Whilst traditionally a time spent with family in the confides of our own home, more and more of us are now packing our bags and heading away for the holidays.
So what has this got to do with your hotel's social media?
Well, according to Google latest marketing initiative 'micro-moments', the shopping experience is now defined by ‘mobile moments’. And when it comes to shopping, and trust me your potential guests are shopping, the holidays are still the busiest season.Well, according to Google latest marketing initiative 'micro-moments', the shopping experience is now defined by ‘mobile moments’. And when it comes to shopping, and trust me your potential guests are shopping, the holidays are still the busiest season. Gone are the days when shoppers head to the malls for daylong shop-a-thons; today’s consumers are shopping on their smartphones throughout the whole holiday season, rather than cramming it all in on Black Friday. Booking a trip away may not be on the top of their list when they're online but during holiday season consumers aredefinitly in the buying mindset. So what can your hotel do to improve mobile commerce for the upcoming holiday season?
Leveraging the holidays with social media
A key way for hotels to leverage the holidays is to grow their online influence through social media. This is especially important because mobile shopping is so closely linked with social media.
Here are four strategies to entice holiday consumers via social channels:
- Reply Quickly:
Genuinely listen and respond to fans and customers who communicate with you whether it's through your instagram feed or on your facebook wall. Scheduling social posts is certainly tempting, especially during the busy holiday season. However, everyone will have pre-scheduled posts. Hotels can stand out from their competition by engaging with customers who communicate with them in real-time, in turn making those customers feel valued and impressed that you’ve responded to them, personally and promptly.
- Engage personally
People are constantly posting on social networks about products and services that your hotel offers every day. Don’t miss this opportunity to turn them into customers! Take this example: Claire is planning a holiday vacation for her family. She tweets: “Where should I bring my family for the holidays? Need a kid-friendly hotel!” If your property is a family-friendly resort, what a perfect opportunity to engage with Holly in a personal way and potentially turn her into a guest. Make sure to create streams to alert you when relevant conversations like this are happening on your social channels. You can search hashtags on twitter and reply to relevant topics.
- Build lasting relationships
Social media isn’t just about promoting products and services — it’s about creating relationships too. Though it’s important to optimize your social media strategy to bring in more customers, it’s equally important to be genuine and personal. If Sophie, a former guest, is posting about her latest trip to France, reply to her post: “Love following your travels, Sophie! Where to next?” They'll appreciate the personal touch, and it will show her you value guest relationships, even after she’s checked out of your hotel. Obviously don't do this in a creepy way, make sure the tone is friendly not stalkery!
- Plan your deals
One of the primary reasons people follow hotels’ social media accounts is to get inside deals and discounts. For this reason, it’s extremely important to think of creative, eye-catching ways to offer promotions and exclusive sales during the holiday season. In fact, the recent Adara Travel Report found that nearly 60% of solo travellers and 40% of couples and families book hotels for the holidays after the 15th of December. What does this tell hotels? People will wait until the last minute to score a deal, so hotels should make sure their holiday promotions are timely, catchy, and aimed directly at these travellers.
We'll be posting about what your hotel can do once you've captured these holiday guests next week. But in the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving.