Today we are fortunate enough to travel to to the Wasatch Mountains in Utah to work with a new client on their social strategy. Since we started Thin Pig Media six years ago, we have helped many businesses create and develop their content strategy. Back in 2009, a Facebook or Twitter page was a success if it had a couple hundred followers/likes and you posted a couple of times per week. Times have changed, platforms have evolved and developed, and expectations are much higher for engagement and success. One thing that hasn’t changed though: to develop your content strategy, it is critical that you do not regurgitate your website and brochure content into bite-sized chunks for social media use.
When we work with a hotel to develop content strategy, we will advocate for four different types of content in general:
While the hotel features may be covered on the website, on social you can focus on different aspects of the same elements. So while your website may say you offer yoga classes in the fitness center, social sharing gives you the chance to dive in deeper with the background of your instructor, class photos, and wellness tips.
This is where you develop your social personality. Introduce your great employees, they are your best brand advocates. Talk about a seasonal entrée. Explore what is new. Go into detail about a rooftop garden the chefs have built. Dig a little deeper.
One of the first questions we ask is if the hotel is on a first name basis with the social media team at the local Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). The CVB is often the first place visitors find in their destination research. What are the top visitor attractions in your city? Are you connected with them? How creative can you get? Can you make riding the light rail sound exciting?https://youtu.be/dwP0sY6HIJI
This is what really differentiates your social presence from your website: harnessing the power of user-generated content (UGC). Studies show users are more likely to trust UGC because it is an unsolicited opinion. And, because it will be seen by the user’s followers, it will increase your exposure to like-minded individuals. Find ways to encourage people to share UGC by reminding them of your social media handles and hashtags.
We know that hotels spend a lot of money on amazing photo shoots that showcase their best features. However, we recommend fresh, candid pictures that showcase what makes your property unique. Guests can see your stock photography on your website and your hotel brochure. Surprise and delight them with exclusive content, and don’t forget that video always gets great engagement -- just be sure to keep it simple and short!
You will probably also want to include posts that link directly to your website for reservations. Special offers or unique events in your restaurant offer value to your fans, and also help connect your social pages to the cash register. The more unique the offer the better. It shows great value to your fans. The key is not to feature too many “sales” posts so that your pages are not perceived as spam.
The final piece of the puzzle is to organize and schedule these posts to support your social strategy. Prior to the beginning of each month, spend a few hours to set up your monthly content schedule and advertising schedule. This social media marketing plan keeps everyone on track and you have the outline to post with a purpose!
Now if you’ll excuse us, we are about to head out for some serious mountain biking, er...we like to call it content collection.