At an estimated $32.97 billion in ad revenues for 20161, it’s safe to say that social media marketing is serious business. And the travel industry is increasingly getting on board—last year, 46% of travel brands advertised on social media, a full 12.1% increase over 2015.
Why? According to eMarketer, these brands report that social media ads are highly effective at reaching the right travelers. To make sure your ads are reaching the right guests—or to make a clean jump onto the bandwagon—let’s take a close look at marketing hotels through social media.
Channel Your Efforts
As with traditional media, social media channels are not one-size-fits-all—for your target audiences or your messaging. For this post, let’s just focus on five of today’s most popular platforms:
Facebook boasts over 1.79 billion monthly active users2 globally and pockets the most social media advertising revenues by far.1 The platform offers a high level of engagement and a wealth of insights on those who like your page, including demographics, activities and interests to help form a clear picture of your target audience.
Instagram’s visually-driven content is a natural fit for hotels. The platform’s 500 million-plus active monthly users eagerly consume gorgeous images and engaging video of destinations. (Think lavish landscapes, fabulous f&b, stunning sunrises/sunsets and more!)
The rumors of Twitter’s death have largely been exaggerated. The microblogging site still commands the attention of more than 317 million monthly active users.3 It’s also the perfect platform for communicating of-the-moment messaging like limited-time offers.
These days, Snapchat is no longer solely the domain of your 14-year-old niece going for a record “streak” with her BFF. The platform’s 150 million-plus active monthly users are tuning in to watch over 10 billion videos a day.5
Pinterest is where 150 million active monthly users4 seek inspiration in every aspect of their lives, including travel. And, with rich pins, hoteliers can take these avid “pinners” from inspiration directly to reservation.
Curate Your Content
Now that you have a better idea of where you should advertise, it’s time to think about what you want to communicate. It all comes down to one core ideal. Social media users are seeking valuable or entertaining content…NOT disruptive promotions. Your ads should have the same look and feel as a friend’s posts, while simultaneously staying true to your brand.
Tackle These Tactics
There are a number of ways you can engage your target audience through ads and content on social media sites. Let’s take a peek at four proven tactics:
Build a solid community | Your page is a place social media users can go to engage in a two-way conversation with your brand—and with a community of like-minded people. The Red Roof Luvs Pets Facebook page is an ideal example:
Count on video | Global IT leader Cisco projects that 80% of all Internet traffic will come from video by 2019.6 Don’t let your social media ad fall flat in that flurry of action.
Capture Interest & Influence
With celebrities’ Instagram accounts drawing followers in the million-plus range, it’s no wonder international brands choose to partner with them for their reach alone. But even a boutique hotel can tap into the power of this tactic by seeking social media influencers with a loyal fan base to make a significant, positive impact for your brand.
To achieve the all-important criteria of authenticity, resonance and engagement with your target audience, it’s critical that these influencers strategically align with your brand’s distinctive voice and personality. The JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa’s #casamagnakids campaign achieved this with a little help from four sets of “mom and me” influencers.
Leverage User-Generated Content
Remember when every brand courted word-of-mouth advertising? Well, user-generated content is the 2.0 version of this highly coveted form of personal endorsement. You can make it easy for regular folks to share your property on social media with a Snapchat-sponsored geofilter, like Park Las Vegas did:
With ever-evolving technologies and modern society’s whims, it’s important to have a partner that’s both fluent—and fluid—in marketing hotels through social media. Reach out to Lynn Kaniper today at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or email@example.com to learn how Dana can transform your hotel brand into a social media butterfly.