Top five digital PR tips for hotels

 

Facebook. Twitter. Reviews. YouTube. And the rest. The internet and social media have transformed how hotels communicate with its customers. But tread carefully!   Moore and Smalley asked Emma Booth, a digital PR specialist at Lancashire marketing communications consultancy, Freshfield, to give her top five tips to make your social media strategy a winning one.

 

1. It’s all about reputation

 

Customers have become ‘citizen journalists’ and like it or not, their opinions on websites such as Trip Advisor are determining which hotels are booked and which are binned.

 

Many other travel booking websites have a ratings option which will affect your appeal to customers. Encourage happy customers to write about their experiences at your hotel.

 

2.  Invest in getting it right

 

Listen to what your customers are saying online and make sure you have the resources in place to monitor mentions of your hotel or venue. There are a number of tools to aid monitoring online available at no cost such as; Google Alerts, Social Mention and Twitter Search. Remember social media isn’t free, you will need to invest in getting it right, outsource your social media to the professionals or supply training for an in-house social media team.

 

3. Content is king

 

Social media is becoming a competitive market and hoteliers and hospitality venues using social media must place renewed emphasis on engaging content. Pumping out a bland news story on Twitter or Facebook will no longer satisfy your target audience. What’s more, Facebook’s recent changes to its platform include a tough algorithm which makes only the most engaging content appear in newsfeed and decreases the prominence of those which are not. This means that if posts or images are not commented on, liked or shared they may go completely unnoticed to those fans you’ve managed to conjure up over time.

 

4. Incentivise people

 

Social media postings should give fans and followers an incentive to interact. Businesses which offer regular competitions, reward points for advocates online or easy ways  of checking-in are giving new customers a reason to engage and regular guests a reason to come back.

 

5. Have a crisis plan

 

Bad news spreads faster than ever before. Instant and irrevocable communications are vital in preventing a social media storm in any emerging crisis. Not only does this ensure you are tackling a tarnished reputation but it demonstrates that you make customer service and swift response a priority. If the crisis situation is caused by an angry customer with a lot of influence, admit fault, attack it head on and try to turn a negative into a positive as quickly as possible. Make sure that everyone involved in communications, from the social media team to your receptionist share a consistent message in a crisis.

 

To enquire about Freshfield’s services, please call Emma Booth or Simon Turner on 01772 888400 or emma@freshfield.com / simon@freshfield.com