Stage 3 – Talk to your guests
No matter where people find your business online, you need to be proactive and keep talking to them. Whether it’s in the form of blog posts, special offers and events on your own website, or fresh images and content and active promotions on social media and OTA’s. It is important that your customers are able to identify the same style of writing and photography that easily identifies you and your business.
When running a hospitality business, there’s always a lot to talk about, and plenty of opportunities for great content to get your customers talking. To make an even bigger impact on your online presence, think of starting a regular feature each week or running more complex marketing incentives and campaigns.
Talking to your customers on different platforms
Ensure main pages and defined services are updated regularly to reflect what you do. If you have someone in your business who likes writing, empower them to create an article each week to push out to your customers in a blog format.
A good option for direct marketing is collecting contact details from customers on site (feedback forms show you care about customer opinions and double up as a great data-harvesting tool!) and adding them to your mailing lists. Aim to send out a newsletter every month, informing customers of what’s happening at your business and highlighting your latest offers and promotions.
Some booking sites allow you to enter text, images and links as part of your profile. Certain sites give you the option to add discounts or promotions for returning customers and subscribers. Utilise these features and ensure the content is up to date when offers change.
The majority of people planning a trip or overnight experience will look at TripAdvisor. User-generated content is marketing gold dust – claiming your TripAdvisor listing and updating your profile allows customers to share their experience in their own words and pictures. TripAdvisor’s built-in management centre also allows you to add your own images and update your content. Another handy feature is Review Express, which offers businesses the option of sending bulk requests for reviews, useful for attracting more reviews and “bumping” your profile higher in the results listings.
With active social media accounts, fresh and regular content is crucial. There are a number of key networking sites we have found to be particularly important to hospitality marketing, and each has their own focus and set of preferences.
4 – 5 posts a week with fresh, concise content (20 – 30 words) and between 3 & 5 images per post. Posts which we have found to gain the most traction are image-lead with either people or food, 20 words and a booking link within the main body text (avoid embedded links).
Facebook pages allow targeted adverts and tailored campaigns to be aimed at specific target audiences using a set of demographics including age, gender and location. Targeted ads work well for last minute deals and competitions, and tend to gain maximum exposure.
5 – 6 posts per week. An image-lead site, with hashtags (#) which push content out to desired segments and allow you to search for similar posts or related accounts. External links do not work in the captions of posts, however a hyperlinked URL can be added to your profile page to drive traffic to your website.
Instagram is the perfect platform to showcase your services and facilities, with great quality images of different areas of your business including rooms, food, staff and your building.
3-10 posts per day. Twitter requires constant monitoring and is perfect for striking up conversations and messaging your potential customers directly.
Twitter is great for talking to people, but can be very time consuming and create a lot of work for limited exposure.
The standard Google listing offers basic business and contact details, however Google’s “My Business” facility now also offers reviews and posts feature, which is similar to Facebook posts in content and word count. These profiles are becoming increasingly popular with potential customers.
As a business you have set prices for products and services, and potential customers always like to feel they are benefitting from a special offer or getting a good deal. We have found the following monthly offers or competitions to be both productive and popular with our customers.
- Overnight stays
- Food offers
- Group dining discounts
- Showcase rooms
- People shots in the bar
- Restaurant shots
- Kitchen working shots
- Food photography
Once you have started posting, don’t stop!
- Post regularly so your customers get used to seeing your posts.
- Create monthly offers or competitions.
- Regular content aligning to your businesses tone of voice using fresh images.
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