14 Must-Have Elements for A Strong 2014 Social Media Strategy (Part 1)

Hospitality  Marketing InfographicsAs we edge closer and closer to the end of 2013, hotel marketing teams will soon start reviewing and evaluating this past year’s social media efforts.  

In this post, let’s look ahead and explore how you can make your 2014 social media strategy even stronger and more impactful.

Many components are at play when you’re working to generate buzz for your hotel and venue. Marketing hotels on the internet via social media involves planning WHAT to post, WHEN to post and WHERE to post. A successful combination of the three increases your reach and visibility when marketing hotels online.   

Here is the first of two posts detailing 14  ways you can solidify your 2014 social media efforts, along with innovative tips and tricks,  that will positively impact your online presence.

1) Create Infographics

You’ve probably seen these without knowing what they were. Infographics are those easy-to-understand graphic visuals of facts,  figures and stats. Right now, infographics are being used to present complex information in a fun and easy way. But there’s no reason why your hotel, destination or venue couldn’t use infographics as a hospitality marketing tool to tout all that is good and unique about your business. Consider this: Infographics are highly VIRAL. They get more shares on social media channels more than any other content.
 

2) Align All Content to Your Social Media Goals

Nail down an attainable strategy in 2014 by truly understanding your social media goals. Here are sample metrics for common social media goals shared by hospitality marketing teams:

Social Media Goal: To Build Interaction

Measure This: The type of and quantity of social media conversations, such as replies on Twitter or comments on Facebook


 

 Social Media Goal: To Drive Direct Bookings or Increase Group Bookings

Measure This: The exact dollar amount of every lead a social media post generates

 

Social Media Goal: Increase Website Traffic

Measure This: The number of unique visitors who came from social media websites from direct campaigns

 

Social Media Goal: To Gain More Followers

Measure This: Number of subscribers and followers on social media channels such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook
 

3) Increase Your Daily Activity

With travelers now seeing hundreds of marketing messages every day, give your updates and posts a better chance of being seen by posting more, at the right time. For instance, you should be posting one to four times per-day on Facebook, and five to 10 times per-day on Twitter. Studies have shown that people are heaviest in their social media use AFTER work hours, not during. So dedicate some of your postings for 5-8pm. Plus, make sure you’re posting to several places, including your own blog and Website.

4) Help Followers Engage With You By Using Hashtags

Not only can #hashtags make it simple for you to track a social media campaign’s activity across several social media platforms, it also allows you to target specific users already conversing with the hashtag.  Be careful not to overuse hashtags, though. #Using too #many is #annoying, plain and #simple.

5) Think Like a Brand Giant

Even boutique or mid-size properties can emulate the approaches that big hospitality brands bring to social media. Here are several social media activities that the larger lodging brands do consistently:

  •        Create and post content that their followers will talk about
  •        Take the time to find out where their guests talk online and maximize their presence there
  •        Use social media channels to research and listen to their guests

6) Have Real, Not Automated, Interactions

While auto-posting tools have multiplied hotels’ and destinations’ social media productivity, interacting with your audience within real time conversations adds more value to your social media and brings better results in the long run. So, be present on social media in real time and have authentic conversations.

7) Stay on Top of Facebook Changes

Think you know your Facebook page inside and out? Don’t get too comfortable. From what we’ve seen from Facebook in these past few years, one thing is for certain: Your Facebook page will change. From cover photo policies to timeline changes, Facebook is known for springing updates on its users, while hospitality marketers scramble to update their visuals and messaging to comply with the new rules. How can you stay current on all these Facebook changes, so that you’ll have more leeway to react? Here are some suggestions:

  •        Set up a Google Alert for any Facebook changes
  •        Like Facebook’s Marketing Page to receive their updates straight to your news feed
  •        Follow the blog, AllFacebook.com
  •        Follow TechCrunch using the Facebook tag

 

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