Destination and Social Media in Hotel Marketing

destination marketing

Do your guests come to stay in your hotel or your destination ?

When the end of year is approaching and your sales and marketing team have worked hard right through, it’s tempting to assume that your occupancy and rate are the best that could have been achieved.  But, you may have missed out on market share, unless the whole team’s strategy and tactics have recognised that your competitors lie not only around the corner but, often, in different destinations in other countries.  Suppose you had strategies in place to bring new clients to your destination and take market share to your hotel or resort from competitors hundreds or thousands of miles away ?

To achieve this, you really have to start with the basics.  It is important to make sure that your sales and marketing team and any hotel representatives in other countries you may retain are working together to promote destination (or location) with the hotels’ features.  That may include reviewing the overall branding of your property.  If your branding – your logo, your web site etc. – don’t say anything about your location, this may be something you need to address.  I have seen many hotel web sites lately that either make it very hard for the site visitor to see which city or resort the hotel is located in or, in some cases, don’t have this information at all and that omission is almost certainly losing them business.  Visit and view your own web site as if you were a prospective client – your eyes may be opened.

For the sales team, the precise “how” to sell destination or location alongside the features of the hotel will vary from one type of client to another.  An effective sales team establishes each client’s needs and then sells the features which satisfy those – so destination will come up in different ways and to different degrees.  However, it should always be there in all circumstances, even where the client seems already sold on location – after all, it may only take a good approach from the sales team of another hotel in a different destination to sway them.

Social media marketing is a very strong tool in promoting destination alongside the hotel features.  Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr, especially, all give you an excellent chance to show the visual attraction of your hotel and resort alongside the beauties of the destination.  Twitter also gives that opportunity but you can only attach one photo to each post and that is only seen if clicked on.  Twitter remains a very valid tool for hotels and resorts but it needs to be handled slightly differently for this reason.

You will get the best results in social media by promoting the destination first and foremost and in a strongly visual way.  There are several examples of hotels and resorts that do this very well, especially on Facebook, and many enjoy a good following and good engagement.  El Nido Resorts in Palawan, the Philippines are excellent at this – you will see that the majority of posts are not specifically about their own facilities but about the areas where they are located, which have strong visual appeal.  As a result, they have established a very good following and each post has a very good level of likes, comments and shares – the meat of engagement.

When you are getting good following and good engagement in one social media channel, it’s tempting to stick with that one and leave others aside.  As we have pointed out before, there is a cost to missing other social channels.  This particularly applies when missing out on marketing in Google+ and Pinterest, both of which are highly visual and both of which have major benefits in driving traffic to your web site.  It’s not simply that you miss that traffic but that agents may well be talking about your hotel or resort in those channels and may be sending business to you at their commission rates when you could have got the clients direct for free.

Another way in which a hotel or resort can market its destination very effectively is by maintaining a blog.  To those not used to it, this can sound daunting but it’s really not and there are huge benefits to be derived from a well written blog, especially when it is incorporated into your hotel web site:

1.  Blog posts are indexed by search engines very quickly after they are published and remain in search engines forever.  The posts attract potential clients who may well not have looked for or found your web site otherwise.  Include links within your site and to sources, follow other blogs and you will build up a following yourself.  There are many excellent guides to blogging and I pay close attention to Mark Schaefer’s {grow} community, which has some really good advice.

2.  A blog incorporated into your web site – as this blog will shortly be incorporated into the main SmartOtels web site – provides a constant flow of fresh content, which helps enormously with keeping your web site relevant and ranked well in search engines.  Our friends at Xotels wrote an excellent piece on this.

So, what can you write about in a blog for your hotel or resort ?  Certainly not mainly about the hotel itself.  Look around you and focus on those aspects in your location which would make that destination appealing to potential clients.  as an example, I used to write a blog for some serviced apartments in central London which included a post every month giving some details of upcoming events in central London.  That blog was ceased in May 2013 but it still attracts 000’s of page views a month and still drives substantial numbers of visitors to that client’s web site.

What is your experience of selling your destination along with your hotel ?  What tactics could you suggest ?  Please comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Destination and Social Media in Hotel Marketing

  1. Pingback: SmartOtels heads for ITB Asia, Singapore ! | Smart Ideas for Serviced Apartments and Hotels

  2. Pingback: Destination and Social Media in Hotel Marketing...

  3. Pingback: 15 Ways a UK Resort Sales Representative can achieve more | Smart Ideas for Serviced Apartments and Hotels

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