Nearly four million people are on social media today, updating the internet on their whereabouts, and day-to-day activities. When they take off on a luxurious vacation, their need to update everyone they know on their experiences only increases. In fact, seventy-four percent of social media users said they use social media while travelling. What they post has an impact on future vacationers as well, as fifty-two percent of travelers said they’ve made plans to visit a specific destination based solely on a post they’ve seen on social media.
Moral of the Story: social media is everything in the travel industry. What a potential guest sees on social media can not only make a difference in where they decide to stay and spend their money, but it can inspire an entire trip that may not have happened otherwise. As important as it is for a property to have a nice website with clear information on their amenities, location, etc., it is arguably more important for them to have a strong social media presence. Nowadays, it is much more likely for a guest to see a beautiful picture of a property on their Instagram “Explore” page and remember it when they go vacation planning, then it is for them to scour through options online.
Knowing this, there are a few ways hotels can take advantage of social media advertising. A typical way is through Instagramable service or having the type of offerings that naturally entice a guest to take a picture of their property and show it off on their social media. This can be accomplished by having a signature unique dish or a trendy restaurant with plenty of photo opportunities. Luxury brands are particularly positioned to thrive on Instagram, as their naturally dreamy aesthetics are eye-catching to anyone mindlessly scrolling through their feed. For example, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, @fourseasons on Instagram, has over 1.1 million followers, a staggering amount for a hotel brand. This is fantastic for their business, as all of their followers are constantly inundated with reminders of the allure of the Four Seasons properties and will likely be on the forefront of their mind when they go to book their next vacation.
Another hotel thriving on Instagram is the Cavo Tagoo Mykonos, with over 1.8 Million followers. On their platform, they show off their beautiful property, food and beverage, and images of their guests having the vacation of a lifetime. Cavo Tagoo is a perfect example of another way in which hotels can take advantage of social media by having their guests do the publicizing for them. On many of their posts, their caption will entice their followers to tag someone they would choose to vacation to the property with, or someone they would take advantage of their amenities with. This certainly has contributed to their massive social media following.
Similarly, campaigns and giveaways are another great way to engage guests and gain social media interaction without having to do much of anything. Hotels may choose to offer a free stay, points to their loyalty program, or other prizes to a lucky guest who interacts with their page. This may be through following their page, sharing or liking their posts, or tagging their friends who will likely enter as well. They may also create a unique hashtag and have their guests post on their own page with the hashtag, perhaps sharing a story about their stay at the property, or an image of their visit.
Overall, the number of ways a property can utilize social media are endless. Through Instagramable service, giveaways, hashtags and more, social media is the best place to engage with guests and gain new ones. With so many easy ways to generate business on social media, it matters less how a property chooses to use social media, but more that they use it at all.