Canceled events. Canceled travel plans. Canceled bookings. It’s safe to say that the Coronavirus has rocked the hospitality industry and we can only hope that the effects will be over soon. You are most likely looking at your budget and finding any and all areas to trim back to meet payroll and impending bills. While you might not be concerned with social media right now, we wanted to give you some food for thought during this time in order to set your hotel up for success in the future.
- Social media is the first place your guests will go to get informed. They still rely on you to figure out what their travel options are, whether you are open & running and in what fashion, and what precautions your staff is taking.
- Social media is the least expensive form of marketing. You can have a big social impact using a very small budget.
- Your image is everything. Social media is the only place where you can control your image, help your guests feel confident in keeping their travel plans, and advertise to your target market.
What Do You Post About During COVID-19?
How can you post about current events in a way that comforts instead of panics your guests? Here are some ways to post about the virus in a way that will help, not hurt, your business.
Topic Ideas That Address COVID-19
- What precautions are you taking to keep your guests and staff safe? Inform your social media fans about your protocol to show transparency.
- Keep your customers in the loop about any changes that could affect their booking. Possibly notify them ahead of time with any popular attractions or events that will not be available during their stay and suggest alternatives.
- Create a post that lists FAQs and your responses and pin it to the top of your hotel’s social media pages.
- What are you doing to help members of your community? Highlight local charities that you are helping by donating food, time, or other resources.
- Are you offering a new booking special in light of current events? Share that so your guests can stay informed.
Non-COVID-19 Topic Ideas
- Incorporate staff highlight posts that show off your team with smiles: their daily work routines, what they love about working at your hotel, and what makes them outstanding employees.
- Share standout amenities and great photos of your hotel. What makes your property unique? Share it all.
- Share user-generated photos of guests having a great stay, enjoying breakfast or dinner at your onsite restaurant, or relaxing beside the pool.
- Share posts that ask fans engaging questions. Example: Post a breakfast amenity post & pair it with “What are your go-to waffle toppings?” OR Share a business center amenity post & pair it with a productivity tip—ask fans for their best tip for staying productive.
- Search your page for any evergreen content: content that isn’t time-sensitive and can be used again. Either repost the content exactly or refresh the caption and photo but keep the general topic.
- Share daily & monthly holidays. We like this site for finding fun holidays to get involved with: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/
- Share inspirational quotes and fun, uplifting posts. Participate in these types of posts: #motivationalmonday, #happyfriday, #humpday, #ThrowbackThursday, or simply share an encouraging message about kindness & compassion.
- Share positive guest testimonials that talk up the convenient or special features of your hotel.
- Share interesting or little known facts about your hotel’s city.
- Share feel-good news stories about your local area – acts of kindness, helping others in need, and more.
Take special care to monitor your notifications at this time. Guests need fast responses and guidance from you, especially for questions about the virus and what your hotel is doing to keep guests safe! If you don’t have an answer for them right away, say something like—“We understand your concern and are looking into that right now. I will message you back as soon as I know more. Thank you for your patience!”
Above all, be mindful—You want to sell rooms but never advise your fans or guests in a social media post to do something that the CDC does not suggest. If your hotel is a branded hotel, they have likely published a protocol for posts during this time, so review that before you make your marketing strategy.
If you need guidance crafting responses, social media posts, or a posting strategy during this crisis, please reach out to us for full management or staff training at a discounted rate during this time. We hope these tips are useful in helping your hotel weather the storm.