There’s no doubt that social media has exploded in recent years with more people than ever going on-line. However many businesses take a cautious approach to using sites like Twitter or Facebook to promote themselves, when really they should jump in with both feet.

If you run a hotel then there are a vast number of ways you can promote yourself, especially if you already have the media to hand. The problem isn’t one of not having content – many hotels have plenty – it’s using it and using it well. What’s more, it seems that some of your best media can get a huge amount of reach.

For example, we suggest videos are a fantastic way to engage with your clients, but a survey by Social Bakers has recently shown that native video has the best organic reach of any kind of media.

What’s “native” video?

If you’ve ever uploaded a video anywhere then it’s likely you’ve done it to YouTube – it’s the most popular of all video sites. Likewise, if you’ve shared a video on Facebook then you probably used a link to it on YouTube. They play just as well within the time line, so why not? Well, Facebook would prefer you to upload it directly to Facebook and they’ll reward you with better reach meaning more people will see it.

Do you already have videos? Then why not upload them to Facebook then? However don’t just ‘fire and forget’, add a little bit of a story to your post and explain what the video is about and importantly – ask people to comment on it.

In our own testing, we discovered that engagement works best when you ask the question first. So, ask your audience what they think of the video, ask them if they have videos they could share and actively encourage them to talk to you.

The Secret to Even More Engagement

Ideally your Facebook page should be reaching more potential customers. You want it to reach people who might one day come and stay at your hotel. However, they will only see your page if you engage with others regularly and show that you keep your information up to date. If you’re the sort of company that just posts links to blogs every day or maybe adds the odd status update, Facebook won’t put your posts in front of the people that matter. It’s algorithm is a complex beast, but in essence, the more you do, the more people you’ll reach.

So, use your page to chat with people, to promote your events and to crow about the things you’re doing and have done. Encourage people to get in touch and interact with you and, as the graph above suggests, post a lot of engaging content – preferably video!

street

Why do people visit your hotel? Is it because you have great rooms, superb food and a well-stocked bar?

Maybe it’s because of the staff. Are they courteous and polite?

Well, probably yes, but is that the only reason to visit? Could it be that maybe people are visiting your hotel because they’re interested in the surrounding areas?

Of course it is. People visit you because they want to be in the place where your hotel is and so it makes sense to show them all your surroundings has to offer. So many hotel websites just talk about the rooms, the buildings and the food without considering that people may just be coming to rest their head. Tomorrow they’re probably out on an adventure. Why not show them where to go?

Your website is an ideal place to get lots of information out to your visitors, and it can be a great way to boost traffic, too.

First of all, get some photos taken of the landmarks, streets and shops within a short travelling distance of your hotel. Create a page or pages, that shows these off and explains the history behind them. This is all about the local area so don’t be tempted to write any shameless self-promotion.

As well as local landmarks, explain where people can eat, drink and be entertained. You may well have a restaurant and a bar, but this is all about showing the best in the area around you, so be altruistic and praise others.

You can take this further by linking to websites, showing reviews, etc. The thing is, this might actually get noticed by those other venues. If it does, they may link to you, too and suddenly, without really doing much work, you’re getting free advertising for your website.

By helping other people, you will indirectly help yourself. Your potential customers will see that you offer a lot of useful information. The people you mention on your website will understand that you’re “for the area” and not just in it for yourself. All in all, your website will become information-rich and useful, and this can help your ranking.

After all, Google wants to promote sites that are useful.