Can you guess how many social media users there are worldwide? According to Statista, about 2.34 billion! Does this mean my hotel’s goal is to have 2.34 billion fans on Facebook and 2.34 billion followers on Twitter? Absolutely not! While so many users are on social media, it does not mean they all use it the same way. Some follow sports teams or brands they admire, while others use social media as a news source. This means that you have to target users who want to engage with your hotel and who are interested in your brand.
While it is important to have followers and continue to gain followers, it is more important to have your followers engage with your hotel. Instead of focusing on gaining more and more followers, you should attempt to interact with the fans you already have. According to Facebook, “Engagement rate is the percentage of people who saw a post that liked, shared, clicked or commented on it.” While each social platform has their own definition, engagement rate is basically the percentage of users interacting with your hotel’s content. This metric is more valuable to your hotel than followers or Page likes because it tells you how many people are interacting with your Page and also, how many users are sharing your content. Increasing your hotel’s engagement rate is important because it means that your followers are connecting with your content and building a stronger relationship with your brand.
Tips to Increase Engagement Rate
People are not going to engage with your hotel unless they have an interest in the content you are publishing. Your content should be authentic and should reflect your hotel, your brand, and your personality. Share photos of your team’s gingerbread house contest or a birthday celebration to show a glimpse into your hotel’s character, or find user generated photos taken on property. While curating content for your social platforms, remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should be relevant content that a user will find entertaining and useful; 20% should be promotional (i.e. posts about special offers or amenities with a link back to your website). When you implement this strategy across various social platforms, you will create content your fans will engage with.
While it is important to create dynamic content, it is also important to keep your content consistent. Keep a content calendar in order to schedule posts throughout the week, month, and year. Inconsistent posting can hurt your social media presence by causing your audience to disengage and unfollow your accounts.
Hashtags are more than a trendy thing to do in 2016. They make searching topics easier. Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, hashtags can be clicked on or searched for in order to find content on a specific topic. For example, if you are interested in Starbucks, you could search “#Starbucks” and browse posts discussing the topic, instead of just scrolling through a feed. This is beneficial because users can find your hotel even if they are not following you.
While you should implement hashtags into your strategy, you should only use those that are relevant and make sense with your brand. If “#Starbucks” is trending, only incorporate the hashtag into your post if you can tie it in with your brand. If you have an on-site Starbucks, it would be in your hotel’s best interest to incorporate this into your strategy, unless the topic is trending over a controversial issue.
Now that you are familiar with trending hashtags, you will need to understand how to incorporate them into your posts. How many should your hotel use in an Instagram post or Tweet? Is your hotel using them too much or too little?
There is a strategy behind the hashtag madness. You should be aware of hashtag fatigue and only use hashtags in moderation. Your hotel’s Twitter engagement rate may drop if you use more than 2; however, Instagram recommends users use multiple hashtags per post. Rather than using multiple hashtags in your actual Instagram post, you should comment on your own post with hashtags. This ensures that your message isn’t cut off while displaying on users newsfeeds and also allows your message to stand alone without getting lost in hashtags.
Post Intriguing Photos
Content is not all about text. In some cases, it is all about the picture. “Research says that using images can result in an 85% interaction rate on Facebook and increased Retweets by 35% on Twitter,” according to the Social Media Examiner. It is important to have compelling images for Facebook and Instagram because of their design. On the other hand, Twitter is more text-based. While it is recommended to attach media to a Tweet periodically, it is imperative to have interesting copy.
Run an Ad Campaign
After you have fully optimized your social profiles and your organic strategy, your hotel should run an ad campaign to increase your engagement rate. Whether you are launching ads on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram you have the ability to boost your posts to ultimately increase engagement rate. The goal for launching a successful ad is to have a specific objective in mind. For example, if you are a Nashville hotel situated minutes away from popular music venues, it would be a great opportunity to post about upcoming concerts mentioning your proximity to the event. Below is an example of a boosted Facebook Ad with a 286% engagement increase compared to the average organic post in the month of November.
Participate in Community Engagement
In addition to creating organic and paid content, you should engage with local businesses and attractions. You cannot expect everyone to engage with your hotel’s content if you are not putting your hand out first. Not only does this create awareness, but it also builds relationships that can go beyond social media. You can also interact with organizations by sharing their content with your followers. If your hotel hosted a business event and the business tagged the hotel in their post talking about the event, your hotel should share the post. This is a great opportunity to engage with the business and continue to build the relationship after the event.
Respond to Your Followers
Once people start engaging with your hotel on social media, you must respond! One of the worst things you can do is have your followers engage and leave them hanging. You should always engage to show your fans/followers you are paying attention and value their opinion. If your social platform includes reviews, you should be responding to most of the reviews, especially negative comments. If a prospective guest sees a negative review without a response from the hotel, the review the user will be left with a bad impression of the hotel;however, if the hotel responds with a genuine response, the user is more likely to forget about the negative review.
It’s Your Turn
Now that you have learned the tips to increase your hotel’s engagement rate, revise your strategy! Focus on interacting with your current following and over time you will notice a higher engagement rate, organic growth, and new relationships.
To learn more about increasing your hotel’s engagement rate on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram contact our team.