Melanie-2023
March 26, 2024

Social Media Guide for Hospitality: from boosting your hotel’s presence to generating revenue

Learn how to optimise your social media

In the competitive world of hotels, effective management of social media has become an inescapable factor for any hotelier seeking to stand out from the crowd. However, having a real impact on social media that maximises your hotel’s visibility and turns it into financial opportunities can be challenging.

This guide to social media, specialising in the hotel sector, takes you expertly through the essential steps to make the most of these platforms. Among other things, this publication will answer the following questions:

  • What impact does social media have on the hotel industry?
  • How can you create and optimise your hotel’s social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram and Google Business Profile)?
  • How can you take advantage of your social media presence to boost your revenue?

List of content

Blog post — the impact of social media in the hospitality industry 1 social media guide for hospitality: from boosting your hotel’s presence to generating revenue

The impact of social media on the hospitality industry 

In 2023, social media had 4.88 billion active users worldwide, representing 60.6% of the world’s population (BDM, 2023). Facebook leads the way with 3 billion monthly active users, closely followed by YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram and WeChat.

Once seen as a place to exchange and share ideas, social media have evolved to become vital influencing tools, shaping our choices in terms of entertainment, gastronomy and even travel destinations. For the hotel and tourism industry, social media are no longer just platforms for sharing photo memories; they are gradually, in their own right, becoming search engines for travel planning.

A revealing study underlines that one traveller in five uses social media for their research, whether to choose their next destination (27%) or to select the hotel where they will be staying (23%). What’s more, 33% of users have already changed their mind about a hotel after consulting social media, and according to another study, 52% of travellers have decided to visit a specific destination after seeing photos or videos shared by friends and family on these platforms (Nosto, 2019).

Having an active presence on social media is a major strategic advantage in the hotel sector, likely to significantly increase your hotel’s appeal to travellers. However, simply being on social media is not enough. To fully exploit the potential of this excellent shop window, it is crucial that you make your pages attractive. So, how do you create and optimise your hotel’s social media to make them irresistible? That’s what this publication will guide you through. 

Blog post —how can you create and optimise your hotels social media profiles social media guide for hospitality: from boosting your hotel’s presence to generating revenue

How can you create and optimise your hotel’s social media profiles?

Facebook

As mentioned, Facebook remains the main social networking platform. With 40 million monthly active users in France alone (Digimind 2023), your potential guests on Facebook are significant and require special attention.

Here’s how to create and optimise your hotel Facebook page in 4 simple steps:

  1. Sign in to your Facebook account. If you don’t have it, create one to log in.
  1. Go to the “Pages” section in the left-hand menu, or just click here, then click “Create a page” in the top left-hand corner.
  2. Fill in the basic information: Fill in the details of your page: name, category (“Hotel”) and biog.
  3. Click on “Create the page”. 

Once you have created your page, it’s time to optimise it by making sure that:

  • The page name is clear and your hotel is easily identifiable.
  • You are using your logo as your profile photo and have chosen a cover that reflects the atmosphere of your hotel. For example, if you’re a business hotel, you could add an image of a meeting room, while a family hotel will get better results by showing a family having fun at the pool. You can also add a video to show different parts of your hotel at the same time.
  • You have written a clear, informative and concise biog. Travellers who visit your Facebook page want to understand immediately what type of hotel you are and where you are located. You can also present the main advantages of your hotel, but be as short and concise as possible.
  • You have added all the essential information, such as your hotel’s address, email address and telephone number. This will enable you to be easily reached by your guests or future guests.

Checklist for a competitive hotel Facebook page :

  • Publish attractive and engaging visual content regularly. Share quality photos and videos highlighting your hotel’s unique features, such as its panoramic views, elegant rooms or the unique experiences it offers.
  • Use relevant hashtags and tag other pages to increase your visibility. Use hashtags to indicate keywords and reach people interested in the subject. You can also join Facebook groups and share your posts there. But be careful with the frequency to avoid being perceived as spam!
  • Interact with your audience. Be responsive to comments and direct messages. A rapid response strengthens the relationship with your potential guests and enhances the credibility of your business. To do this, you can use artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to automate processing over 90% of your incoming messages. Another way to increase audience interaction is to offer exclusive discounts or competitions. This will encourage engagement and encourage users to share your page.
  • Diversify the content on offer. Don’t limit yourself to posting photos and videos; explore the different features that Facebook offers, such as creating events, polls and live videos, to diversify your content and attract attention.
  • Regularly update your page with relevant information on upcoming events, promotions and the various services you offer: restaurant, spa, workshops, etc.

By implementing these tips, you’ll strengthen your presence on Facebook, attract new guests and build loyalty among your existing audience, thus contributing to the overall success of your business.

Blog post —how can you create and optimise your hotels social media profiles facebook social media guide for hospitality: from boosting your hotel’s presence to generating revenue

Instagram

With 2 billion users worldwide, Instagram is the world’s third most popular social network, behind Facebook and YouTube. By 2023, there will be more than 26 million active users per month on the platform in France, with almost half of them (45%) in the 25 to 34 age bracket (Digimind, 2023). For the hotel industry, Instagram is of strategic importance, emerging as the social network par excellence for getting followers to want to travel.

According to the latest Kolsquare report, this platform accounts for 63% of engagement in the travel sector, and the #travel hashtag alone accounts for more than 674 million posts. It is not surprising that Instagram is considered the most influential holiday platform, closely followed by Facebook. In fact, 40% of millennials choose their holiday destination based on the “Instagrammability” of the photos (Travel Research Online 2023), further reinforcing Instagram’s role as a source of inspiration for travellers. Therefore, it is in your best interest to take advantage of this opportunity to promote your hotel in an engaging way.

Here’s how to create and optimise your hotel Instagram account in 4 simple steps:

  1. Create an Instagram account. When choosing a name, opt to include the word “hotel” after the name of your establishment, for example, @hotelcentral, rather than simply @central.
  2. Add a profile photo, a biog and a link to your website. Choose your hotel’s logo as your profile photo. For the biog, concisely present the name of your hotel, its location and its distinctive features (such as “Over 50 cosmopolitan hotels and paradise resorts”). Actively encourage bookings with a clear call to action and add a visual touch with emojis.
  1. Switch to a business account. Press the gear-shaped icon from your profile in the top right-hand corner, then click on “Professional account”. Please note that your hotel must have a Facebook Page to upgrade to a professional profile.
  2. Link your Facebook account. If you already have a Facebook company page, simply select the corresponding page. If not, first create a Facebook page for your hotel by following the steps outlined in the section above. Linking your Instagram account to your Facebook page will make it easier to share photos simultaneously on both platforms and generate news on Instagram for your Facebook followers connected to Instagram. Don’t forget to tell your Facebook followers that they can now find your hotel on Instagram. 

Checklist for a successful hotel Instagram account:

  • Focus on Reels. Short videos are essential in the travel sector, offering impactful storytelling with the highest rate of engagement: 3.4%, compared with 2% for a post (Kolsquare, 2023).
  • Encourage proximity with Stories. Create a direct link with your followers thanks to Stories, which are less viral than reels but are ideal for maintaining a close relationship with your audience. And remember to vary the formats to achieve the right balance between engagement and virality.
  • Always use hashtags. Posts containing a hashtag generate 12.6% more engagement than those without a hashtag (Sprout Social, 2023).
  • Use location tags. Increase your visibility by using location tags. Posts that include them are 79% more likely to be seen than posts that don’t (Jemsu, 2023).
  • Create ‘Instagrammable’ spaces. Set up spaces in your hotel for selfies and group photos, encouraging spontaneous sharing by your guests.
  • Create a specific hashtag and encourage your guests to use it. This will enable you to find out how many people are talking about your hotel or sharing your content and, above all, to create a photo and video directory that can be easily accessed by people interested in your hotel.
  • Share your guests’ posts. The content generated by your guests is free advertising for your business.
  • Analyse the statistics. Use the statistics in your professional profile to understand your audience and adapt your content accordingly.
  • Promote your best-performing posts. Identify and promote your best-performing posts directly from the mobile application to reach a wider audience.
Blog post —how can you create and optimise your hotels social media profiles instagram social media guide for hospitality: from boosting your hotel’s presence to generating revenue

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)

Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly Google My Business, is essential for hoteliers. It offers complete management of their online presence on Google platforms, particularly the search engine (including Google Ads) and Google Maps. Creating a GBP profile is a critical strategic lever, boosting your hotel’s visibility and encouraging direct bookings. More than half of all interactions with the GBP profile generate visits to the website (The Media Captain 2023), and more than 5% of visits lead to conversions (Search Engine Journal, 2019).

For example, when a user searches for hotels in Paris on Google, the results come from the GBP Paris listings. If your establishment is listed, it will be displayed directly to the user, providing immediate access to key information about your hotel, such as location, opening hours, services offered and guest reviews, without requiring a visit to your website. This practice has become commonplace, given that 64% of consumers search for a company’s contact details on its Google Business Profile page (The Media Captain, 2023). In this way, your GBP listing becomes a digital shop window that has a direct impact on travellers’ decisions.

At the same time, creating a GBP account allows you to manage and respond to guest reviews in real-time. This functionality is a unique opportunity to engage positively with your guests, resolve issues quickly, and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to customer satisfaction.

Here’s how to create a Google Business Profile for your hotel in 3 easy steps:

  1. Make sure you have a Gmail account otherwise you won’t be able to create and manage your GBP profile.
  2. Go to Google Business Profile.
  3. Add the name and details of your establishment.

To complete your listing, you must enter a main category (hotel), the address and telephone number of your business. Once your listing has been created, you need to request validation from Google to display it correctly on the search engine and Google Maps.

However, having a Google hotel profile is not enough: the challenge is to optimise it to appear in the top search results, doubling the interaction rate. In fact, the CTR (Click-through rate) of an optimised page is 2x higher than the average (Geolid, 2023). Several criteria, such as the information provided, the degree of completeness, the ratings and the volume of reviews, influence the referencing of a GBP listing.

An in-depth analysis carried out in 2023 by Geolid, covering more than 1,500 GBP listings in 15 different business sectors, reveals that the hotel sector has the fewest complete records, with none reaching 100% completion. Investing in a comprehensive listing will make your hotel stand out from the competition. The study also reveals that the hotel industry is the second most popular sector with the most reviews. Combining a complete, optimised GBP listing with a substantial volume of guest reviews ensures that Google gives your hotel a high profile.

Checklist for a complete and optimised Google Business Profile hotel account:

Make sure that your hotel’s GBP sheet includes all of the following: 

  • Title. This is the name of your hotel.
  • Description. Add a concise description highlighting the strengths of your hotel.
  • Main category and secondary categories. Carefully define the main category of your establishment (hotel) as well as any secondary categories for a precise description of your business.
  • Opening times. Include your usual opening hours and those of public holidays. Google appreciates this.
  • Address. Check that your address is correct and up to date.
  • Services and service descriptions. Describe the services that your hotel offers in detail.
  • FAQ. Use the questions and answers section to anticipate the frequently asked questions of your future guests.
  • Messaging function. Activate the messaging function to facilitate communication with your potential guests.
  • Attributes. Specify any additional services, such as wheelchair accessibility, parking, and means of payment accepted in your establishment.
  • Photos or videos of your establishment. Add quality media to enhance your listing, building trust and increasing user engagement. Companies with photos on their listing receive 42% more itinerary requests and 35% more clicks than those without (Thrive, 2021).

Finally, here are two bonus recommendations to help you stand out from the competition:

  • Publish Google posts to announce special events, offers, discounts or other special services directly from Google. 
  • Add links to your social media to establish a direct gateway to your content-sharing platforms, strengthening your online presence.
Blog post —how can you create and optimise your hotels social media profiles instagram 3 social media guide for hospitality: from boosting your hotel’s presence to generating revenue

How can you use social media to boost revenue?

Once your social media has been transformed into an attractive showcase, your prospects will be able to quickly identify you and naturally be encouraged to contact you for more information about your offers or even to book their holidays. More and more hoteliers are betting on AI-based solutions to maximise this opportunity, making tourism the fifth sector to use the most chatbots (BotNation, 2022). This growing trend addresses the expectations – over 60% of travellers are in favour of chatbot assistance, appreciating the convenience that the technology brings to their experience (PwC, 2023).

Artificial Intelligence: the key to boosting your revenue from social media

The application of AI in the hotel sector offers undeniable advantages for maximising your turnover. Here are two key points to consider if you want to turn your social media into real revenue drivers:

  1. Instant, personalised interaction with your potential guests 

Once your optimised and attractive social media have captured the attention of travellers, they will want to learn more about your hotel’s facilities, policies and special services, as demonstrated by the HiJiffy study published in 2023 on the main questions asked by hotel guests. Integrating a chatbot is therefore essential for responding to more than 80% of guest requests autonomously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These powerful chatbots can be deployed not only on your hotel’s website but also on its social media, such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Google Business Profile and other messaging platforms.

Chatbots also play a key role in collecting guest data quickly and efficiently. This functionality not only enables a proactive response to guests’ needs but also to offer personalised recommendations based on their preferences. By keeping guests interested through relevant interactions, you considerably increase the chances of conversion to a reservation.

Choose a solution that centralises all guest interactions in an omnichannel inbox. This approach radically simplifies the process, eliminating the need to juggle different platforms to meet guests’ requests. The result: a lighter workload for your staff, more efficient management of requests and rapid, consistent responses, all from a single platform.

  1. Simplify the booking process and increase conversion 

Once you’ve answered all your future guests’ questions, make the booking process easier for them by offering them the option of booking directly via the social media they use. According to WebFX, more than half of hotels have adopted a booking engine or widget on their Facebook page to simplify the booking process. This approach eliminates the need to go through other interfaces, such as your website, to finalise a booking, significantly improving your conversion rate and sales.

Ideally, you should get an AI-based solution that integrates easily with your booking engine and PMS. This will enable you to effectively display the availability and rates of your rooms. The HiJiffy omnichannel solution integrates perfectly with the main hotel software on the market, simplifying the process of using the chatbot on your social media.

Blog post — how can you use social media to boost revenue social media guide for hospitality: from boosting your hotel’s presence to generating revenue

How can you easily integrate a chatbot into your hotel’s Facebook messaging system?

Connect your hotel’s Facebook Messenger to HiJiffy’s omnichannel solution. The chatbot will automatically answer your future guests’ questions, and your agents will be able to manage the conversations from a centralised platform: the HiJiffy Console.

Follow this simple procedure to integrate your Facebook messaging system into the Console easily: 

  • Access the Console and select the “Channels” menu on the left.
  • Select the “Facebook Messenger” channel and click “+ Add a new channel”.
  • Log in to your Facebook account. To do this, you must be the administrator of the Facebook page.
  • Select the Facebook Pages you want to add to the Console.
  • You can also choose Instagram pages for simplified management in the future. To do this, make sure that your Instagram account is a professional account and that it is linked to your Facebook page so that you can select it.
  • Select the Facebook page you want to connect to and click “Connect”.
  • Each page is considered a new channel. Add the channel’s name, select the teams who will have access, the chatbot and the properties associated with the channel.
  • Save your changes.
  • Repeat this process for the other pages.

For more information, click here or contact your dedicated Customer Success Manager.

Blog post — how can you easily integrate a chatbot into your hotels facebook messaging system social media guide for hospitality: from boosting your hotel’s presence to generating revenue

How can you easily integrate a chatbot into your hotel’s Instagram account?

Optimise the management of your hotel on Instagram by easily activating a chatbot. By integrating this social network into the HiJiffy Console, the chatbot can automatically respond to questions frequently asked by guests. If necessary, conversations can be transferred to the Console inbox for processing by your team. You can add several Instagram accounts, ideal if you have several properties with different accounts. 

Follow these simple steps to integrate your hotel’s Instagram account into the HiJiffy Console:

  • Access the Console and select the “Channels” menu on the left.
  • Select the “Instagram” channel and click “+ Add a new channel”.
  • If your Facebook page is already connected, simply choose the Instagram account. If not, log in with your Facebook Business account first.
  • Select the Instagram pages where you want to install the chatbot and click “Install”.
  • Select the teams who will be authorised to view the messages in this channel, the chatbot and the properties displayed in this channel.
  • Save your changes.

For more information, click here or contact your dedicated Customer Success Manager. 

Blog post — how can you easily integrate a chatbot into your hotels instagram account social media guide for hospitality: from boosting your hotel’s presence to generating revenue

How can you easily integrate a chatbot into your hotel’s Google Business Profile account? 

Although the process is simple, unlike Facebook Messenger and Instagram, you will need the assistance of your Customer Success Manager.

Here are the steps to follow to connect your Google Business Profile account to the HiJiffy Console:

  • Make sure you have a Google Business Profile account. If not, follow the steps in the section entitled “How to create your hotel’s Google Business Profile in 3 easy steps” to create your listing.
  • Activate messaging in your GBP account by selecting the “Messages” menu and clicking “Activate messages”.
  • You will receive two separate emails once the Customer Success team has started the configuration process.
    • The first contains a security key that you will need to use to reply to the second email. Do not reply to this email; it is for information purposes only.
    • The second email asks for your authorisation. Reply to [email protected] by following the model below and adding the security key you received in the first email:
      “I, [name of brand employee] and [title of employee], grant [messaging_partner_name] the right to send Business Messages using the information specified in this email.
      Security key: [Google-provided security key from separate email]”.
  • Once this procedure has been completed and Google has verified your hotel, they’ll let you know the connection is active.

Make sure that the email address you use to receive these two emails contains the domain name of your hotel or group. Otherwise, it will not be validated by Google. This address is used specifically for sending verification emails and will not be used by Google for any other purpose. For more information, click here or contact your dedicated Customer Success Manager.

Blog post — how can you easily integrate a chatbot into your hotels instagram account 1 social media guide for hospitality: from boosting your hotel’s presence to generating revenue

Summary of key ideas

✓ Creating social media for your hotel is essential for boosting your visibility and standing out from your competitors. But it’s not enough to be present on these platforms: you have to optimise them to make them easily accessible and attractive.

✓ Beyond their role as a shop window, social media represent a real opportunity to increase your revenue and boost your establishment’s sales.

✓ AI is a powerful tool to help you boost your revenue on social media, facilitating instant, personalised interaction with your guests and simplifying the booking process.

✓ Integrating a chatbot using conversational AI that specialises in the hospitality industry allows you to effectively handle more than 80% of your future guests’ questions directly on their favourite social media. Opt for a centralised solution, such as the HiJiffy Console, which gives you the flexibility to manage all messages coming in from various social media from a single platform.

Sources and further reading

Sources

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Melanie-2023
Marketing Specialist France

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