With the hotel industry, word of mouth is one of your most common and most essential tools. This means you need to be visible. Imagine easily and efficiently connecting with current and past guests, and maintaining a web presence that allows you to have huge international visibility. Here are five tips to help you get there.
1. Send out a monthly online newsletter. Offer your regular customers exclusive emails where they can receive news, special promotions from your hotel, and give you online feedback. This makes their experience more personal, and it can be automated to go out on a certain date. Just update messages with new information and deals and you're golden. This process engages customers, encouraging them to use your services again and spread the word about your exceptional customer interaction.
2. Offer a service on check-in that will send out a comprehensive summary of hotel services through SMS or email. This way, customers can instantly receive a digital message that gives them an idea of what you can do for them, without having to hunt for the guide on their own or enquire about individual services. This is another little touch that will enable you to interact with your hotel guests on a more personal level, and still have the time to perform all the necessary maintenance and service jobs.
3. Offer social media exclusives. This is a fantastic online marketing move and I cannot stress enough, regardless of your industry, that you need to interact with and engage your prospective leads on social media. They need a reason to follow your business on social media, in this case your hotel. Hold contests, and offer incentives for liking a page or following an account. Some people will do so on their own, but an incentive will help build engagement and will draw more people.
4. Encourage online reviews. You don't need a newspaper writer to get reviews. Encourage hotel customers who had a good experience or were impressed with your service to review you on sites like TripAdvisor. The more positive reviews you acquire, the more people will want to visit your hotel above competitors. You can host those reviews on your own site, or even have video or audio recordings of customer testimonials.
5. Be patient. Social media isn't an instant fix, and building a recognized brand and a fan base takes time. The progress may be slow at first, but the result will be a huge return on your online marketing investment of time and money. Always continue to check with your marketing specialists. Keep an eye on things, and be sure that financially you're not overextending.
Do some research, and look into marketing automation for some of these strategies as well. The time and money that can be saved by automating a newsletter or a social media campaign is exponential, and can often mean that you have extra resources to spend on improving your service in other areas. That's right. Taking the time to automate and improve your online presence can actually improve your hotel, and your service as the staff have more time for customers because you have more resources to allocate toward customer services.
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