How social are you? And how social do you want to be? Part 3
This is the final part of our series (for now anyway) on social media. Last week we looked at how we should be using social media, remembering that social media should rarely be about selling but should focus on branding and communication (social posts). So how do we start the process? My advice is to take each channel you are currently managing and to monitor the last 50 posts:
- How are you currently posting online?
- Does this fit with your brand?
- Do you have the balance right of sales v branding v social posts?
- What is your goal?
- What direction do you need to go in to reach that goal?
- How much time do you actually have to do this?
Start with a plan
If we looked at your next 20 planned posts, then without doubt the majority of these should be ‘social’. As I mentioned before your main goal should never be about selling as if it is you are fighting a losing battle. You need to consider spreading your content over all 3 headings – we made some suggestions in last weeks blog but some further examples are:
- Happy Friday from the Reception Team…. (with a pic)
- Chef can’t decide which cheesecake to make today, can you help? Strawberry or Mango? (this can generate interaction)
- The gardeners have been busy all weekend, take a look around (with pics)
- Have you tried our new Autumn Signature cocktail? (with a pic)
- Getting ready for our Bridal Fair this weekend, can’t wait to meet all you lovely engaged couples (with a pic showing set-up)
- Get fit for summer in our newly refurbished gym
- Exclusive Facebook Offer for an overnight with dinner and wine for only €129 – click here to book
- Join us tonight for dinner in X Bistro
- Our January Sale rates will be released later today… Tell your friends to watch out for some great January offers
Balance your messages and ensure that you are not too top heavy with sales posts – so out of 20 posts, perhaps 2 sales, 8 branding and 10 social
Now we need to plan when these posts will be made and on which channels. Again, I go back to choosing your channels carefully. It is better to manage 1 or 2 successfully than trying to be all things to all people and actually mis-managing every channel.
So start with an Excel spreadsheet and decide:
- Which channels you are going to concentrate on
- When you are going to post
- How many posts will you make on each platform
- And most importantly, what will the balance of these posts be
Use your Excel spreadsheet as a working document. Like all marketing, social media will be a slow burn. Engagement with your brand will not happen immediately. It will take time, so ensure that the ‘powers that be’ understand that you are testing the waters with each channel and your engagement. (if you need any help with creating a workable spreadsheet, please just let us know – email@example.com)
Once you start working with a channel, then you need to measure which posts stimulate the most engagement. But remember that just because one post was successful, does not mean that subsequent similar posts will be. Often posts that are similar are diluted as the magic of that first post could have been down to a multitude of reasons. For example, you may have offered a competition to win dinner for two for Valentines. This may have been particularly engaging down to the event and lead time but you may not get that same traction for say an Easter dinner competition.
However, what you need to be very clear on from the start is that you need to be consistent. Remember that we mentioned in last weeks blog about being on brand and genuine, but if you decide to engage with your customers via social media, then that engagement needs to be ‘on point’. Have a schedule that your customers begin to recognise and will know when to expect your posts. and on your side you need to decide how active you need to be about monitoring engagement. For example, you should probably monitor your Pinterest account 3 times per week, your Facebook account every day and your Twitter account every hour.
So with that in mind, who is going to do this for you? Can you spread the work around your team? Please do not under-estimate the amount of effort that this kind of customer interaction is going to take and again it is a slow burn. However, if you aren’t in this space, be assured that your competitors are and whether we like it or not, social media is here and is here to stay.
And just incase you had any doubt about the validity of User Generated Content, here are some figures that might give you sleepless nights:
- 46% of millennials say that they rely on User Generated Content before making a decision about booking a hotel
- 86% believe that User Generated Content is a good reflection of brand quality
- Engagement with your brand could increase by 28% if consumers are exposed to both professional and user-generated content and video.
So is social still keeping you up at night? I hope not. Put the effort in now in the planning stage, be on-brand and then measure. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? 🙂
For all things ‘hotel’ and ‘revenue’, please just let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org