Hotel Marketing Conference 2017 – Social Media Success Factors
Latest posts by Beth Murrell (see all)
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Recently, I was lucky enough to attend the annual Hotel Marketing Conference in Burton Upon Trent. Not only this, but I gave a talk to the delegates on Social Media Success Factors and wanted to share some of my tips.
(Image Source: Pavan Gill)
We all know that social media is well and truly changing the marketing game. We can’t ignore the domination of this channel for our brands, as more and more travellers are using it in the decision-making process when they book their holidays.
When it comes to social currency, travel is definitely up there. You can’t miss your friends and family sharing their travel posts online, from a check-in on Facebook to a smug Boomerang of a cocktail on Instagram. Social media is extremely important, and some key questions that people ask are:
- How do I create success on social?
- How do I measure success?
- What’s my ROI on social?
I’m hoping to answer some of these questions in this post. First up, however, what is Marriott as a brand doing on social media?
Marriott uses a platform called MLive, which acts on the principles of geo-fencing, allowing our hotels to quickly:
Analyse – Gain consumer insights and extended intelligence based on activity at our hotels.
Surprise and Delight – Receive notifications when something exciting has happened at a property, like an engagement, and the ability to respond.
Amplify – Use sponsored posts to reach guests with hyper-personalised ads.
(Image Source: Marriott International)
MLive also allows us to have a truly two-way conversation with our guests, as well as real-time social listening to keep up with trends and crisis management. All of these combined allow us to create content on the fly.
The Aim of the Game Is to Engage Guests to Inspire Others
I know that not everyone can do this, or not everyone has access to a platform like this. However, as a brand or hotel, you don’t need MLive to:
Interact – Ensure you’re getting that personal interaction with your guests.
React – Respond to trending topics and have a robust social-crisis process.
Listen – Learn what guests are saying about you and use it as an opportunity.
These are all important factors that will lead to your success on social media. And, although you may not see a direct return, you’re ensuring that any guest or potential guest will come away having had a good experience.
Social Media Quick Wins
When thinking about your social media, there are a few things that you can look at right now to make a big impact:
- Go live on Facebook or Instagram. Share events, like wedding fayres or event setups, to give followers an authentic look at your brand.
- Utilise free tools like Hootsuite or Canva to make scheduling easy, or to improve the look of your posts.
- Find your social media style and brand. Use apps like Snapseed or VSCO to improve your photos.
- Find those team members with a natural affinity for social media and use it!
- Optimise your social profiles, have consistent branding and use keyword research to boost your visibility.
- Have a content calendar ready and plan at least three months in advance.
So, how can you actually measure success in social media?
If you’re not looking at any form of paid social advertising, you’ll likely encounter questions about how you can measure success. Here are a few measurements you can use:
One great way to measure your content’s success is looking at your interactions. Below is a great example from one of our hotels, the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London. After posting this short video, the hotel got some great comments, which they interacted with. Within most social media platforms, you will have access to analytics tools which will show you posts that perform the best, as well as times, demographics and much more. Use this to benchmark improvements in your social strategy and utilise the results to modify your upcoming posts.
(Image Source: St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Instagram)
One solid way to measure performance is by using paid marketing, such as Facebook ads. Here, you can clearly see a return on your investment, and we’re seeing that FB especially is favouring paid advertising more and more.
Through our Marriott Digital Services programme, we work with hotels on their digital strategy. One of those is Snapchat filters. These are a great way to see real-time interaction with your social channels, and anyone can do these!
(Image Source: London Marriott Hotel Park Lane Snapchat)
The Key Is, Anyone Can Do This
Eventually, all of these elements will lead to bookings, stronger brand awareness and brand likability, ultimately securing loyal repeat guests.