We all know by now what Facebook is and how to post on Instagram. But are we fully aware of the benefits of social media channels? Many hotels have a strong presence on social media but are not sure about how to better leverage it’s full potential to meet their business or marketing goals.
What if I told you that you can now connect with your customers on WhatsApp or that you can add more than 3 call to actions on your Instagram business profile? Or that you can promote your products and gift vouchers on Instagram Stories and Facebook’s Marketplace?
When conducting social media training sessions for our clients, the questions we are commonly asked include;
- What content themes should we use?
- How can we increase conversions on social media?
- Can you explain the best practises for organic posting – particularly how regularly to post, how to segment customers and direct posts towards them, what to post about…?
- Should I post about local businesses?
- How can we increase our B2B connections on LinkedIn?
- We have noticed we do not get much engagement with certain demographic groups – are there ways to address this?
- What’s allowed on Facebook competitions?
- Organic Facebook competition: best terminology? Is “like my page” allowed? Where do we add the T&C’’s?
- Any quick wins across platforms to improve the appearance – set wordings and fixed boxes?
If any of the FAQs above resonate with you or your business, here’s another: do you have a social media strategy in place? More often than not within the hospitality and travel industry we “play by ear” and “post as we go” when it comes to social media content creation, planning and management.
Having a social media strategy in place will help your business take control of your social accounts to leverage your social media presence.
THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY INCLUDE:
- Finding a purpose for your social channels: do you want to reach people near your business? Are you trying to increase the number of brand advocates? Or perhaps increase traffic to your website? Any social media activity should have an objective behind it.
- Getting to know your community to differentiate potential buyers from brand advocates.
- Choosing content themes that better suit your business will help you balance promotional and non-promotional content and rotate through different themes to keep your channels fresh to support your overall marketing strategy.
- Posting the right content for your audience: people often follow pages on social media to learn and to grow. Are you meeting their needs?
- Understanding your channels will help your business format content specifically meant for each platform, as opposed to the non-beneficial “cross-promoting” approach which is common practice.
- Choosing how often & when to post, by knowing where your target audiences are online. Additionally, a content calendar will help you keep track of what’s going to be posted and when.
- Using your channels and their features with a purpose, such as Instagram stories, Instagram highlights, etc.
- Leveraging your video content, if applicable. A social media strategy also takes into consideration available formats when it comes to creating content.
- Integrate paid social campaigns to your annual advertising plan: last-minute campaigns can perform well if the product or message is appealing enough, but a strategy behind any advertising action on social media will ensure an optimal performance around a pre-defined goal.
- Building your visual brand identity and your brand presence on social media: ultimately, a social media strategy in place will help you choose the brand colours, filters and templates to better represent your brand on social media, as well as identifying brand hashtags, leveraging user-generated content for your own benefit etc.