In times like these, it can be incredibly challenging for hotels to find their voice on social media.
But now more than ever, it’s important. There has never been a better time to offer inspiration, compassion, guidance and assurance; building relationships that will last long after this crisis is over.
Ashley Pearson from Fox Communications shares her top tips.
- DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
One thing that’s really going to come out of a global lockdown, is a brand’s purpose. What are you doing for the community and the world as a whole? What are your sustainability commitments or transparency on supply chains? Set out clear goals and consider how these can be conveyed via social media whether it’s by ‘loving’ what suppliers are doing for their communities or what staff are doing philanthropically.
2. DON’T DENY THE OBVIOUS
Alluding to the current climate may seem self-defeating for a hotel – but it’s not. Travel bans or not, demonstrating empathy is vital and shows solidarity; we are all in this together. The right move is to sway things towards more personal communication, post less frequently than usual, but allude to the situation through positive messaging, support for the community, charitable initiatives and aspirational imagery.
3. GET CREATIVE
Social media can be an effective tool to encourage engagement, increase brand loyalty and connect with your clients at a time when face-to-face contact isn’t possible. Brands with strong aspirational imagery especially i.e. those in travel, are well placed to offer some much-needed escapism. Hotels can host travel quizzes, sponsor creative competitions or encourage followers and team members to share their favourite travel memory and use a relevant tag.
4. ENCOURAGE ACTIVITY
With the world in lockdown, most are not able to follow a ‘normal’ exercise regime or visit the gym; social media has become a thriving space to share at-home workouts, fitness inspiration, healthy recipes and health and wellbeing support. Why not host at home workouts by a member of your fitness team, a family fitness challenge, or online yoga or meditation classes demonstrated by a member of the fitness/ spa team.
5. SHOW EXPERTISE
Position your brand as a market leader and engage with followers on a more personal level, utilising the experts you already have at your fingertips to share tips and tricks that are replicable at home. Teach followers using IG how to make signature cocktails at home, offer cooking classes with your chef, (looking at immune boosting ingredients), or utilise your interiors/ design experts or housekeeping team for decorating tutorials or advice on how to make the perfect, hotel-style bed. This tactic has proved especially popular already with the big brands in hospitality. Belmond who have launched an Instagram video series, @sohohouse posts how to make Picante cocktail and gives images for ‘virtual tours’, chef @jasonatherton posts cooking videos to follow, titled social kitchen isolation, and Six Senses hosts “At home with Six Senses.’
6. PROMOTE MINDFULNEESS
Stay relatable and show empathy, in a way designed to be authentic and real. Consider creating video content to promote relaxation – maybe a time-lapse video of your on-site sunset, or waves at the beach that can be used to encourage a sense of calmness. Seek out inspirational quotes and consider your captions carefully. Remain sensitive to the current climate, promote positivity and hope, and encourage followers to share their favourite quotes ensuring you are tagged. Ask followers to share how they’re keeping mentally strong during lockdown.
7. AIM TO INSPIRE
All but non-essential travel might be on hold for now, but consumers can still dream about where they’ll be investing their time in the future. Use the inspiring content you’ve created and think about what’s trending for 2021 and beyond. You can join the conversation through hashtags such as #ArmchairAdventures or #Daydreaming, whilst showcasing the beautiful interiors or views from your property to inspire future travels. You can also offer virtual tours from video content on file that can be used to inspire wanderlust i.e. film the sunset and post alongside a positive message or show followers around the gardens/ beach. Also lend support to local charities and front-line workers and share the love on social.