In this day in age, it is no secret businesses need to invest time and money into maintaining a presence on social media to grow and build relationships with existing customers. This is no different for the hospitality industry. Placing a definitive return on investment for social media is extremely difficult as the time spent maintaining an active presence provides numerous immeasurable benefits your hotel will reap. It is certainly possible to pinpoint an ROI when you are able to implement parameters and track bookings, but there are many benefits beyond room night that a price cannot be put on.
1. Increased Brand Awareness
“90% of brands use social media to increase brand awareness,” Hootsuite reports. Hootsuite also notes that more than 40% of digital consumers use social media to research new products before making a purchase. Social media is an opportunity to expand brand awareness and reach potential guests that may not have known about your hotel otherwise. Additionally, increased brand awareness helps aid in the five stages of travel.
The first stage, also known as the “dream stage,” is where potential guests look for inspiration for their next getaway. Dreaming usually occurs on social media when users look at posts from their friends’ recent vacations. Maintaining an active presence on social media is an opportunity to expand your audience and secure potential bookings. Social media allows users to tag their location and other accounts, including your hotel’s, so it is important to make a great first impression when potential guests reach your profile and provide valuable, engaging information.
2. Provide Excellent Customer Service
Sprout Social found that 21% of consumers would rather message a brand on social media instead of calling customer service. Sprout Social also reported that the most common reason why consumers reach out to a brand on social media is to ask a question. As consumers spend increasingly more time online and are looking for convenience, investing in a social media manager is essential. A social media manager will be able to consistently monitor your social media profiles and interact with potential guests on behalf of your hotel, respond to any questions your property receives via direct message and through comments, and provide a sample of the hospitality potential guests can expect to receive when staying at your hotel.
3. Manage Your Reputation
Social media comes back into play during the fifth stage of travel, sharing. This stage is when consumers share their experience with a brand, whether that be positive or negative. Sprout Social also found that the second most common reason why 45% of consumers interact with a brand on social media is to resolve an issue with a product or service. Being present on social media allows your hotel to rectify any issues that guests may have experienced during their stay. Managing your reputation on social media should remain a priority as potential guests can look to your Facebook Page’s rating and reviews during their planning stage of travel.
Whether the reviews your hotel receives on social media are positive praises or unhappy remarks, acknowledging feedback gives your hotel a chance to build relationships with recent guests.
4. Keep an Eye on the Competition
Not only does social media give you a chance to keep a close look at what your competition is doing, it allows you to better compete with hotels in your local area. Chances are potential guests look at multiple hotels before they decide on the hotel they wish to book. If your competition is sharing engaging content, providing local area recommendations, and has positive reviews, your potential guests are likely to book with them than a hotel with a stale Page that is full of outdated photos and outdated posts.
As social media has taken over the daily lives of potential guests, often times users will conduct a search on Facebook before they search on Google, so it is important to have a Page as enticing as your hotel website. Additionally, social media allows your hotel the chance to monitor the competition and determine what their current strengths and weaknesses are and compare against your own. For example, if your local competition has poor reviews about the cleanliness of their rooms, this can be used to your advantage to highlight how clean your hotel is.
5. Boosted SEO
While social media is not a direct search ranking factor, an active presence can help boost your hotel’s SEO (search engine optimization) efforts. Social media can have a positive impact on hotels’ search rankings through increased positive brand mentions, social media posts with external links to your hotel’s website, and social media profiles ranking on the search engine results page (SERP).
That’s a wrap…
Social media is not going away anytime soon and it is imperative for your hotel to have an active presence. Although it may not be possible to determine the exact ROI on the time and money spent towards your hotel’s social media marketing, the numerous benefits of an active presence outweigh any cost and, ultimately, will have a positive impact on your hotel’s overall digital marketing efforts.