How do we define ‘the hospitality industry’?
Let’s say you are going on a holiday, staying at a hotel and eating at local restaurants night after night. As a customer, you and your experiences are the main priority across the industry. Customer is king rules the ethos of the industry.
In fact, the hospitality industry is a broad category within the service industry which includes: accommodation (hotels, B&Bs, hostels), food and beverages (restaurants, bars) and travel and tourism (airlines, trains), as well as event planning.
In today’s world where customers value experiences more than goods, social media has become key to the hospitality industry. It helps you interact with current or potential clients; it offers you the opportunity to advertise your business or the offers you might have going on at the time. If you are involved with the management or ownership of a property/venue, there are some trends in the hospitality industry that you need to keep in mind to stay on top of your social media marketing tactics.
With the rapid increase in time spent browsing and booking on the go, rather than on laptops and computers, it is important for your business to have a mobile-friendly website. It may even be beneficial to create a mobile app, as this keeps everything related to your business or venue in one place, and easily accessible.
Customers appreciate when hotels make the effort to get to know them before they arrive. They might be travelling, for example, as part of a large honeymoon party, or for an important birthday. Guests will greatly appreciate it, therefore, if rooms are arranged to keep the group in close proximity. Additionally, recognising your regular customers and giving them special offers encourage them to return to your hotel in the future, and to recommend it to friends.
Visual content is more engaging for potential consumers than simply written content. Make sure to always update photos, infographics or blog posts on your website and always make it look its best; this way customers will engage more actively with you your content. You can read more about why pictures could market your hotel better than words here.
There is no better application for sharing visual content than Instagram and YouTube. Instagram is the fastest growing social media network with over 800 million active users and 100 million new ones every six months. However, before you take to picture sharing as a marketing techniques, there are a few steps you should take to ensure success.
Firstly, you need to think of a strategy. Ask yourself the following questions: how many posts are you going to post on a daily basis, what hashtags are you going to use, what captions are you going to put, what is the message you want your followers to receive?
Secondly, how are you going to utilise stories to keep your content fresh and relevant? On Instagram, you can post stories that last 24 hours, and these are great if you want to promote a special offer you have going on, or if you want to promote a new post on your profile, blog, or other social media channels.
Sometimes taking great photos and knowing what to write in order to attract certain audiences can be difficult. Here is where Swayy can help you and your business. Swayy is an easy-to-use Influencer marketing platform designed for building long-lasting relationships leisure businesses and influencers.
How does Swayy fit into this industry?
Influencers, aka content creators, who have attracted an engaged online audience through their social media profiles, have changed the way hotels and hospitality businesses now market to their customers.
Swayy helps hospitality venues, namely hotels to adapt and embrace influencer marketing in a safe, transparent, accountable and trackable way.
In essence the tool will help you find, contact, book, work with and keep in touch with influencers across all social media channels. These content creators can help your business reach new audiences, increase direct booking sales, increase brand awareness and engage more with your customers by taking breathtaking pictures of your hotel, posting videos and sharing the message you want to be spread around in such a way that their followers will engage with it.
All the big groups now do it (see our Executive Interview Series), and now smaller independent hotels can too.
Instagram influencers already have a loyal, engaged, responsive audience, so if you are looking to target a specific demographic, all you need is the right influencer for your campaign. Swayy’s influencers are Instagram stars and content creators on other channels such as YouTube, who cover the following sectors: travel, leisure, fashion & lifestyle and fitness & nutrition. The software is designed around the specific needs of hoteliers.
You may be worried about influencers who appear to have a huge number of followers, but have no engagement from their followers. However, you needn’t worry about this affecting your business. Swayy only uses pre-vetted influencers to make sure they did not buy their followers, and that they are authentic people who can help you grow your business.
On Swayy’s platform, you can post a listing describing what you would like an influencer to do for your hotel: you choose the dos and don’ts and you are in full control from the beginning of the process until the end of it. At the end of each collaboration, you can give the influencers you worked with a review, just like on Uber, from 1 to 5 stars.
If you are concerned about the outcome your collaborations with influencers might have, on Swayy you can see any other previous partnerships they have done with other hotels and see if they were successful or not, helping to you take back control.
Still not convinced that you should try using Swayy and the help of Instagram influencers?
Keep in mind that the average person maintains five social media profiles so they are more likely than ever to be influenced by their favourite social media icons. Already two years ago the internet overtook television to become the most dominant advertising medium, so social media’s dominance is hardly surprising.
Likewise, the number of people turning to ad blockers is increasing more and more. This ad blocking software prevents traditional online advertisements from showing up on a user’s web browser.
Working with influencers may allow you to overcome this: they can take authentic, natural looking photos of your hotel or venue, and organically promote your brand in a way you cannot.
Interested in working with full time, pre-vetted hotel influencers? Click here to find out how Swayy’s influencer booking tool can help you. If you are an influencer interested in leveraging the power of social media, read up on what we can do for you.