Travel and social media go together like holidays and ice cream.
People just love to share videos and photos from their travels – and they equally love to watch other people’s travel content. Social media is perfect for finding out about lesser-known destinations, tourist tips, and advice, and for finding travel inspiration.
So if you’re a hotel, and are not active on social media, you are missing out on reaching a large percentage of your target audience.
But, while it’s great that travel is so popular, this also means it’s challenging to stand out – because so many accounts are posting about the same topics.
So, how do you create content that will grab peoples’ attention in saturated industries such as travel and hospitality?
Here are my top five social media tips for businesses in the travel and hospitality industries.
Five social media tips for travel and hospitality:
Define your niche
A niche is, by definition, a segment of the market that has unique, specific needs, characteristics, preferences, and identity that differentiates that segment from others.
In other words, you can’t be everything to all people.
You need to have something your hotel is specialised in or some attributes that makes it different to all of the other hotels.
For example, people who follow a vegan diet will search specifically for hotels that offer vegan food. If your hotel specialises in vegan food, it’s meeting the needs of people who are following that diet. So that’s one niche that your hotel could look into.
Social media is flooded with travel content, and people with specific preferences will follow and engage with accounts that tick their boxes.
So you can attract the right people and convert your followers into guests, by clearly defining your niche or niches. And then showcasing this online.
The easiest way to find a niche for your hotel is to think about the main characteristics of your hotel and what meds it different.
Think about what people would put into the search bar to find your hotel – for example, vegan hotel, adults-only hotel, all-inclusive resort, family-owned boutique hotel, eco-friendly hotel.
In this way, you can start to thin down your competition.
Create a social media content strategy
Next, you need to know what you want to achieve with your social media channels – do you want to build awareness and reach more people, increase your number of direct bookings, build a community?
If you don’t have a clear goal to aim for, you won’t achieve anything. Posting aimlessly will only result in a waste of time, and you might as well save the resources and not use social media at all in that case.
So, for a start, define one business goal you want to achieve. Make sure that goal is SMART:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – realistic
T – time-bound
But also make sure it’s a business goal, or at least closely connected to achieving a specific business goal – meaning, it will work towards your business growth.
When you have your goal defined, then write down what you need to do to achieve that.
For example, let’s say your goal is to increase engagement by 10% in two months – something that can directly help you increase the number of direct bookings.
What do you need to do in the defined time frame to achieve that? Is there a specific type of content you need to post, and how often? Will you run a dedicated campaign for it? Can you run paid ads to target your audience? Or a collaboration with travel bloggers can bring results?
Write a plan of action, and then stick to it.
Keep in mind that a full, solid social media content strategy is more complex than this, but you can use this quick guide as a starting point.
Publish different categories and types of content
Depending on the social media platforms you are using, some types of content perform better than others.
Different audiences respond to different types of content – for example younger audiences will likely gravitate towards engaging video clips.
Remember to keep an eye on trends for fresh ideas and inspiration, check your analytics and insights to see what works and what doesn’t (and why), and experiment.
The algorithms of social media platforms change very often, but you should avoid worrying about that too much – just focus on creating high-quality content for your audience, that will help you achieve your goals.
Collaborate with other travel accounts
A really good way to boost your online presence is to collaborate with other travel accounts that have the same target audience as you. This is an easy and effective way to reach more people who might be interested in your business, while also helping the other party to do the same.
The most common way of doing this is through influencer marketing, where you collaborate with travel bloggers and influencers. But you can also collaborate with other businesses that offer complementary services to yours.
There are many ways to work together – for example, maybe you could organise a giveaway, use the collab feature on Instagram or cross-promote each other’s content. Just make sure that you are teaming up with accounts and/or businesses that are a good fit and have the same target audience as you.
Don’t spread yourself too thin
Lastly, don’t get into a trap of thinking you need to be present on every possible social media platform – because you don’t.
I know it’s easy to feel like you are missing out on reaching a wider audience if you are not present everywhere, but in reality, that’s not the case. It’s much better to have a strong presence on one or two platforms than to have inactive accounts everywhere.
Just think about it – a business that only has an Instagram profile but which has high engagement will have better converting rates than a business that has a low engagement across dozens of channels.
So don’t bite off more than you can chew. Focus on building a presence on the platforms where your target audience is, and don’t jump onto other platforms unless you have a team big enough to run those accounts properly.
Keep doing what works for you
With social media, it’s really important to be patient and to test different types of content. See what works, and what doesn’t.
Of course, you also need to have a strong strategy in place, so you know exactly what you want to achieve and are not blindly jumping onto trends and copying what others are doing.
Follow these tips to create a strong social media plan for your travel business, and when you are executing it, always track the metrics, look into the analytics, and adjust as you go.
Visual Content ideas that will help you stand out online
Time-saving Social Media Management Tools to help you manage your accounts more effectively
Introduction to Visual Marketing for Travel Businesses
Until next time,