How Hotels Should Use Facebook and Instagram

As more of the world gets online, global social media use continues to rise every year. In fact, the latest stats say a staggering 3.8 billion people around the world are active on social media now. But ask anyone responsible for marketing a hotel, and they’ll tell you: Engaging past, present, and potential hotel guests on social media is not so easy.

Where do you even start?

The answer is with your audience, of course! Your ideal guests are using social media in lots of ways, so go where they go. As for the other guys? Claim and maintain a completed profile, sure — but don’t waste valuable time, energy, money, or resources trying to force certain content to work on every platform. It’s not worth it.

Remember, you’re never going to be everyone’s cup of tea — nor should you want to be.

So let’s take a look at some of the most important social platforms in the world right now, and which hotel social media marketing strategies you may want to try for each.

Facebook

Though we might not want to admit it, no hotel social media strategy is complete without a Facebook Page.

Facebook has certainly stirred up its fair share of criticism and controversy over the years, including serious privacy concerns. That may be why Facebook can’t seem to win over today’s teens — the fastest growing age group on the site right now is 65 and up.

Despite that, Facebook is still an important social media platform to include in your hotel marketing plan.

Remember, you need to be where your customers are — and it’s safe to say, with 2.45 billion monthly active users — most customers are still on Facebook.

Among those active Facebook users in the United States, 74% of people use the site every single day.

But if you’ve noticed that your Page’s posts are not seeing engagement or click-throughs, you’re not alone.

Overall, organic reach on Facebook has dropped to just 5-6% for Pages. That means, for every 100 fans you have, 5 or 6 (or less) are actually seeing your posts in their newsfeed. Yikes.

In general, today’s typical Facebook user skips scrolling their newsfeed in favor of chatting with friends and family on Messenger, finding nearby Events, engaging in Groups, and watching Live video.

In fact, re: that last one, Facebook users are 4 times more likely to watch live streams than pre-recorded videos.

HOW HOTELS SHOULD USE FACEBOOK:

  • Respond and manage customer enquiries through Facebook Messenger (or use a hotel chatbot)
  • Create and share Facebook Events for your hotel — use Events to promote brunch specials, interesting seminars or talks, spa promotions, fitness classes, etc.
  • Have your team personally engage in relevant Groups — contribute useful local advice to travelers and share your hotel’s destination content, but stop short at overtly selling
  • Work with HR to set up a Facebook Group for internal communication and employee engagement
  • Go live! Stream a free cocktail lesson, guided meditation, walking tour of the property, etc.
  • If you have marketing budget, consider Facebook ads. (But that’s a whooole other post!)

Instagram

After Facebook, Instagram is the second-most logged in social media site for daily use. That same study by Pew Research found that 6 in every 10 Instagram users log in at least once a day, and 21% log in at least once a week.

Users also average about 53 minutes per day scrolling through the app. (#Guilty.)

That’s a lot of time spent on Instagram… but it’s not just mindless scrolling and funny memes.

Instagram has proven to be a powerful discovery platform in the early stages of a buyer’s path-to-purchase:

  • 83% of Instagram users discover new products and services on the platform.
  • 81% of Instagram users say they actively research new products or services.
  • 80% of Instagram users say that the app helps them make buying decisions.

A big part of that is probably due to influencers. 89% of marketers say that Instagram is the most important social media channel for influencer marketing.

HOW HOTELS SHOULD USE INSTAGRAM:

  • Stand out with strong images and a clear visual aesthetic
  • Use Stories and create consistent themes or a series for followers to look forward to
  • Be strategic about which popular hashtags you use
  • Optimize your hotel Instagram content for the Explore page
  • Write thumb-stopping captions that get fans to take action

Google My Business

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