With consumers spending more of their time on social media sites, companies everywhere are trying to reach them by social networking. There’s now a common expectation that a strong online marketing strategy is necessary for any company trying to see an increase in their marketing efforts. Lately, those companies in the hospitality market have been really utilizing social media to see an increase in sales.
Why hospitality? It’s an industry driven by recommendations and reviews. People make purchasing decisions with different criteria in mind, yet peer reviews and recommendations are among the most popular ways to persuade. With the popularity of social media and the growth of the Internet in recent years, consumers jump online to give their positive or negative reviews of brands.
Hospitality is an industry where customer service is crucial, so it makes sense that the industry would want to develop the greatest customer service experience possible. Social networking is being viewed as a new and improved customer service platform for a variety of companies. Social media provides online visibility and lets companies market their products and services online to people everywhere, increasing their reach and exposure to potential consumers.
If you’re in the hospitality industry, there are some things to keep in mind when developing a social media strategy.
Consider what your goals and objectives are with social media. This will assist you in choosing the perfect social media platform to start with. If your company is new to social media, start with setting up just a single platform. Once you get more comfortable using this platform, record how much time it takes you on a daily and weekly business to manage the site then consider making other presences on different social media sites.
Also, have a content strategy. Think about what you want to put out on your social media sites and how often you’ll put it out there. Keep your customers in mind at all times when choosing content. Think about if your consumers want to view constant promotional messages, or if they would prefer to view interesting articles you found and shared.
To make social media work for your business, you must use it regularly and be constantly engaging in conversations with your consumers!
Carefully choosing the right social media platform to start with is very important. In considering Twitter, know that it lets companies connect with consumers, and other companies on both a local and a global scale. If it is important for your company to have fast customer service, Twitter can be used to respond quickly to questions, comments or complaints consumers might have.
Immediate, real time customer service is marketing in itself. It should generate positive emotions from your fans and followers and lead to influential word of mouth recommendations for your company.
With Facebook, your brand’s page acts as the online “headquarters” of your company. It’s like a marketing hub for consumers to come and see what your brand has to offer. You should give your Facebook fans exclusive information about your latest specials and deals, as part of your online marketing strategy. Also, think about making Facebook check in deals to reward consumers for checking into your business by giving them coupons or discounts.
Blogging can also be used in your marketing strategy. You could set up a company blog on your website, and also find influential bloggers who can review your products and services then direct readers to your site. A business blog lets you position your company as an expert in the industry. Blogs are also good to use for sharing company milestones which consumers would be interested in knowing, like if your company has changed locations, or opened a new office.
YouTube is another great site to consider. It’s a great platform to show off important and fun events happening in your company. It gives consumers insights into your company and promotes curiosity, which can lead to an emotional connection with your brand. You can increase the effectiveness of your videos by posting them on any other social media platforms you might have.
There’s also Pinterest. It’s the latest trend in social media, allowing users to “pin” their interests onto boards that they create. For your marketing strategy, you could create a board to show off your products, or pictures from company events to catch the interest of users. A great benefit of Pinterest is providing consumers a visual appeal to your brand.
While there are many options available to develop your marketing strategy, remember to start small, then become comfortable with how your strategy is working, then build your social media presence gradually to provide quality customer service to all of your consumers!