In the past, all hotels relied on word of mouth to attract travellers. Nowadays that custom has not changed and any hotel establishment needs to maintain and/or improve its reputation in order to survive, although in this case that reputation is more important in the online channel.
This is why integrating social media into any marketing strategy should be a natural and, it must be said, obligatory step. Travellers are permanently connected to their favourite channels, expressing experiences and opinions that are read by millions of users. Brands in the sector, therefore, cannot ignore the impact and influence that social media currently has on the tourism industry, and specifically on the hotel sector.
BRAINTRUST is going to analyse the importance of social networks for this sector, focusing on four fundamental points:
1. Audiences are in the networks.
Nowadays social media is essential for any business, but why is it so important in the hotel market? According to the "2019 Annual Social Media Study" by IAB Spain, there are a total of 25 million users in Spain, which is a potential audience that should not be underestimated. These platforms help the tourist at every stage of the trip, as guests start planning using a search engine, contrast ideas on social media and, finally, take into consideration the different reviews available. Therefore, if you want to know and reach your target audience, it is vital to build a strong social media presence, reinforced by actions of real value.
2. Optimise customer service.
Social networks are an unbeatable channel for customer service and the maintenance of online reputation. Once the channel where the target audience is located is known, it is essential to establish a roadmap to address crisis situations and any eventuality. This is a complex job, but it is the best tool to start face-to-face conversations between brand and user, and not only when the traveller presents a "complaint" but also when the traveller shows satisfaction. Guests are not patient, and they expect us to answer their questions as quickly and transparently as possible. If there is a problem with room service, or questions about how to exchange a room for another, the community must have clear and almost instantaneous information. A hotel that cultivates these relationships will increase its notoriety and recognition, which in the future will translate into sales .
3. They provide an insight into the climate of opinion.
Being aware of what customers think is essential to define the direction and establish valuable changes for the brand. In this sector, TripAdvisor is the mass channel, becoming a great source of information and insight for brands. TripAdvisor ranks hotels according to three factors: recently published reviews, quantity of reviews and quality of reviews. Trends indicate that people are more likely to post about a negative experience, so it is important to put the spotlight on this platform. Evaluating reviews and making improvements is the way forward, and social media makes it possible to gauge the climate of opinion around a particular hotel.
4. They enhance the visual section Visual content is the most effective in the hotel sector . Guests want to feel engaged with the brand or service, so a feed based on powerful images is very important to convey emotions and experiences . Our consumption habits are changing, and a simple photo of the hotel is no longer enough, audiences are looking for photos and videos on social media before making a reservation. In fact, the visual identification of a brand is a determining factor in purchasing decisions. According to Travolution, 40% of millennials value that the hotel has features that enhance taking photos for Instagram. These results show how important it is for hoteliers to show a strong visual identity, which through influencer marketing will optimise their reach.
For Ángel García Butragueño, Co-Director of the BRAINTRUST Tourism Barometer: "Social networks in the hotel sector are much more important than in any other field, as any traveller gets information and reviews references of the establishments before starting the purchase process. The actors involved must treat users with greater care, responding to their demands and offering effective solutions, being in constant and continuous communication".
According to José Manuel Brell, Co-Director of the BRAINTRUST Tourism Barometer: "A positive Customer Experience is the key to building traveller loyalty in a very competitive market where there are multiple accommodation offers, and one of the most important touchpoints are the social networks, so the communication strategy goes through them, not so much the valuable content, but rather the continuous feedback with all types of travellers, who consider these online spaces as the place to be and interact".
At BRAINTRUST we can help you create the Social Media strategy that's right for you.
Do you want to get detailed information? Contact us and ask for our Tourism Barometer, the methodological support that determines the market's willingness to travel, as well as the trends that allow all travel industry suppliers to identify business opportunities and adjust their offer to consumer preferences.