There are so many hotels, not to mention other businesses, using social media. So how do you stand out? People look to social media not only for information, but authenticity, and they crave that unique element. You can find those elements in every area of your hotel. Things that may seem mundane to you can be interesting and engaging to a potential guest.
One misconception is that you need to hire a professional photographer or own an expensive camera to get amazing photos. This is not true. Professional photography has its own merits, but it requires time and money and often only produces a handful of content to use throughout the year. You will find it is easy and fun to take photos around your hotel and we are going to show you how!
Pay Attention to the Simple Things
You walk across the welcome mat in your lobby every day. Would you be surprised if we told you that your mat was the perfect opportunity for unique content?
This photo not only welcomes guests to the hotel, it also shows them content that is different from the generic room photos to which they are normally exposed. The added element of shoes upon the mat creates an even higher level of authenticity. The best part? This photo, as well as the examples we will show you, were all taken with a smartphone.
You have a unique opportunity to provide a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look that many guests crave. They want to know what types of food or drinks they can expect, how friendly the staff is, and the overall personality of the hotel. Beyond that, they want authenticity, and tend to engage less with sterile content such as overused stock photography. Below are examples of everyday elements that can take your hotel’s page to the next level.
Anyone Can Take Photos, Anytime
You do not need a professional photographer to collect engaging content for social media. Staff and leadership have opportunities every day to take photos of:
- On-site events
- Your involvement in the community
- Day-to-day activities
- Elements around your hotel
Day-to-day activities could be as simple as capturing your bartender pouring a drink, your chef creating an omelet, or housekeeping cleaning a room. As far as elements around your hotel, consider the following questions to help get those creative juices flowing:
- Does your hotel offer infused water as you walk in?
- Do you create special towel animals in the rooms for guests to enjoy?
- Do you have featured artwork on your walls or vendors you showcase on your property?
All of these examples, and more, make for great content!
What’s in Your Toolbox?
Smartphones have become invaluable for capturing moments. Both iPhone and Android have several features that will allow you to achieve professional quality photos and videos. For example, some smartphones have a ‘depth effect’ feature. See the amazing difference!
Quality photos are now at your fingertips.
A few more excellent tools to make your content pop are Facebook 360 Photo, Facebook Live, and Boomerang.
Facebook 360 Photo
Facebook 360 Photo allows guests to interactively view a large space in your hotel. Simply take a panoramic photo and upload it to Facebook. This will enable the 360 feature and guests will love the ability to view one of your beautiful suites from all angles. An excellent example of this feature can be seen here.
Video dominates Facebook and is another important tool to incorporate. Luckily, there are countless video opportunities around your hotel. Facebook Live is perfect for showcasing on-site events, and though it takes a bit more preparation than a normal video, it is worth the time. Facebook has revealed that Facebook Live videos are watched 3x longer than regular ones. This is because people crave that in-the-moment experience.
Visit 4 Tips For Creating Standout Videos For Facebook to discover more impactful ways to use videos.
Finally, let’s talk about Boomerang. To quote Instagram, “It’s not a photo. It’s not a gif. It’s a Boomerang.” The app takes a super short, super fast burst of photos, stitches them together, and creates a quick video that plays back and forth. This is an excellent way to feature drinks at your bar or capture a high-five between staff. Your followers want to see content displayed in a unique way so give them something new!
How to Take Rockstar Photos
There are three things to keep in mind when snapping that perfect shot
- Lighting: Be sure the light is not too bright and not too dark. Finding the right balance is key.
- Angles: Always take pictures from a good angle. Tilting your camera too much can leave viewers a bit dizzy. It is usually best to take photos at a straight angle.
- Focus: Make sure your camera has had time to focus before taking the shot. Many smartphones will need a few seconds to adjust depending on the distance and lighting. You can also tap the screen of your phone to help it focus better.
Why Is It Important to Stand Out on Social Media Channels?
Facebook is on track to hit 2 billion users this year. With that much traffic, it is easy for hotels to get lost in Newsfeeds. What will set your hotel apart from local competitors is not only the quality of your service, but your personality. Facebook is one of the prime destinations for sharing life events and travel-related content. In a survey by Internet Marketing Inc., 52 percent of users said their friend’s photos inspired travel plans. 76 percent of users said they post their vacation photos to social networks. This presents you with an opportunity to reach potential guests through trying new, inventive strategies, which will ensure your relevance among a vast and growing digital space. Showcase the elements that make your hotel unique and you will shine above the rest.
Now that you know how easy it is to generate great content, it is time to go forth and start snapping rockstar pictures that will set you apart from your competitors. We think you will have a fun time doing it too. Our experts at Blue Magnet are always here to ensure you are updated in the world of digital marketing; stay connected for more important news!