Social media trends can change as fast as it takes to write an email, create a post, or send a tweet. Keeping up with each fad and the best practices of each platform can be confusing, especially with all the constant updates. Years ago, we were still using sites like MySpace and LiveJournal and emailing using AOL. America is still online, and now we are using as many apps and social media sites as we can get our hands on. But figuring out how to reach your followers does not have to mean keeping up with memes the way Denny’s does, like in the below example.
To elevate your hotel’s social media efforts to the forefront of what is trending, keep reading for the best social media hacks for 2016 from Blue Magnet Interactive.
Research Your Hashtags
Hashtags are nothing new to the social media landscape, but using the correct hashtags can make or break your content’s reach, engagement, and success. Whether it is a brand hashtag (like Embassy Suites’ #PrettyGreat), a hashtag to enter a giveaway (something like #GetawayGiveaway that followers can use to ensure their post will be considered), or a just for fun hashtag like #MotivationMonday or #WineWednesday, hashtags can either add value to or take away from a post.
Before you put that fun new hashtag into place, you need to research your proposed hashtag. Doing this ensures that the hashtag will not offend anyone, that it is not associated with unsavory content, and that you are using the most popular hashtag. For example: with the holidays fast approaching, a celebratory post will delight your followers. By going to Instagram.com on your desktop or using the mobile app, you can see how many posts are attached to a certain hashtag. Because Halloween just passed, let’s use this holiday as an example. See the below screenshots (the top is on desktop; the bottom on iPhone) for how successful #Halloween is versus #HappyHalloween.
Use An Effective Number of Hashtags
After you have decided which hashtags will best capture the attention of potential guests, understanding how many hashtags will be effective is imperative. Each channel has their own best practices for using hashtags, from avoiding the use of them altogether to using as many as you can think of.
Best Practices for Facebook Hashtags
Facebook recommends not using hashtags at all. To avoid hurting your posts, do not use hashtags on Facebook unless it is something important, like for an event at or near your hotel.
Best Practices for Twitter Hashtags
For Twitter, there is a little more wiggle room. Twitter recommends using no more than two hashtags per tweet. Any more than that, and your tweet could look like spam, causing your followers to ignore it.
Best Practices for Instagram Hashtags
If you want to have some fun with hashtags, give Instagram a try. Instagram posts with 11 or more hashtags tend to see higher engagement. To best use hashtags on Instagram, include hashtags that are popular as well as relevant to your hotel, your followers, and your content. For example, do not use #TBT for a throwback Thursday post if it is only Monday. Beyond that, use as many relevant hashtags as you like. Check out this successful post from one of our clients, Hotel Zephyr, with 30 hashtags!
Use (and Maintain Presence On) Multiple Social Channels
Creating a Facebook page for your hotel just is not enough anymore. In 2016, hoteliers must maintain a consistent presence on multiple social channels to provide guests with useful information and make your hotel feel more personal. When using numerous social channels, it is imperative to ensure that you are using the correct channels to reach your guests. As an example, your hotel may not need a Snapchat profile, but having one can allow your guests to get an inside look at how renovations are coming along or a glimpse into how their breakfast gets prepared fresh each morning. If you are on more conventional channels like Facebook and Twitter, be sure to post at least three times each week. With Twitter’s constant stream of information, it is easy for your tweet to get lost in the flow if you are not posting enough to get your tweets noticed.
Rev Up Your Posts With Canva
If you are not already using Canva when creating content for your hotel, sign up as soon as you finish reading this blog. It is a free site with many free templates and elements at your fingertips, including the proper image sizes for each social media channel. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the many functions of Canva, then find a stock image site you like. Pexels for example, is free and has a wealth of great images. Of course, do not post a stock image as is; add copy about a special package your hotel is offering or design elements to enhance interest. Your posts should never go live without an image attached. Hootsuite claims that “every Tweet that you send without an attached image is a missed opportunity.” And we agree.
Schedule Shared Facebook Posts
There is a wealth of relevant content on the social media pages for your local Convention and Visitors Bureau. Sharing this content, and content from local points of interest, can provide views from the page that you are sharing from, their fans, and yours. The issue is, of course, that remembering to post shared content is a massive pain. But it does not have to be. To schedule a shared Facebook post, copy the link of the post you would like to share, paste it in after the copy you have written to go with the shared post, and then the shared post will appear below. Now delete that link, and it will look like you just shared the post. No more reminding yourself to share an event page about that festival coming to town! This is especially effective when sharing a post featuring a video, like this one about Alpharetta, GA.
How Blue Magnet’s Social Media Team Can Help
Social media can be a one-person job, but with all the constant updates and channels, it should not have to be. Our seasoned social media team is on top of each trend and each channel, prepared to help you discover hashtags for your hotel and ensure that your content has the most dynamic images. Now you have all the hacks to get ahead of the curve, and we’re ready to help you stay ahead.