Here are our Top 10 tips for hotel social media marketing. We have put these together from daily hands on experience performing internet marketing for our hotels. It is the best list of practical ideas that can be implemented right away.
1. Have a Blog to post information on activities, attractions, dining, shopping, nightlife. It allows you to provide your guests with suggestion on what to do. Moreover it is a constant source of content that you can use to spread on other social networks like FaceBook and Twitter.
2. Manage your online reputation, by inviting guests to post reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp and other review websites. Make sure you also respond to all reviews and that you manage your profile on these sites (description, pictures, contact info).
3. Invite guests to join your FaceBook page (upload their emails), and ask them to post pictures of the hotel and their trip. Panoramia is also a great site to have guest post pics as it is linked to Google Earth & Maps.
4. Link local companies and attractions in your Twitter and FaceBook posts by using ‘@' and their profile name. It will jump start your interaction online and grow your sphere of influence. To make it easy, think like your guests. Get connected to cities, tourist attractions and tourist information centers by liking their page. Just start reading and very often the accommodation requests are right there for you to grab. For example on the city page of Amsterdam a young lady is asking for tips on what to do during her trip. Give her a compliment on choosing Amsterdam because it is simply awesome and include a shortened link (goo.gl) to the blog on your hotel website that just happens to be about the top 10 of things to do during a short break in Amsterdam. (but don't overdo it). This way you can get the interaction started and after a few messages back and forward she might book your hotel. If not no worries you just generated a bunch of clicks to your hotel website.
5. Prizes to get the job done. An incentive gets people moving. Give a free weekend in return for the best guest pic of the month ...
6. Local check-in site like FourSquare or Gowalla can help you gain exposure and promote your F& outlets. Give a welcome cocktail when checking in online if staying at the hotel. Or a free upgrade based on availability (1 per day of course ;) ).
7. Find interesting and funny videos of your destination and add them to your YouTube Channel to create a sort of video tour guide. Compliment the ‘producer' and let them know you put it on your official channel.
8. Recycle content across social networks. Your positive reviews should be posted on Twitter and FaceBook, as well as your blog articles. Gather all your guest pics from Picasa, Flickr and Panoramia into one album on FaceBook.
9. Get a (young) internet savvy person on your team to work on social media. They are fast in picking this stuff and copying best practices from others. He will be more personal in speaking to your guests. And this is very important.
10. Be funny and original. A sense of humor works better then a formal and conventional approach. What is the last thing you really click-ed on or read on FaceBook? I am sure it was funny or original... it's what works...
These simple steps will help you grow your fan base and create interaction with your guests. Engagement is not easy online, but these tips and best practices should help your hotel's social media marketing strategy.