When it comes to promoting your hotel (or any other hospitality brand) in this digital era, you’ll have to use social media and social media influencers. Brands all over the world are increasingly resorting to influencer marketing (strategy) for endorsing their products and services.
Many world’s leading hospitality brands are courting social media stars by handing out gifts and freebies in exchange for helping promoting their brands. This new-fangled digital marketing technique where you exploit a social media influencer’s popularity for advertising your brand has been rapidly evolving.
The hospitality industry is slowly and gradually discovering that this tactic can be remarkably cost-effective. The social media influencer uploads content online which in turn influences the behavior (and ultimately the buying decision) of their followers. This might deliver you more result than old-school paid advertising in the form of advertisements.
How challenging is it to get Social Media Influencers on Board?
Nevertheless, coming across relevant influencers and coaxing them to campaign on your behalf can be quite challenging for two good reasons. For a start, influencers are not a unified group of individuals but rather a disparate cluster with diverse interests. They could be celebrities, politicians, photographers, scholars, journalists, bloggers, and vloggers with a robust following.
So, you may not have any idea which influencers to contact for boosting your brand. Secondly, since influencers are not emotionally attached to your brand, you cannot assume that their recommendations will work for you. However, it is a fact that social media influencers have a massive following and that their feedbacks and recommendations are taken into consideration by their followers.
Where to find the right Social Media Influencers for your hotel?
It does not need to be emphasized that if you own a hotel or a lodge, you must be having your brand’s profile on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These three web-based platforms are the world’s most popular social media sites in terms of number of users. So, in all probability, you may find your influencer(s) on these top three social media platforms who can contribute towards marketing your brand.
Social media influencers: Who are they?
Social media influencers are personalities or individuals with a huge, steadfast fan base that demonstrates their loyalty by sharing the former’s content. Acolytes or followers of social media influencers keep in touch with the latter on social media and share informative and inspiring content (uploaded by influencers) with their own close-knit groups.
Why do people follow travel and hotel influencers?
You must be wondering as to why individuals follow these influencers on automated social media with steadfastness and unswerving loyalty. After all, there are near countless persons who upload almost infinite bytes of information every day on social media sites. The plain and simple reason influencers enjoy a vast following is that they keep traveling like a globetrotter and upload content about their trips on social media.
The information uploaded and shared by social media influencers serve as a reliable and valuable source of reference for their followers. In the hospitality sector, such influencers are known as ‘travel influencers’ who can offer a practical insight of staying in a hotel via their blog posts. The data these social media celebrities share can be exploited both by prospective travelers as well as hotels and inns.
The hoteliers can engage with potential clients by tapping into the followers of influencers, and eventually increase their customer base. In case you’re a hotelier, you can incentivize influencers to personally network with their followers and ultimately help boost bookings. Make the most of the following tips for interacting with travel influencers and coordinating with them to promote your brand.
Using social media influencers for promoting your hospitality brand online
Recognize your hotel social media influencers
As an hotelier, you will naturally wish to narrow down your search to travel influencers, i.e. people who travel extensively. Thereafter, you should make a list of influencers whose followers can be grouped under the niche segment you’re targeting.
For instance, you wish to contact young travelers, newly married couples, and families that undertake several trips in a year, and so on. Depending on your niche segment and your business (long-term and short-term) goals, you can choose from nano, micro, mid-range, macro, mega, and celebrity influencers.
Nano influencers usually have 100-1000 followers while celebrities command a following that normally exceeds 5 million. Your best bet would be to target micro and nano influencers. They not only can engage at a more personal level with their followers but also will be content with the freebies you lavish.
Contact influencers and discuss incentives for your hotel
Obviously, once you have identified your influencers, the next step is to get in touch with them. You can mail them or send texts to their social media profiles. Discuss at the outset the incentives or compensation your influencers expect.
Remember, you want the influencers to do a positive review about your hotel, so you need to be a bit generous here. Anyway, always tell them to #hashtag (or disclose) the gift you’re offering on their posts.
Set goals and objectives with the influencer
You’ll want your future clients to appreciate your hotel to the extent where they end up booking a room. So, ensure to ask your influencers to upload pictures about the room, reception, foyer, restaurant, and so on. The idea is to amplify visibility that will lead to increased bookings.
Make influencers’ content visible on your hotel's social media
Make their content visible throughout the virtual world by sharing and tagging the same on your social media profiles.
Try to nurture the relationship
Continue engaging with your influencers for paving the way to a lasting relationship with them. After all, you need these social media stars to keep your business viable in the long run.