How An Hour A Day On Social Media Can Inspire Guest Loyalty
Social media marketing is obviously a big deal, and it gets talked about quite a bit in the business world. There’s a good reason for this – more consumers are interacting with businesses online than ever before, and the numbers are increasing all the time. But we’ve noticed that a lot of small and mid-sized hotels and other businesses aren’t taking full advantage of the fantabulous benefits that social media has to offer.
We get it. Social media takes time.
It’s easier for the big guys, right? They can have people on staff who exclusively manage their social media accounts. But you’re busy, ya know, actually running the business. True, true, and true. So, we’ve got a few quick and dirty, low maintenance ideas for you to jumpstart a kick-ass social media presence that will not only engage past guests and attract new guests, but keep them coming back.
Take a break
You read that right. Block out some time every day just for you to decompress and relax, even if it’s only 30 minutes. No phones, no TVs, no radios. No multitasking. Just you. How is this supposed to help you with social media? It’s going to make you more creative. Derek Beres, author of Whole Motion: Training Your Brain and Body For Optimal Health says, “Engaging creatively requires hitting the reset button, which means carving space in your day for lying around, meditating, or staring off into nothing.” Social media is a pretty casual space for communication, and you’re going to be able to interact with people in a more fun, engaging way if you yourself are primed for creative flow. This will also give you more agile problem-solving abilities when confronted with a complaint or bad review online. It’s so easy to be consumed with busyness when you’re running a business, but the constant go-go-go can become counter productive after a point. Be very protective of your down time! It is sacred. Bottom line: If you prioritize taking care of yourself, you’re going to be able to take better care of your guests.If you prioritize taking care of yourself, you’re going to be able to take better care of your guests.Click To Tweet
Take it a little bit at a time
Now that you’ve taken your break and are feeling good, hop onto your social media accounts. If you don’t have any yet, that’s fine. You can start out with just one to get your feet wet. Pick the one that resonates with the vision and values of your hotel or business the best. If your hotel is in a visually stunning location or has unique and beautiful design elements, you might choose Instagram so that you can share lots of pictures. Do you have lots of events throughout the day to share? Tweet about them on Twitter. If you’re not sure or want to do a bit of everything, the versatility of Facebook might be more your speed (Facebook Messenger especially has some fun things to offer).
Once you’re up and running on social media, start setting another 30-minute block of time each day to make one post on each platform and browse the posts your followers are making on your accounts. Do your best to respond to every comment and question, even if it’s just a quick, “Thanks a lot!”. It may feel a bit difficult or contrived at first, but you’ll get better and faster at it the more you do it. More and more people are using social media to get in contact with companies rather than the traditional methods of email, phone or (god forbid) snail mail. So, when people see your company quickly responding to each comment, they feel like you care about your customers – which you do! Make sure you’re showing it.
Side note: Negative reviews and complaints will happen. You can’t please all the people all the time, and that’s okay. If it is an honest opinion and not derogatory, don’t delete the post. Believe it or not, even negative comments can make you look good as long as you respond well. This is your chance to show what steps you are taking to fix the issue or how it is already fixed. People will read these negative reviews to help them decide if they wish to stay with you. If you don’t respond you may lose the potential customer. By responding you are showing you care, even if the issue is not resolved. Just showing you heard the complaint is huge.
You’ll absolutely want to create a link with satisfied guests during their stay. If your guest is not already following you on social media, the best time to snag them is while they are still staying with you. Let them know how they can find you online and encourage them to post and review you. Give them specific hashtags and social accounts to visit. We recently stayed in a hotel that had business-sized cards with all their social contacts on them. We were first given a card after a wonderful meal at their restaurant, and they had them available at the front desk. It’s a great way to ask them to talk you up without coming across as salesy. And even if your guest isn’t going to tweet or post right away, when they take the card, it’s a strong reminder to post about how fabulous you are at more convenient time. And when they do, of course, be sure to thank them!
This is how you turn satisfied guests into loyal guests.
Loyal guests make all the difference! They know and love your brand, they trust the experience they know they will have with you when they return, and they suggest you to friends and family. That’s the dream, right? And with these three easy tips, you’re on your way to social media stardom in little more than an hour a day!
If you need help with this or ideas on how to get going, let us know! We’re happy to help!