Hotels are constantly battling between the preference of direct bookings and the need for Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). With OTAs taking up to 20% in commission, the benefits of direct bookings are obvious. The rise of social media presents an effective solution to this problem. As a result, the creation of an online community is becoming increasingly important. It allows marketing managers to embrace this new age of digital PR and is a cost-effective method of targeted marketing.
The Rapid Growth of Social Media
In this increasingly digital age, social media has become a powerful tool for hotel-targeted marketing. Digital travel sales are expected to reach $198 billion in 2018 and 97% of millennials share travel snaps online. Therefore, it is clear that social media is an intrinsic part of a person’s travel experience. As a result, there is an incredible opportunity for marketing managers to access an already-active audience. This tactic achieves hotel targeted marketing at a fraction of the cost of more traditional advertising methods.
Easy Access to Your Target Market
A social media presence allows the hotel to develop its brand and online community.
However, it is a lot easier said than done to create a successful online profile with active followers. Travel Influencers play a vital role in helping a company develop its online presence.
With an already established following of like-minded people, Influencers have access to your target audience. Their profile serves as an advertising platform which publicises your name and brand and encourages direct traffic to your website or profile. It is predicted that the number of Instagram users will increase to 104.7 million in 2018. This fast-growing social media platform continues to grow rapidly and potential customers are creating online profiles every day. The benefits of accessing them are endless if done correctly.
The Swayy Way
Swayy’s unique Influencer software means that Swayy’s Influencers are pre-vetted and only show the most reliable profiles. You avoid being inundated with requests for collaborations. Instead, you have access to an Influencer database of relevant profiles that are quick and easy to connect with.
From this, you can choose someone who aligns with your brand values. Your Influencer works with you to help create an authentic relationship with your customers. Their posts will lead people directly to your own social media channels. From there, you then have unlimited access to your target audience at no additional cost.
Swayy’s Influencer marketing campaign is more affordable than paying £8000 per day to put up a billboard on Piccadilly Circus. Most importantly, it is far more effective at reaching your target audience. You are appealing directly to people with an already implied interest in your services.
The posts that hotel Influencers create feel far more genuine than static advertising methods, such as billboards or online ads. They tap into the same concept of the traditional ‘word of mouth’ recommendations but on a far larger scale. Followers feel a connection with the Influencer and are likely to trust their opinions. Their posts tell a story and feel more like a traditional review. The hotel then accesses this trusting relationship between Influencer and follower in order to create an authentic and effective form of advertisement.
The Creation of an Online Community
Your Influencer will direct a stream of traffic to your own social media pages. You must then create an appealing online platform to further entice customers. Consider the best way to engage people, and spending some time creating a social media strategy is useful. Most significantly, this online presence can transform a hotel from merely a building to a living brand within a community. Businesses can utilise social media to communicate effectively with customers and form a connection. The more personal the connection, the more likely a client is to return.
Forming a Connection With Your Customers
Social media is full of opportunity and different ways to access your customers. For example, Instagram gives you the opportunity to share images, videos, and temporary stories. Your captions can tell a story and the comments section allows for an easy method of communication with your customers. As a result, you create a dialogue, whilst asking for the opinions of followers, allowing them to feel involved in the company. Above all, an active relationship with a brand makes a person far more likely to be a repeated customer.
Additionally, the ‘Instagram stories’ feature allows companies to create posts that last for 24-hours. This is the perfect opportunity to give your followers flash deals and offers. Not only does this encourage them to act quickly but also makes them feel privileged and special. When considering the long-term values of repeated customers and positive online feedback, this becomes an incredibly worthwhile investment.
Stay in Control with Swayy
With Swayy, you are fully in control. You pick your Influencer and work with them to carefully curate high-quality and relevant online content. Swayy offers Unique Tracking Links to track the success of each campaign and its return-on-investment (ROI). Therefore, as you develop your online community and build authentic relationships with customers, Swayy’s data will allow you to measure success and maximise your direct sales.
By Amelia de Normann