Ebook social-media-finished


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In this guide, we'll discuss the various social platforms available to
hoteliers and help you determine which social networks will be most
effective in helping you create community, cultivate loyalty, and
ultimately, increase revenue

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Ebook social-media-finished

  1. 1. 1 A Hotelier’s Guide to Social Media Finding the Right Channel for Your Hotel www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  2. 2. 2 About buuteeq buuteeq is an innovator and award winning provider of mobile first, user proven, Google optimized digital marketing Softwareas-a-Service for hotels worldwide so you can book more rooms directly. buuteeq powered digital marketing enables you to gain insights into your guests, meet them on their smartphones, desktops, and tablets, provide them with compelling marketing options, and take reservations – all from a single command post. With buuteeq’s digital marketing system, you get free, ongoing updates and capabilities so that your online hotel presence never falls behind technologically. buuteeq offers tailored editions of our solution (features, services, and pricing). For more information on products, pricing, or partnerships, please visit us at www.buuteeq.com or call +1 (800) 734-1769. Visit the buuteeq BLOG and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  3. 3. 3 A Hotelier’s Guide to Social Media Table of Contents A publication of buuteeq Thanks for Reading! We understand that there are many social channels out there that can be confusing and time consuming. With this eBook, we hope to narrow your focus to help you achieve good ROI with social media. Brian Saab Co-founder Creative Marketing Officer buuteeq, inc. www.buuteeq.com 04 05 06 09 12 15 19 23 Introduction Some tips for this guide Chapter 1 – Facebook Chapter 2 – Twitter Chapter 3 – Google+ Chapter 4 – Pinterest Chapter 5 – Instagram Summary www.buuteeq.com
  4. 4. A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA Social Media and the Travel Industry With 87% of online users reporting that social media recommendations impact hotel choice, it is no secret that social media influences the travel planning process. buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 4 Treat social media as an extension of your lobby Social Media Today While many hotels understand the benefits of social media engagement, with limited time and resources it is best to have a focused approach to your engagement choices. Trying to keep up with the latest social trends alone is overwhelming. Try to participate in every social network, and you'll stretch yourself too thin and never see results. By the numbers, Facebook and Twitter are the obvious leaders in social media participation, but there are some new surprises when you consider which social channel deserves your time and attention. In this guide, we'll discuss the various social platforms available to hoteliers and help you determine which social networks will be most effective in helping you create community, cultivate loyalty, and ultimately, increase revenue. www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  5. 5. A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 5 Some tips for this guide While reading through this guide and considering each channel, ask yourself the following: 1) Who are the current users, and who’s likely to use it in the future? Are these people potential customers, or do they have the ability to influence my potential customers? 2) Does my property fit with the content being shared? Do I currently have the content available, or will I need to create it? 3) How much time and resources are required to participate in this social network? Every channel requires unique content and should have its own voice & purpose. 4) Will this channel help you make money, save money, or make people happy? If it doesn't do any of these, then it probably isn't worth your time. www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  6. 6. 6 Chapter 1 Facebook www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  7. 7. A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 7 Facebook remains on top Facebook remains the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users, and shows no signs of slowing down. Over the years, Facebook has become more than just a social network; it has transformed into a platform for social communication and a central hub for daily life. Facebook has also been quick to adapt as competition rises, acquiring photo-sharing site Instagram, integrating with media platforms like Pinterest and Spotify, and launching Facebook Places and Facebook Nearby. The upcoming release of Facebook Graph Search, a feature that helps users discover common interests with friends and discover places to visit, will become even more significant to social media’s impact on travel research and discovery. People share more personal details about their identity, activities, interests and location on Facebook than anywhere else, which offers hoteliers and marketers unique advantages. Brand pages have access to a depth of demographic information about their fans and Facebook’s Insights and Advertising platforms continue to become more and more sophisticated. Bottom line: Facebook is where your customers are, therefore it is absolutely essential to have a presence. Just posting 2-3 times each week is enough to maintain a vibrant community and see results. www.buuteeq.com Facebook by the numbers Total number of Facebook users: 1.06 billion Daily active Facebook users: 618 million Total number of Facebook pages: 50 million Number of Facebook likes each day: 2.7 billion Number of photos uploaded to Facebook each day: 350 million Total number of location-tagged Facebook posts: 17 billion Total number of Open Graph actions shared: 400 billion More than 1 million websites have integrated with Facebook in various ways. www.buuteeq.com
  8. 8. Tips for success A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 8 Provide useful and meaningful content Make sure your Page is optimized for Graph Search Follow the “80-20 rule” - at least 80% of your content is non-selfpromotional, and just 20% is selfpromotional. No one wants to engage with your brand if you only talk about yourself or publish content that reads like a marketing brochure. Instead, be real, honest, and personable. Your hotel brand should tell a story on Facebook, not blast them with marketing messages. Make sure your hotel Page has the correct category (Hotel) and location details, and if you haven't already, merge your Fan Page with your Facebook Places page. It's also important to make sure that your page name and About section are optimized with relevant keywords since this content is actually pulled from your Fan Page as SEO elements. Learn more about Graph Search here. Share high quality, visual content buuteeq’s free hotel Facebook app Photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes than text or links alone, so collect high-resolution images of your property, amenities, attractions and location and use your smartphone to capture impromptu moments. Facebook’s recent News Feed upgrade has dedicated even more real estate to photos, so think about how you can convert textbased statuses and links into visuals. www.buuteeq.com Display your property’s rooms, photos, location and contact information on Facebook in an attractive way with buuteeq’s free Facebook app. An optimized Facebook experience for your guests is critical to turning page visitors into customers. www.buuteeq.com
  9. 9. 9 Chapter 2 Twitter www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  10. 10. A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 10 Twitter = real-time sharing Twitter, a microblogging site where posts are limited to 140 characters or less, is used to engage in real-time sharing with friends, as well as people you don't know personally. What differentiates Twitter from Facebook is its extreme simplicity and single focus on the real-time exchange of ideas. Though simple, Twitter provides it's users with many ways to segment content based on topic through the use of hashtags, trending topics, saved searches, follower lists, and more. With 400 million tweets sent each day and 60% of users accessing the network from a mobile device, Twitter is a great place to connect with travelers on the go. Travelers use Twitter to research, discover and decide on their destination, to discover specials and events during the time of their travel, and to stay connected with and informed by the property long after the visit has ended. More than any other social network, Twitter users are more likely to interact with brands, and make purchase decisions based on that interaction. www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  11. 11. A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA Twitter and Guest Happiness Hotels with an active presence on Twitter are finding more opportunities to engage with guests and respond to customer service issues quickly. eMarketer reported 77% of hotel and airline Twitter accounts experience customer service enquiries and complaints and a whopping 50% of consumers say they will stop doing business with a brand if they are not responded to. Therefore it is critical you be prepared for this when creating and implementing a Twitter strategy for your hotel. buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 11 Tips for success 1) Search for hashtags for upcoming events or conferences near your hotel, or include them in your brand’s tweets when speaking about a particular topic (#SuperBowl2013), neighborhood (#Seattle) or interest (#pingpong). 2) Announce last-minute openings and deals on Twitter. Keep the posts short and be sure to include your booking link or phone number. Bottom line: Twitter has truly emerged as an integral marketing tool that can extend both the reach of your brand's message and authenticity of your reputation. However, real-time engagement can be consuming. If you aren't prepared for this, Twitter may leave your potential guest with unanswered questions. www.buuteeq.com 3) Use Twitter to connect with business travelers. Twitter reports that business travelers actually use social media more than leisure travelers to share travel experiences. www.buuteeq.com
  12. 12. 12 Chapter 3 Google+ www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  13. 13. A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA Google+ = Tremendous SEO Value Google+ started with a burst of interest, and then drifted off as people tried to figure out how to use it. After working through some growing pains, Google’s fledgling social network has flourished to become the second largest in the world. buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 13 The Google +1 button is used 5 billion times each day. At this time, the value of Google+ is still severely underrated. Naturally, Google+ is integrated with Google Search, meaning posts from Google+ are being indexed in search engine results and authors' Google+ profiles are showing up next to those results. Even if you're not seeing a lot of engagement on Google+, you might see a bump in your organic search rankings as a result of your activity there. The future is personalized Google+ is also heavily integrated with Zagat reviews, Google Hotel Finder, Google+ Local and Google Maps. With the massive amount of information collected by these sites, combined with our own search behavior and social interactions, we expect to see the more personalized recommendations from Google+ in the near future. www.buuteeq.com Bottom line: It’s safe to say that Google+ is now an important player in the social media game. Maintaining an active presence on Google+ will at the very least support, to some degree, your visibility in organic search. www.buuteeq.com
  14. 14. Tips for success A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 14 Be sure to make a Google+ Business Page and use it to engage with your guests and share information. We've written an exhaustive guide on how to get started on Google+ here. Create unique content, preferably that plays to the service’s strengths. Try participating in Communities or hosting a Hangout. www.buuteeq.com Add a +1 button to your website and encourage guests to add your hotel to their circles. Build a community with your neighbors and neighborhood by linking to them. Use Google+ to share links, post articles or write opinionated pieces that encourage interaction from your followers. Ask questions, share thoughts and post photos. www.buuteeq.com
  15. 15. 15 Chapter 4 Pinterest www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  16. 16. A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 16 Pinterest users are looking to be inspired Pinterest, the online pin-board, turned out to be one of the rising stars of the 2012 social media landscape, with Pinterest now driving more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined! The concept of Pinterest is quite simple - users organize things they find on the web by creating pinboards, then “pinning” items onto boards of each corresponding category. Hotels and travel companies should be particularly interested in getting to know Pinterest better as some of the website’s most popular categories -- including food and drink, holidays, weddings, and travel -complement the hospitality industry nicely. According to Google, the 5 stages of travel start with a dream. Most of the users on Pinterest are sharing images of future plans, or where they hope to visit. This is the perfect time for hotels to inspire Pinterest users, interact with them and make it onto their travel boards. www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  17. 17. A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 17 The key to Pinterest is large, high-resolution, beautiful photography Bottom line: With a bit of planning and some time spent browsing, your hotel can create quite the presence on this popular social media site. Although your hotel images on Pinterest could lead to a boost in traffic to your website, the ultimate benefit of Pinterest is engagement. 21% of people with a Pinterest account have purchased an item after seeing it on the social network. www.buuteeq.com Remember the 80/20 rule? It applies here too. 80% of your pins should highlight your destination, local attractions, and upcoming events. No more than 20% of your pins should market your hotel and amenities - trying to hard to sell your property can come off as too commercial and isolating. Pinterest thrives off pretty pictures with compelling captions. It's okay to post content you find from around the web, but absolutely give credit where credit is due. www.buuteeq.com
  18. 18. Tips for success Create a group board around a common interest or theme with vendors or neighbors. A group board allows multiple people to pin to the same board, allowing for different perspectives on the same topic. Involve restaurants, local businesses, and even your tourism department! www.buuteeq.com A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels Search for brand name or URL to discover what others pinning about you. Be sure to comment or repin what you find! 18 Does your property host weddings? Great! Pinterest is an easy way to increase weddings business. The "Weddings" category is one of the most popular categories on the site, and Pinterest is one of the first places future brides turn when starting their planning. www.buuteeq.com
  19. 19. 19 Chapter 5 Instagram www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  20. 20. A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 20 An easy way to showcase your brand Instagram describes itself as “a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures.” The mobile-based app has over 100 million users and recently passed Twitter in daily active users on mobile for the first time. Instagram also boasts seamless integration to multiple social platforms, so users photo will automatically post to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and more. Hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry are uniquely positioned to use Instagram to market themselves because of the visual and creative nature of the medium. By creating photos of your hotel, events, local activities and more, you have a unique opportunity to give customers an inside look into your hotel, with hopes of inspiring future visits. The average user spends 257 minutes on Instagram each month. www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  21. 21. Tips for success A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA Harness user-generated content with a hashtag. NH Hotels encourages guests to "capture a moment when something is beginning, a zero instant" on Instagram and use the hashtag #WakeUpPics (the hotel's slogan is "Wake up to a better world"). The hotel reposts photos tagged with the hashtag to their website and Facebook page. www.buuteeq.com buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 21 Give permissions to your hotel’s respective social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Foursquare) to the application to achieve the maximum social reach of your message. www.buuteeq.com
  22. 22. A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA Have your employees take photos! Thompson Hotels says some of their best photos are taken by their valet and front desk staff. Ask for submissions, follow their pages and look for others with similar quality and images. www.buuteeq.com buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 22 When a user uploads a photo, they have the option of tagging that image with a foursquare location. Instagram then saves it, along with all other photos taken at the same location. Use your hotel's foursquare location to find even more great photos taken by Instagram users. www.buuteeq.com
  23. 23. 23 Chapter 6 Summary www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com
  24. 24. A HOTELIER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA When considering managing multiple social pages, think about the time and resources currently available to you. Proactively cared for accounts can return measurable benefits to your hotel, but pages that are left without compelling content on a consistent basis will have little or even negative impact. With this in mind, we advise beginning on one or two social networks and evaluating each one's progress on a regular basis. While we think it’s imperative to keep an eye on emerging social networks (and at the very least listen to what is being said about your brand on them), emerging platforms are solely about engaging with your customers and do not convert well into bookings. However, if you have the resources available, these new platforms can complement and integrate well with your current social strategy. www.buuteeq.com buuteeq – The Digital Marketing System for Hotels 24 Our recommendations: Facebook and Twitter have far greater usage and should serve as the cornerstone platforms to your property’s social media plan. You should create a Google+ Business Page and maintain an active presence on Google+. This will at the very least support, to some degree, your visibility in organic search. Curating a few pin-boards on Pinterest will bring a visual personality to your brand and can increase traffic to your website, but it should be considered a secondary priority. Sharing photos on Instagram will provide your hotel with unique, original photography that you can repurpose and share in different ways across other social networks. • • • • Keep in mind that every social network is different -- something that works well on one social network might not necessarily do well on another. www.buuteeq.com
  25. 25. 25 About the Author Jen is the Community Engagement Manager at buuteeq, the digital marketing system for hotels. She manages buuteeq’s Thanks! 1 (800) 734-1769 / info@buuteeq.com social media channels & community development, content marketing, and occasionally writes for the company blog. You can connect with her on Twitter @buuteeq. www.buuteeq.com www.buuteeq.com