How Hoteliers Can Promote Their Brand Across the Travel Vertical
The hotel industry is all too familiar with the impact of social media and online reviews. These online reviews can catapult a hotel’s business into the stratosphere, or have it plummeting back down to earth. However, the question ¬¬isn’t whether social media impacts a hotel’s brand and reputation. Instead, the question is whether your hotel is maximizing social media by cross-promoting your hotel with other travel businesses. So, what do you need to do to make this happen?
1.) Use a Complete Social Media Strategy
We live in a digital world, one where today’s consumer can impact a hotel’s reputation like never before. Your customers are constantly online, constantly able to share likes and dislikes, and constantly willing to express their views and opinions. As such, your hotel must have a Facebook page and Twitter account. However, don’t stop there.
Make sure your hotel joins Wayn, which is a social media site catering to the travel industry. A membership allows you to connect your Facebook page and link up with other travel businesses throughout the website. In addition, you’ll have access to over 20 million Wayn users worldwide. Social media empowers travelers to share photos, videos and comments. As such, it’s imperative that your social media strategy tap into the vertical promotions offered through sites like Wayn.
2.) Work With, Not Against, Online Site Reviews
Do not avoid the impact of online reviews. Instead, be proactive and engage your audience online by providing workable solutions to any issues your customers may have. This proactive stance does two things. First, it might just help solve your customer’s issues and give them a reason to return. In fact, they might change that review altogether or amend it to make it more favorable. Second, it shows other users that your hotel is willing to confront the problem, engage your customers and find solutions.
While there are varying opinions as to the value that discount travel sites bring to the hotel industry, nobody can argue about the effects of a negative review on sites like TripAdvisor, Expedia and Yelp. These reviews are seen by potential customers as unbiased, honest and far more believable than advertisements pushed by hotels. Therefore, be sure to understand the impact of these online sites and use their information to your advantage.
3.) Use the Travel Vertical Locally
One of the best strategies to maximize your hotel’s reach is to link up with other local travel businesses. You can combine offers, provide discounts, use rewards and incentive programs and also use combination packages with local car rental agencies (If you have a hotel in Griffith, then find you would find a site like carhiregriffith.net.au and reach out to them), restaurants, movie theaters and other pertinent tourist attractions. Most importantly, you don’t have to go through a larger website to make it happen. All you need to do is secure a link or advertisement on a partner’s site and you’ll both be able to cross-promote your brand to new customers.
Managing a brand is no longer about forcing a message to customers. Instead, it’s about understanding what customers think and feel about a brand and then using that information to improve the brand moving forward. It’s no different for hotels in the travel industry. However, it’s the customer that defines your brand. In this case, you must tap into social media while also leveraging valuable partnerships in your industry.
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This post comes from Sarah Smith, who writes for Noosh Catering. The folks at Noosh are always working closely with hoteliers to ensure that conferences and big events hosted on hotel premises are memorable experiences.
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