If you’ve dabbled in social media in a personal capacity, it’s likely you will have experienced the elation of people ‘liking’ your posts. As a business owner or manger, you’re also likely to have set up pages for your business on social media channels. While promoting your business with offers and like-worthy content has become ingrained in marketing strategies, many business owners are coming to the realisation that inspiring guests to post about your venue is just as powerful – if not more powerful – than your own social media efforts.
Provide snap-happy guests with good surroundings and experiences, and their social posts have the power to reach a wide-ranging audience. As hoteliers, you know all-too-well the importance of interior design when it comes to guest comfort and satisfaction, but the aesthetics of your venue can also increase the draw of your business on its own social channels and the channels belonging to social-savvy guests.
According to research from Instagram’s parent company Facebook, 83 percent of people use the platform to discover new products and services. In the hospitality trade, creating unique post-worthy surroundings could be having more of an influence on booking decisions than businesses realise.
Sharing is caring
When guests share images or video clips from your venue on their social feeds, your appeal will continue to grow. The Yell research found 72 percent of users have made fashion, beauty or style-related purchases after seeing the product on Instagram. It could influence their choices when it comes to booking accommodation, since the backgrounds of people’s posts and the experiences they share reflect the lifestyle they are using the platform to portray.
Hoteliers can exploit this trend to connect with the ever-growing market of younger consumers and their increasing spending power. While Google search rankings and good Trip Advisor reviews are still important for attracting guests, tech savvy Millennial and Gen Z consumers are turning to platforms like Instagram to seek out new discoveries and experiences, and new locations to add gravitas to their social media personas. Rather than discovering venues they want to stay in through online searches, people are being influenced by snippets of experiences being beamed straight into their social feeds.
Picture perfect moments
It takes more than a simple interior makeover to achieve Instagram-worthy appeal. The very nature of photography is in capturing moments and it will take more than a lick of paint and quirky artwork to inspire guests to reach for their smartphones. Fireplaces have always been regarded as places where tender moments are shared and a growing interior design trend dictates that they are an essential element to creating moments to appreciate.
Hygge, the Danish art of living well, has becoming a popular trend in interior design and has been popularised by social media posts sharing Hygge interior and lifestyles. While there is no direct English translation, Hygge is about appreciating the small moments in life.
Flames provide a calming effect that can make guests want to say for longer and spend more. The aesthetic quality of a unique or high-end fireplace can create focal points in receptions, restaurants, bars and lounges where guests can feel inspired to pose for a photo and share the moment through their social channels.
Health and safety, cost, and regulatory challenges have caused some designers to shy away from the warming glow of flickering flames in hospitality settings. However, significant advances in flame technology mean it’s entirely possible to benefit from the presence of flame without worrying about costs, health and safety, or regulatory risks.
Electric flame technology realistically mimics real flame without the potential risk of a fire starting or spreading at the point of use. It’s safe, cool to touch and 100% energy efficient. Structural work isn’t an issue since there is no requirement for a real chimney or flue, and cost-effective electric flame installations can be used throughout the year without raising the room temperature to excessive levels.
Solutions that use combustion-free technology enable hoteliers to get more adventurous with installations. The stylish bar area in Novotel’s London Canary Wharf hotel – dubbed “London’s coolest new hotel” by Forbes when it opened in 2017 – features a striking flame installation centrepiece that provides a highly convincing illusion of glowing logs and smoke using LED technology, rich audio and innovative Optimyst technology that uses using ultrasonic, ultra-fine water mist.
While design trends come and go, flame has never died out as a comforting and calming addition to any interior space. Trends are increasingly becoming dictated by social media and when it comes to travel and experiences, consumers are turning more and more to social channels to share or find inspiration. Provide your guests with settings that will inspire share-worthy moments and they will effectively do a portion of your marketing for you.
By Jonathan Smith, product marketing manager flame technology at Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation