Are you the owner of a hotel or hostel?Feeling a bit overwhelmed or out of the loop when it comes to social media and how you can use it to grow your business?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
In this post we’ll share some statistics about the relationship between social media and the hospitality industry, as well as tips on how can you use social media to grow your clientele and boost your online presence as well as the number of bookings you receive.
Nowadays, everyone has some form of social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – the list goes on. This is good news for your hotel or hostel. You are in a position that you can showcase and market your hotel or hostel to potential consumers directly to their screens by utilising the various advertising tools at your disposal.
A recent study showed that an impressive 30% of people will browse social media for #holidayinspo on where to go on holiday before they even have a destination picked out. Furthermore, 52% of Facebook users claimed that their friends’ holiday photos inspired their own holiday plans and a staggering 40% of millenials will consider how “Instagrammable” the location they’re staying at is before booking.
These statistics may seem a little bit crazy, but if you are showing potential customers what it is that you have to offer and why they should come stay at your establishment, it will most definitely work in your favour and boost the number of bookings you’re receiving. These statistics also have one thing in common – user generated content, or UGC.
UGC is an invaluable marketing tool as it is content created by someones friend or a family member, and comes across as far more genuine and positive because you know the person posting it rather than perceiving it as a potentially untrustworthy advertisement from a business.
Instagram in particular is a very useful platform to show off a hotel or hostel and what’s special about it because it is predominantly visual. Below is an example of a hotel that is doing a phenomenal job of showcasing their interiors and surroundings, and when you take into account the 40% of millennials seeking out their potential Instagram opportunities, you can see why they’ve gone to such an effort.
Make your presence known on sites that help consumers with their travel and holiday endeavours. TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Hostelworld in particular are very popular amongst holiday goers. Your description is important. Make it as accurate and inviting as possible, listing the facilities you have, services you offer and how close you are to the city centre or local tourist spots. Pair this information with images of the rooms you have available, what your lobby looks like etc.
This is crucial as people will seek out as much information as possible about where they’re planning to stay, and if your competitors are showing off their hotel or hostel better than you then they’re more likely to receive bookings as a result.
On the topic of travel websites, customer reviews can play a big part in someone’s decision to book with you. Here is a short, but very eye-opening list of statistics about reviews and consumer purchase patterns:
- 88% of travellers filter out hotels or hostels with an average star rating below three.
- 32% eliminated those with a rating below four.
- 96% consider reviews important when researching a hotel or hostel.
- 79% will read between six and 12 reviews before making a purchase decision.
- Four out of five believe a hotel or hostel that responds to reviews cares more about its customers.
- 85% agree that a thoughtful response to a review will improve their impression of the hotel.
As you can see – generating positive feedback and reviews is essential to the success of your hotel or hostel. It’s important to make sure that your guests have an unforgettable time while staying with you by providing them with exceptional customer service and interiors that meet their expectations, but there are additional steps you can take to encourage your guests to document these positive experiences in the form of reviews.
TripAdvisor in particular is very helpful when it comes to this – offering you free personalised review cards, an online system that generates professional and friendly chain emails, and a built in review section on their app for anyone who has booked with you through them. This is relevant to social media because you can have these reviews linked to your Facebook page when potential customers come looking.
In conclusion, make sure you’re catering to your preferred target audience by creating exciting content that will encourage them to come stay with you. Showcase what it is that makes your hotel or hostel special, and do so in a visually appealing way – a lot of guests will inadvertently promote you through their own social media channels if you provide them with a good photo opportunity.
Provide customers with as much information as possible through your social media channels as well as travel sites, and engage with anyone who reaches out to you on social media in a genuine and positive manner.
The more highly rated you are online, the more bookings you will receive – and social media is the most powerful tool at your disposal to accomplish this.