We have previously blogged about the importance of maintaining a presence on social media. Once you’ve decided that social media is something your hotel should be doing, the next step is to build a social media team and execute a strategy based on your hotel’s resources and objectives.
Creating a hotel’s social media accounts only takes a few minutes, but maintaining your brand’s presence is a long-term commitment. When you set up an account and fail to consistently publish fresh content, it can hurt your brand. But, it also hurts your brand not to have a social presence at all. For example, according to the 2013 TripAdvisor TripBarometer, 65% of wealthy customers believe that luxury hotels without a social media presence are out of touch.
Fortunately, if you set goals based on your hotel’s needs and objectives, it’s possible to maintain a consistent social presence with a minimum of resources. Here’s how to build your social media team and strategy:
1. Define your hotel’s social media objectives
First, you need to identify your social media goals. Your goals can be as simple as driving traffic and measuring conversions, or as complex as measuring cost savings by handling customer service issues on Twitter instead of over the phone. You can also track increased foot traffic from a Facebook promotion, or grow and use a collection of valuable user generated content from an Instagram campaign.
The data you measure can be quantitative or qualitative in nature, as you collect information on engagement, click-through rate, sentiment, and more. CLICK HERE to read more about quantitative social media metrics, and HERE to learn more about qualitative metrics.
2. Create a social media task force
Now that you’ve identified your goals, you need to build your team. The size of your team will of course depend on the amount of resources your hotel has to dedicate to social media. But, whether the functions are completed by one person or by several people, the following areas will need to be covered:
Strategist: Responsible for long-term strategic vision and ensuring day-to-day initiatives are mapped back to specific goals
Community Manager: This is the person who actually publishes content across all social channels. He or she will spur conversations with existing and prospective customers, influencers, and media.
Analyst: Measures the success of social media, according to the stated objectives and goals.
Again, these roles don’t have to be separate, full-time job titles within your organization. But, if you are a large hotel who wants to build an active following on social media, it’s a good idea to dedicate at least one full-time employee to the role.
3. Develop a social media strategy
Once your team is assembled or identified, your strategist will need to lead and work with all team members to lay the groundwork for your social media presence through a defined social media strategy. Try answering questions like this to get started:
- What are your target audience segments?
- Based on this, across which social networks should the brand be present? Where and how are you going to prioritize your time?
- What content and strategies work best on which social networks?
- How does your brand voice translate across social channels? What types of words and tone best describe your brand?
- Using social media monitoring and competitive insights, what is your target audience interested in learning?
- How often should content be proactively published across each channel?
- Which tools can be used to streamline publishing, monitoring, and measurement?
4. Consistency is key
To ensure content is consistently developed, published, tracked, and analyzed, your team should hold weekly planning meetings where each member spends 10 minutes updating the team on what he or she has recently learned. If you’re running a solo operation, take time each week to analyze each campaign and your results, come to new conclusions, and continue to develop and evolve your strategy moving forward.
5. Use tools to your advantage
There are several different publishing tools out there that will help you track links and simplify content publishing. But most importantly, these tools can be used to schedule content in advance, which is a huge boon to workflow and consistency. When scheduling in advance however, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Proactively check social profiles daily to respond to messages
- Be cautious of pre-scheduled content during current events such as natural disasters
- Experiment, to be sure you’re picking the right time of day to publish
One final thought: You get out of social media what you put into it. The more time and thought you’re able to put into it, the greater your results.