Well well well…look at you, Mr. Hotel-With-Social-Media! Congratulations on your shiny new Facebook page! If you’ve been following the famous Blue Magnet blog, I’m sure you already know the ins and outs of building a hotel social media strategy, but does your social media strategy end at the “Like” button? If so, it’s time to take that social media strategy offline as well.
As online marketers, we spend most of our time building online strategies, but the best online strategy includes some offline tactics too. Bringing attention to your social media accounts during check-in at the property is one of the most effective ways to get qualified traffic to these social media channels. Consider adding some of these strategies to your social media marketing plan to garner more interaction and qualified leads.
- Use QR Codes – Create QR Codes for your front desk. Make one for your Facebook Page, one for your Twitter Account, and one for TripAdvisor. Users can scan the code and go straight to your page to “Like”, follow, or write a review about your hotel.
- Advertise Your Contests & Promotions – If your hotel is running contests or promotions via social media, be sure to promote at the property level too or you’ll be missing a huge opportunity for engagement. Is your hotel giving away a free stay on Twitter? Be sure your current guests know this. They are already at the hotel and are more likely to come back or engage if they know they could stay for free. Consider making a special offer for guests who stay at the hotel during the promotion, like offering them two chances to win instead of one.
- Celebrate the Winners – If you already ran a contest and awarded your prize the winner, he or she will feel more special if you acknowledge the win during check-in. We always encourage hotels to create a welcome banner to display on the day that a winner checks in at the hotel. Get creative – somehow acknowledge this person’s participating and make sure they feel like a prized guest.
- Create Photo Ops – Take it one step further by taking a photo of your winner with the banner and posting it via your social media channels. Even those who participated in the contest and did not win will appreciate seeing that someone was able to take advantage of the prize.
- Identify Friends and Followers at the Hotel – Ask your friends and followers to alert you via these channels if they will be staying at the hotel in the near future. Interact with guests as much as possible and find out why they will be in town, what they like best about your hotel or activities they have on their itinerary during the stay. Make their stay as personalized as possible. For example, say you have a guest who tweets at you that he will be checking into the hotel on Friday and staying for the weekend to check out some local wineries. Your guest will appreciate you going the extra mile to leave a handwritten note thanking him or her for staying at your hotel, plus a map to some of the local wineries. You may even consider leaving him or her some extra coffee or a Gatorade to him help or her recover from a long night of wine tasting! The more personal the touch the more highly your guest will think of your customer service.
Having a social media plan will put your hotel ahead of the competition, sure, but having a social media plan that encourages on-property, offline guests to interact with your online accounts will add greater personality and overall clout to your accounts. Your guests will love knowing there’s a real person that cares about their experience behind the scenes and you’ll have the ability to bring your social media efforts full circle.