on social media, but used correctly and they can help you expand your reach ten-fold.
By starting off a tweet with @, Twitter assumes you are having a direct conversation with another user. As an effort to decrease clutter, tweets that start with @ only appear to the user you addressed and users who follow both you and the user you tweeted to. If you are sending out a tweet you want to all of your followers to see ensure you follow this rule.
You also don’t want to be the hashtag happy account so use relevant hashtags for the topic you’re talking about so people following those trends will find value in your account and commentary. If your property is active on Pinterest ensure that descriptions of your posts are completed as this is how users can find relevant content on this platform.
Mistake #6: Grammatical errors, typos and tone
One slip-up on a key could make for an embarrassing typo, and although posts can be deleted and edited, screen shots are forever. Make sure to proofread all of your posts before they go live, and if a mistake does sneak in, make an immediate correction upon noticing the mistake.
When it comes to the tone of your posts make sure to steer clear of controversial issues that do not relate to your brand. And beware of attempts to add humor to your feed at the expense of others; we all know the PR crisis that emerged from Dutch airline, KLM’s, World Cup tweet. Don’t let it happen to you.
Mistake #7: Give generic responses, or none at all
If you are giving users who have engaged with your brand on social media a cut-and-paste response and they’ll notice the lack of authenticity. Rather than risking a poor reputation because of lazy interaction, take the extra effort to uniquely respond to all user’s inquiries and comments. This kind of action gives your brand humanity and shows you actually care.
Not to mention you’ll get much better results from a lackluster user comment if you transparently and genuinely address the concern rather than direct the user to a customer service line or ignore them all together. Simply ignoring responses gives the impression that your brand doesn’t care, or that you’re guilty of the offense claimed in a customer’s complaint.
In the wide, wide world of social media, there are always more opportunities to get some skin in the game.
Ramp up your efforts, give your pages a makeover and fix some of your mistakes, and we bet you’ll see your social media analytics climb along with your hotel bookings.
Natalie Athanasiadis works in online PR and social media marketing, she specializes in working with large clients in the hospitality and customer service industries such as The Star. Natalie takes a great interest in everything hospitality and social media. She enjoys sharing her knowledge on these subjects. You can follow Natalie on Twitter @natalieathana or Google+.
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