Long gone are the days when social media was merely another marketing choice for businesses. To give you an idea of how rapidly the use of social media is growing, there are now over 50 million Facebook business pages worldwide, as more and more of us create profiles to engage with friends, family, brands and local businesses. We are also seeing a dramatic increase in the number of business profiles on Instagram, looking to raise their brand awareness to the platforms 800+ million monthly active users.
The question is, why is utilizing social media channels so important for businesses? With an emphasis on customer facing, the hospitality industry has seen significant benefits through the use of social media channels over the past decade, that has not only enabled businesses to increase their guest engagement but also enhance their unique USP’s and share personalized stories with followers.
At Mr.Highline one of our key solutions to businesses within the hospitality industry is to create and manage effective social media strategies that complement our client’s unique experiences they offer to their guests. For all businesses in the hospitality industry looking to start their social media journey or enhance their current channels, we have highlighted below some key areas of guidance.
Highlight your objectives
Before getting started planning your social media strategy and creating your content it is vital to set out a series of objectives. To help you define these, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is increasing direct bookings your goal?
- Do you want to increase your follower count?
- Would you like to engage more with your followers?
Having answered these, you should be able to create a selection of specific objectives that are a) realistic and b) briefly outline how you plan to go about achieving these.
Plan your strategy & budget
According to research, on average businesses spend 10% of their marketing budget on social media. It is important to remember that every business is different and there is no one size fits all when it comes to setting your social media budget.
However, what is important is that you set one. Setting a budget will not only help you stay on track when it comes to marketing expenses and measuring your ROI, it will also help you to create your social media strategy, prioritize and highlight important projects. Planning your strategy may take time and don’t be surprised if you go through several revisions before producing a final version. To create your strategy, you will want to think of elements, including:
- Your agreed objectives
- Your audience
- Your platforms of choice
- Your content style and tone of voice
Engage with your followers
Social media is all about engaging with your key audience, which will in turn help you to raise your brand awareness.
It is also important to remember that one of the best reasons for businesses within hospitality to utilize this engagement opportunity, is to share the many unique moments created for guests every day that makes your establishment stand out from the crowd.
@novotellondoncanarywharf using the hashtags #WeAreAllHeartists & #FromTheHeart to highlight just one of the unique ways they like to surprise their guests.
Utilize paid advertisements
The world of paid social media advertising may appear daunting but with the average person spending 135 minutes per day on social networks, it is the perfect platform to promote your business.
By targeting a specific audience with clear messaging, all within a price range that suits your budget, it is possible to open a door to entirely new guests who may not otherwise have discovered your business.
Ensure consistency across your channels
If there is one thing that is likely to deplete your social media following, it’s a lack of consistency when it comes to posting content and branding. The last thing any business wants is to spend time and effort on their social media strategy, only to fall into the trap of not finding the time to manage their platforms.
In order to create a clear marketing strategy, you will need to ensure all your social platforms remain both visually consistent and you engage regularly with your followers.
Study your analytics to measure your ROI
How do I measure ROI is the question on everyone’s lips and taking time to understand your social media traffic is the best way to achieve this. Whether you choose to measure your social media analytics and ROI using quantitative or qualitative reporting, there are several tools you can use including:
- Platform statistics – The simplest and quickest way to analyze your social media statistics is by using the analytics pages within each platform, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn
- Facebook Pixel – Helping you to measure and optimize your advertising campaigns
- Offline measurements – A unique way to combine your online social media marketing with other marketing campaigns, including competitions, vouchers & discounts, all of which can be redeemed and measured offline.
Mr. Highline is able to offer its clients within the hospitality industry both experience and time to achieve measurable results, whether you are looking for support in building your social media channels or managing the content across multiple platforms that are seeing high levels of engagement.
For further information and to discuss how we can advise on your social media strategy, get in touch with our team here.