Maximising Your Presence for Increased Bookings and Revenue – Be Amazing Online!
As a Hospitality Brand, you will have a solid idea of who you are, what you do, and what you offer — but you need to be asking yourself, are you conveying this to your guests effectively?
Does your online presence accurately represent the truth of your brand? Are you sending the right message?
The service you offer your guests starts before they book their stay. It starts and finishes online.
“Companies that anticipate and deliver what travellers want, when they want it, are more likely to command loyalty — and profits.” — Carolyn Childs, Hotel Online
1. Potential Customers Have More Choice Than Ever
People have so many choices, that they look online for ways to narrow down their decisions.
70% of travelers search on TripAdvisor before booking their stay, and almost all tourists below the age of 34 looks to Facebook for suggestions before finalising their bookings.
How you appear on Social Media, in Search Engines, and the message your website sends is vitally important. Potential Guests have access to all this information before you even know they’re there — so your marketing strategies need to account for these platforms if you want to be amazing online.
Your website needs to be coherent in terms of branding, colour scheme, and content. It takes people 6 -7 times to see content before they begin to associate it with a specific brand — you want to make this easier by ensuring consistency throughout your site.
The pages also need to be mobile-friendly (responsive), because many people are now using their mobile devices to access the web. If your site isn’t up to standard, you’re not going to get seen — and you won’t even get a chance to make an impression before you’re dismissed and forgotten.
2. Increased Competition
To generate more hotel bookings, you need to stand out from the crowd, which is why social media is important for hotels. It connects you with people who are interested in your services. But how do you rise above the digital noise?
Having exceptional customer service, an innovative mobile app and a strong reputation across review sites will set you apart. Use your social channels to give your Hotel a personality — convey to your guests just how amazing you are, what you have that no one else does, and what you do better than everyone else. Share your heritage, brand values, and interesting stories about your staff will help you position yourself as an amazing online destination.
You have an excellent opportunity to showcase your most exciting and unique features on your website. Whether you want a regular blog, featured videos, or a gallery of images, you should use every element to show how amazing your venue is.
3. You Have Microseconds to Make a Positive First Impression!
Use your social media channels to show and tell your guests how fantastic your venue is. Your online presence works to advertise and promote your business 24 hours a day. It’s up to you to provide interesting content that makes your guests want to learn more and book with you.
You must produce high-quality content, whether that’s beautiful pictures and video or interesting written content, and which is communicated consistently. You need to have a minimum standard of quality and make sure you never post anything that doesn’t reach it.
You could consider having a customer testimonials page on your website or integrating the reviews from a review site, such as TripAdvisor. Let people see that you’re proud of your accomplishments and are not afraid to admit when you’ve been wrong because you always strive to set it right!
4. Living Like a Local is the Next Trend
Social Media for Hotels isn’t just a tool to promote and sell your services — it’s a way of connecting and creating a community. Customer Relationship Management is easier when you know what your customers want and are actively speaking with them; this is how you created an amazing online experience.
“If you’re a Customer Service Rep, you need to show your customers that their happiness is important to you.” — Justyna Polaczyk, LiveChat
Building communities is also something you can do with other businesses, and engaging more with your local community can be mutually beneficial — if your hotel is near a fantastic landmark, promote it. If there’s a local festival happening — share it. If you don’t offer a taxi service but know a trusted local driver, recommend them. Because the more you give out, the more people will enjoy themselves when they visit you, and the local community and businesses you’ve helped will be more likely to recommend you in return.
It’s a win-win-win — for you, your guests, and your community.
On your website, you could encourage more visitors to be interested in you and your location by featuring Google Maps, local landmarks, areas of interest or having an events calendar. When people leave your website, you want them to think that your hotel is the place to go because they will be looked after, entertained, and have plenty to do on their visit.
5. Reviews Are Everywhere – Own Them!
This is one of the most powerful ways social media affects hotels — word of mouth is no longer limited to personal connections. By getting online and sharing their experience with your brand, a guest can share with a huge number of people their opinion of your Hotel; and whether it’s a positive or negative experience.
Their friends and social media connections will read it and create their opinions of your brand based on these experiences. It’s essential to have a Reputation Management strategy to make the most of this feedback. Responding to a positive review shows your guest, and other visitors, that you care and offer a more ‘personal’ touch — it also doubles the amount of positive terms for SEO purposes.
Responding to a negative review allows you to correct a problem, change an unhappy customer into a happy one, and show the online community that you are invested in ensuring a positive experience for all your guests. Leaving negative reviews unattended damages your reputation and discourages future bookings.
Make sure you have clear customer service opening and closing times on your website. Give people realistic times to expect a response. They may not like having to wait for a reply, but they’ll like it even less if they don’t know it’s going to take a long time!
How you handle your hotel’s online presence will largely determine how others view your Brand. The more you engage with guests and potential guests, the more emotionally connected they will be with you — and the more likely they’ll be to remember you when booking their hotel stay.
Here’s to Your Success 🥂