Social Media has become a great equalizer for the hotel business.
It allows businesses to not just tell people about the great things their place offers, but show them. Even better, it’s all free, which nicely disrupts a hospitality business model that has been around for centuries and helps level the playing field.
Whether a property is independent or part of a a larger chair, owners or at least local managers need to be intentional and strategic in how best to let people know about their place. Big flashy signs are fun but only attract the attention of people who happen to be driving by. TV and print ads have a larger reach, but costs add up fast, since smart places need to be out there daily bringing in business.
But since just about everyone has a smart phone, and Instagram now has more than 200 million active users taking, editing and sharing app, it’s easier than ever to grow your audience and empower visitors to become part of your marketing force!
Here are 4 Instagram Marketing strategies with Examples:
The Morgans Hotel Group, which has locations in South Beach, San Francisco, New York and London, Los Angeles, uses its Instagram page as a way to extend its “look.” Visitors just don’t see empty rooms or plain exterior shots, they see hip, young people having fun in elegant surroundings.
Many of the photos have the “retro” filters cranked up to give the Morgans experience a classical, glamorous and timeless look.
Anyone who has been to the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas knows that it’s so much more than a place to put your head at the end of a busy day. It’s Instagram page reminds visitors that it’s also a casino, offers many restaurants and lounges, has shows, and other fun services. Interspersed with product pictures, like tasty desserts, fruity drinks and gaming chips, the page includes plenty of smiling employees.
The message of this Instagram Marketing? We truly have everything you need! Come, get away and be immersed in the experience of a lifetime!
CN Travel columnist Wendy Perrin, suggests that every traveler on Instagram should take photos of their next hotel visit and ‘tag’ the hotel.
How fast the staff gets back to you is a good measure of how focused they are on service and embracing new technology! Innovative hotels see social support as a good starting place for a conversation and the personal touch they can offer. By searching for their hotel in hashtags and by being alert to user mentions, there is opportunity to “touch” a guest and increase loyalty and trust.
A customer who experiences this care AND is already sharing you via social media is a powerful advocate who can extend your message to their friends and community!
In days of express check-outs and busy front desks, these type of personalized connections can make all the difference! Perrin said the staff can use your post for feedback, and maybe even reward your unsolicited tag with a free drink or some other service next time.
She notes the Four Seasons Vancouver Hotel as a responsive example of Instagram Marketing.
The hotel may be beautiful but not every traveler is staying in this town especially for the inside of the hotel!
How about showing how the west-facing rooms have great sunsets? Or check out the bright lights of downtown at night?
NH Hoteles, which has locations in Europe, encourages guests to take and post a photo outside their window in the morning and use the hashtag #wakeuppics. These images also go on a separate site for the hotel, creating an easy keepsake for current guests and give future guests fun ways to browse.
So there you have it! Four ways to extend further the power of social marketing, particularly with Instagram, to grow your brand awareness and fill your rooms!
What’s first on your agenda to use?
Did you know with tools like TabSite, you can even bring your social channels to your website! Yes, you can even embed your Instagram account photos or hashtag on your blog or website!