The travel and hospitality industries have embraced social media channels in recent years as a means to communicate with potential travelers before, during, and after their travel experience. However, if one tried and true lesson has emerged from all of this social media use, it is that hoteliers should not spread themselves too thin.
According to panelists at the seventh annual Social Media & Mobile Strategies for Travel conference, the best way to ensure that you are not spreading yourself too thin is to have goals in place before testing the waters in any one social channel.
Examples of Setting/Reaching Goals
Mac Joseph, senior manager of social media marketing for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and one of the panelists at the conference, talked about his own company’s social media goals.
For the luxury hotel company, the aim is to generate awareness on a global scale while fostering meaningful engagement at the property level. This is reflected in the company’s social media approaches:
- Mandarin operates a single YouTube channel for the entire portfolio.
- Individual properties employ Instagram accounts, which are easier to manage with finite resources.
- Each hotel also has a presence on Google+, although Joseph admitted the network is more challenging. (“If nothing else, Google+ provides and ‘incredible’ boost to search engine optimization,” said Joseph.)
Loews Hotels & Resorts had a number of goals, according to director Piper Stevens, including but not limited to:
1) Establishing a more social culture on property
2) Creating buzz through integrated campaigns
3) Driving social commerce
The company took a look at the booking funnel to determine which channels would be the most appropriate. You can see some of the steps taken on different social channels:
- In the initial dreaming phase, inspiration often comes from sensory experiences such as photos or videos. Loews responded with campaigns on Instagram and YouTube, among others, to spark that yearning for travel.
- The company bolstered its efforts on TripAdvisor to make an impact in the researching stage.
- For the actual booking, Loews was the first brand to introduce reservations on Twitter to make the process as painless as possible.
- During and after the trip itself, Loews encourages guests to share their experiences via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, thus promoting inspiration for the next wave of travelers.
To read more about social media goals discussed at the EyeForTravel conference, click here.