Boca Raton, Fla. - July 30, 2012
- As do all hotels in today's world, you need to be represented in the
social media space. The question is: Do you know the right way to go
about integrating social media into your overall marketing strategies?
It's essential that you put together the right mix of elements to allow
you to effectively interact with your target audience.
a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in turnkey solutions
that drive bottom line results for the travel and hospitality
industries, offers the following best practices for creating a
successful social media plan for your hotel:
1) Find your
customers and do your research.
Know where your target audiences engage (tip: add a line on your survey
asking guests to identify which networks they frequently use), how they
engage and what motivates them to do so. Invest where you are hitting
the largest concentrations of your target audience. Choose only the
networks that you feel best fit your marketing goals and positioning
statement, but also that you can properly maintain. Ensure that all
networks connect and funnel into one another as well as your website -
building strong bonds across networks creates a more cohesive voice and
a stronger brand identity.
content that adds value.
For your profile, create a social media space that represents your
property. Add the manager's name(s) who will be posting on the network,
leverage brand elements such as color and style for a consistent look
and feel across social platforms and your websites, place a distinctive
background image of your property and include your property logo.
For posts, be authentic and professional. People connect with people,
not brands. The three best practices for composing content for hotel
social networks are: inform your audience about what's happening
at your property, reward them by promoting upfront incentives (track
the results) and tell your story with pictures and video (200% higher
engagement on photo content).
3) Monitor and
optimize your strategy.
Persistent monitoring is crucial for measuring the success of your
social media marketing. On a daily basis, log on to your Facebook,
Twitter and TripAdvisor accounts or a third party reputation management
portal. Promptly respond to mentions and posts. On TripAdvisor and
other third party review sites, write a response to ALL reviews,
whether they are favorable or unfavorable. Optimize your content and
strategy based on what you find until you get the results you're
social media into your marketing plan.
To create a unified voice, your message needs to be consistent across
all marketing channels, and these channels must tie together. Encourage
on-property guests to join your social networks: put a sign at the
front desk, train your staff to mention your social media channels to
guests and share online contests and incentives. Add icons/links to all
marketing material including your website, print and email campaigns,
email signatures and folios.
Cendyn recommends the following platforms as the top social networks
hotels should consider:
- TripAdvisor: As
the world's largest travel site, monitoring and responding to
TripAdvisor reviews is a must for hotel reputation management. Users
give honest feedback about your hotel and expect a genuine response
from hotel management. Your response shows other users on the site how
proactive you are, that you pay attention and care what your guests
think. Keep in mind, TripAdvisor is the most popular hotel review site,
but not the only one. With the integration of Yelp listings with iPhone
search results through Siri, Yelp is becoming a bigger contender in the
review site world.
Tip: If your property
is already listed on the site, but you're unable to send responses
publicly or contact past guests directly, create a log-in within the
- Facebook: The
largest and most popular social network, all online activity from your
property should at some point funnel through Facebook. Use it to engage
with the bulk of your online fan base, host promotions, generate leads
and manage your reputation. Facebook's social graph is now integrated
into Microsoft's Bing search engine and Facebook users are influencing
search results across Bing.
customized Facebook apps including a reservation widget and a welcome
page inviting users to visit your website.
- Twitter: This
micro-blogging site effectively and quickly gets messages across, and
is a great tool for customer service, extended concierge service and
reputation management. It's also a good resource for finding potential
new customers and informing them about your venue. "Tweeple"
(micro-bloggers) are mainly interested in the latest news, products,
services and promotions.
Tip: Add your company
web address and contact information when creating an account, so
customers can easily access more in-depth information about your
- YouTube: The
world's largest video sharing website (also one of the world's largest
search engines), YouTube is a powerful tool for hotels since it can
help potential guests visualize their stay before they book. Creating a
custom channel on YouTube provides you with a central location for all
of your video content that can then be widely distributed by embedding
your videos on your websites and social networks.
Tip: YouTube videos
should be tagged and optimized for search engines, increasing your
visibility and improving your overall SEO performance.
- Foursquare: The
king of location-based social networks, Foursquare is great for hotels
to increase visibility by giving users incentives for checking in.
Tip: Stand out by
hosting a special giveaway, such as offering a free appetizer at your
restaurant(s) for those who check in to your venue on Foursquare.
- Pinterest: The
popular photo-sharing site Pinterest is a great place to showcase the
lifestyle and culture of your property, as well as company culture and
Tip: Curate your
Pinterest boards on the amenities, services and activities a guest
would most likely experience while staying at your hotel.
- Instagram: This
mobile photo-sharing app, recently acquired by Facebook, allows you to
create beautiful, visually appealing photos and share them across a
number of different social networks instantaneously. Instagram allows
you to find friends based on your contact list, Facebook friends and
Tip: Start building
your network by connecting with Twitter and Facebook friends in your
hotel's Twitter feed and Facebook profile.
- LinkedIn: This
social network for professionals is a great way to generate sales leads
and potential group business. It can also be an effective means of
LinkedIn's company pages to showcase services and amenities of your
property, especially corporate and group meetings.
- Google+: Users,
mainly early adopters and tech enthusiasts, select brands they want to
be part of their "circles" and seek informational posts. Google+'s
face-to-face interaction tools, including Hangouts, make it a great
forum for responding to inquiries about your property. Google+ is
slowly being integrated into all of Google's products. A most recent
example is the introduction of Google+ Local, which is designed to
replace Google Places by integrating all local listings within a single
platform. Linking your Google+ page to your website and vice versa,
allows you to build better relationships with your followers and
provides Google with information that is used to determine the
relevancy of your site to a search query in Google Search.
Tip: The new Google+
Local will soon merge into your normal Google+ brand pages. Stay ahead
of the curve by exploring Google+ and its functionality so you are
prepared for the change.
- Klout: Klout
measures the reach of your social media influence across multiple
networks, and how much that influence causes others to take action.
Every time a user creates content or engages, he/she influences others.
Using data from social networks in order to measure the reach and
frequency of your social interactions, Klout assigns an influence score
on a scale of 1 to 100.
Tip: Use Klout to
easily determine and reward your quests with high influence scores,
leveraging their influence for your property/brand.
If you need help with your social media strategy, Cendyn provides
ongoing social media consultation and management including the
For more information, call Cendyn at 866-625-4518 or visit http://www.cendyn.com/social-media-marketing.
- Social media strategy and integration with overall digital
- Online reputation management and monitoring
- Facebook and Twitter page branding, customization and
- Property staff training on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- YouTube Channel management and video upload
- Property blog and RSS feed setup
- Press release optimization and online distribution
- Ongoing consultancy, keeping you up to date on what's new
in social media and assisting you in its application and continued
- Social Influence Marketing Campaigns
Connect with Cendyn on
Established in 1996, Cendyn is a full
service agency specializing in
turnkey solutions that drive bottom line results for the travel and
hospitality industries. Founded by hoteliers and marketing
professionals, Cendyn's proven strategies and innovative Marketing,
Sales, Reservations and CRM solutions raise online visibility, revenue
and ROI for more than 12,000 hotels and travel destinations worldwide.
Clients include: Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Company, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott, and
other chains and independent properties and hotel companies such as
Trump Hotel Collection, The Breakers, The Broadmoor and Denihan
Hospitality. For more information, please call 866-625-4518 or visit www.cendyn.com