ADVICE: How to get the most out of your social media to drive website traffic and generate sales

All businesses with an ecommerce function know that social media can be a great tool for driving website traffic and generating sales. However hoteliers and marketeers responsible for doing this will know that the online space is hugely competitive, meaning that getting your target audience to engage with your hotel can be a complex challenge. This in turn means that it’s not something you can just ‘pass to the work experience kid’ or simply do one post a day and hope for the best. 

The team behind mycloud PMS, featuring ‘Social Tools’ which collects customer reviews and gives a detailed view of what people are talking about to aid customer insights give us its top five pieces advice for the time strapped hotel owner wanting to generate traffic and sales from their social channels.

Tip #1: Know who you are

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Sounds simple, but it’s worth creating a one-pager on your hotel’s key messages, vision, values and USP to keep your social strategy on track, especially if you want to give some responsibilities to other members of the team. Do the same for your tone of voice eg are you a lots of exclamation marks and emojis kind of brand or not?

Tip #2: Know who you are talking to

This will help you work out which of the social channels are most appropriate for your brand. Very few of us have the resources to carry out a full strategy on all of the social channels, so you need to prioritise eg unless you are targeting customers in their early 20s Snapchat might not make sense, and if your hotel is not especially design led Pinterest might not be the best place for you either. Don’t just restrict yourself to English/UK social platforms eg if Chinese tourists are an important audience for you, how about a presence on Weibo and WeChat?

Tip #3: Build a content calendar

We all know that content is king and that we need to post consistently, but this is hard when you are busy and focusing on 100 other things. Get around this by populating a simple excel sheet with the days of the year; key cultural events eg Easter, half term and the Queen’s birthday; another column for your business news such as menu launches and special offers; and another for non branded content, but that remains ‘on brand’ eg best things to do and unknown facts about your area.

Tip #4: Give value

Run competitions, give your followers special discounts and ask for their opinions eg which new wallpaper (and listen and act upon their feedback) to make them feel valued by you. Investing in some great photography and video content is also a good idea and can be repurposed across all of your channels to deliver maximum ROI. It’s all about having a two way conversation and building a brand culture through content that brings people back to you

Tip #5: Get scientific

Take advantage of at least the free analytics and posting tools out there to make your life easier, and enable you to strategise and benchmark. Facebook analytics, Buffer, Twitonomy and Klout are just a few. Set targets and monitor your progress for follower numbers, engagement, website traffic generation and online influence just as you do for other areas of your business

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