12 MAR, 19
When it comes to standing out in the wildly competitive hospitality world, it is essential to keep your business aware and up to date with the most recent and relevant marketing trends. The majority of the booking sales, either restaurants, hotels or holidays, are booked and managed on-line. Marketing is a powerful tool that has the ability to make or break a business. If you want to catch the attention of your target market and meet your potential customer expectations, you must ensure your on-line presence is up to scratch. In other words, you got to be in it to win it!
This blog post will present you with some of the social media marketing trends and strategies for small and medium-sized companies operating within the hospitality industry that are of the upmost importance to practice on a frequent basis. Large companies have proven to have practised their success through these strategies already and remain competitive within the market - and we are here to learn from the best.

  1. Posting, posting, posting – 80% of time spent on social media is spent via mobile – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and others all are vital consumer communication and engagement channels - all are there for you to make your brand/product/company 100% visible and connect users world-wide. The trend of increasing the engagement is building an audience of people who care about your business. Sharing knowledge, tips and insights regarding your brand and subjects that matter your audience will keep them informed and engaged. Using hashtags, commenting, liking, live videos, replying to messages in timely manner are elements that now connect us with products on a personal level.  Another effective strategy to leverage the potential of such sites are to use influencers and brand ambassadors – they are role models and influential people that has a voice and effect typically on masses of people. If you get lucky to have someone to be a part of your product representation, you will sure see effects from this on sales!
  1. Videos – Videos are an effective tool for brand awareness as well as a powerful technique to portray your message in a creative and engaging way.  A video can be as short as 5 seconds, but it can express thousands of words. Video content is so powerful and drives more engagement in social media simply because it elicits emotions. The customers are as 4x more likely to watch a video about your brand than reading about it. Moreover, the videos can be posted not only on your website and relevant social media sites, but also on YouTube – which has more than billion users. Imagine all that reach!
  1. Live communication – Communication is the key and live chat options are one of the newest and most effective communication methods. There are countless ways how consumers can and will get in contact with you in interest about your company or brand. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are assured to be the next big things to supply information, fulfil requests in real time and take the guest experience to a new level of personalization. We, however, are still a few years away from entirely relying on artificial intelligence to replace chat operators - which means, in the meantime, we must ensure we provide the same expected communication service operating manually. It is understandable that some particular companies might not have the resources to implement live chats or might not find it as effective for their businesses. In this case, you must ensure you have enquiry messaging option available on all your on-line presence sites and you reply fast to all of them! Especially now, many of the websites have the response and engagement rate that can certainly affect consumer decision whether to engage with your brand. Consumers expect and demand, they want to receive answers to their questions at the speed of light and their interactions to be as seamless and friction free as possible. And it is one skill you will need to attain to keep them happy and informed instantly. Those couple of seconds count big time – if you leave them waiting for too long, they will go somewhere else to someone more proactive who understands the needs of current market consumer needs!
  1. Personalisation – keeping marketing personal van be very tricky, yet it is one worth going for. Millennials are the number one generation invested in the hospitality industry. They will be expecting exciting experiences, constant updates, offers and promotions, breaking news and personalised services at all times. Your audience will want you to speak their language and make your product all about them. For your brand to stay ahead of the game, it is suggested to create content that is ever entertaining, most personalised to your audience and fosters engagement with your product on every step they go. Showing you understand your consumers habits will create seamless experience, loyalty and ROI. And we have all the tools necessary to deliver the message and get their attention instantly – post an Instagram story and share it across all the other social sites!
  1. Deals and promotions – speaking of deals and promotions, it is needless to mention to catch the attention of your product, the best way to do it is to post your offers on every single social media platform as frequent as possible. Deals and offers must be a part of your content as it will be one of the first things the potential consumer will be looking for. Your offer can be in a format of a video, photos, collages, posters, boomerangs, etc, depending on the nature of it and where you post. The deal does not have to be anything major – big sale or massive discount – it simply must show your product is flexible and you are doing the outmost to be approachable to public. For example, dinner/lunch set menu deals on OpenTable, 2 for 3 hotel nights, 20% discount on experiences booked till 24pm tonight, glass of prosecco included with set menu Monday to Wednesday, etc. Once again, 80% of consumers will be influenced by special offers and will be more likely to engage and participate with consuming your brand if they will see a good bargain for themselves!
It is all abound keeping your ears and mind open and finding what works best for your individual business. If you are looking to advance in your social media presence, then it is time to invest in marketing strategies that work for the biggest target market.  The more you can engage and make your customers feel unique and special through personalization, the more effective your marketing efforts will be. Approachability and presence in all social media sites are a must – and not just being there, you must be proactive to keep up with your consumers demands 24/7 to remain competitive. Can you and your business keep up?

Linda Fridberga-Fridenberga – Recruitment Consultant
12 MAR, 19
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