By: Maiya Wall / Pipeline Social Media

The holiday season is here, and unfortunately, so is COVID-19. People are feeling anxious to travel again, undecided if it is wise to do so, and discouraged about missing out on holiday traditions. Travelers are wondering “How can I know for certain that I will have a safe stay?”

One solid answer to this question is still hard to give with so many differences in opinions about how to best respond to this pandemic.

From a digital marketing perspective, we advise you to focus on what you can do to alleviate guest concern this holiday season. Shift your thinking from “When will this virus end, so we can get back to normal?” to “How can I make guests feel safe during the virus and our new normal?”

Below are 5 ways to use your hotel’s social media during this unusual holiday season and beyond.

1. Share Content That Will Reduce Worry

Since March, information about how this new virus works and how we all can stay safe has increased. However, it’s important to remember that feeling safe is just that—a feeling. Facts about safety aren’t enough to encourage people to begin traveling again. This is a challenge for sure! How do you reduce worry when everyone has different comfort levels?

First, you need to put yourself in the mindset of your most worried guest and ask yourself “If I were them walking into my hotel, what would be my first thought?”

Post Checklist: Below are some post topics that will help alleviate worry.

  • Details about relaxed cancellation policies
  • Information about increased cleaning measures
  • Photos that show other guests at your property
  • Photos showing that there is room to spread out
  • Updates about available amenities
  • Details about restaurant policies
  • How the check-in/check-out process works
  • Photos showing helpful signage or anything else you’ve added such as sanitizing stations
  • Information about available attractions and how they are keeping guests safe

Think through every step of a guest’s stay and brainstorm what part of their visit might cause them to worry and then compose a post that addresses that concern.

2. Share Content that Answers Questions

Anticipate guests’ needs by answering questions they may have not even thought of yet. One way to do this on social media is to simply ask the question for them. This style of post works well because the initial question captures a fan’s attention and it’s a really natural way of presenting information about hotel updates in response to the virus.

For example, a guest may not think to ask about the finer details of a certain amenity. You can compose the post this way:

“Planning on relaxing by the pool once you arrive? Remember to reserve your lounge chair before you get here! This helps us ensure guests are able to spread out while they lay out and enjoy the sun. ☀️”

This trick works for any topic:

  • Looking for somewhere to eat once you arrive?
  • Need somewhere to work during your stay?
  • Searching for a safe place to host your small gathering?

You could even do frequently asked question posts weekly that addresses concerns you hear often or get questions about on social. See our latest blog called 7 Ways to Extend Customer Service Through Social Media for more ideas!

3. Share Content with the Future in Mind

Many people will not be doing their usual holiday travel, but that doesn’t mean you have nothing to offer them. Encourage guests to book future trips. Let them know that you are ready whenever they are comfortable—with relaxed cancellation policies!

It’s important to share content that is helpful for people who are traveling during the holiday season but don’t forget to speak to your audience that is not ready just yet.

Create posts that talk directly to this audience:

“Staying in this holiday season? We are ready to help you have a safe stay whenever you’re ready! Visit our website to find out what booking specials are available in 2021: (link).”

4. Share Content that Asks for Feedback

Unprecedented, unpredictable, uncertainty . . . words we have all seen and heard quite a bit this year. And we aren’t sure when things will be “normal” again. Don’t miss any opportunity for feedback while we are in this uncharted territory.

Simply put—regular surveys are boring. One easy way that you may not be taking advantage of is using your Instagram Stories to get feedback. Use the poll and questions stickers to ask for feedback about anything you want more insight on. These features are designed to be fun and addictive so it’s difficult for fans to swipe a poll or question away without participating!

5. Share Content that Encourages

It’s been a rough year. Remember to offer content that is uplifting or demonstrates that your team is happy to make this stressful time a little less stressful for guests.

Make sure you are sharing good things happening to your staff—birthdays, awards, special skills, charitable work, engagements, anything positive! It may have nothing to do with your fans, but it’s just nice to see something nice when scrolling through social media.

We don’t doubt that a past guest that has had great interactions with an employee will comment in celebration with you!

Of course inspirational quotes & funny posts are good too but make sure to get more personal from time to time.

Final Thoughts:

The holidays look different this year, but we are definitely thankful for social media and its ability to connect people when meeting in person is not an option. For hotels, it is more important to focus less on selling and more on meeting the needs of your audience so your reputation can do some of the selling for you. Much like you probably already do things in person at your hotel! Use the above 5 tips to help your guests feel more comfortable about booking with you and be a positive voice online during this odd time!

We wish you a wonderful holiday season and prosperous New Year.