In this digital age, putting together a strong social media marketing plan that works for your brand is a top-of-mind priority for hotels and restaurants alike. Nevertheless, the task of creating a strategic social plan can be a daunting and overwhelming one, particularly for properties that have limited resources or are uncertain about which tactics to deploy when looking to reach their social media goals. After you outline what these high-level social media goals are, the next step is to choose the right social media tactics. To help, here's a breakdown of an excellent social media infographic we came across that addresses which social media tools in your toolkit are most effective for hitting your various objectives.
Social Media Goal #1: Improve your guest communications
As the world's largest social network with over 950 million users, it is not surprising that Facebook is an effective way to obtain guest feedback and extend the reach of your brand's message in a personal and, when done right, unobtrusive way. The same logic holds true for the world's largest microblogging platform, Twitter, as the platforms allows for cultivating a two-way customer service dialogue between your hotel or restaurant and your customer.
An often-overlooked channel to help you improve your guest communications is YouTube. While active channel management does requires more time, savvy and resources than Facebook or Twitter, videos that respond to guest inquiries, introduce new property features and showcase destination expertise can be extremely powerful ways to build a stronger guest relationship. As we addressed in a recent webinar, Google+ has the potential to be an excellent customer service channel, with Google Circles allowing you to segment your message to individuals in a way that is not as intuitively achieved by the former social communities. While the social layer has just hit its 250 million unique user milestone, customer engagement across the platform remains significantly lower (only 100 of these 250 million are active users) than other social sites.
Finally, there are several tools within Revinate that can assist with your guest communication management. By setting up social media searches for your hotel or restaurant, you are able to receive important social media feedback about your brand through a daily, weekly or real-time digest. Moreover, Revinate's Social Buzz and Tweet Concierge tools make the time consuming-process of responding to and sharing excellent customer feedback more efficient and painless.
Social Media Goal #2: Increase your brand's exposure
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all too have the ability to assist with augmenting your hotel or restaurant brand's exposure in a way that is uniquely social and complementary to your company's website. Just as consistently compelling Facebook posts can help get your brand's message into users' news feeds, proactive social listening on Twitter affords an excellent opportunity to crowdsource unique user-generated content about your hotel or restaurant. From a personal branding perspective, an up-to-date LinkedIn company profile is an excellent way to showcase your brand for recruitment purposes and to encourage your own employees to actively manage their own personal profiles. If time and resources permit, Tumblr has for some time been considered an ideal blogging platform for branding, as its strikingly visual layout and increasingly important sharing capabilities have allowed it to ratchet up a considerable Generation Y following.
Social Media Goal #3: Generate more website traffic
Before the emergence of Google+ and the rampant buzz around Pinterest, discovery engines like StumbleUpon and Digg were thought to offer the best social traffic generation means. It is true that StumbleUpon still can offer intermittent spikes in traffic to your website and Digg similarly remains capable of producing viral traffic to individual posts once and again. However, if generating more website traffic to your site through social is the paramount priority, optimizing your Google+ presence should be #1 on your To Do list. Managing an active presence on Pinterest, where your brand content is ready to be re-pinned and shared by others, should be second on your list, particularly if you are targeting a female audience.
Social Media Goal #4: Support your search engine optimization (SEO)
Similar to the previous goal above, your Google+ presence will have the biggest long-term impact on improving your search engine optimization through social media. With Google+ pages embedded in primary search results, adding a Google+ button or badge to your website’s homepage will improve your search engine ranking page (SERP) rank and offer you a valuable backlink to your website. Both StumbleUpon and Digg are useful as well for supporting SEO efforts if your brand’s story becomes popular. Finally, YouTube has the unique strength of adding high search ranking video content to your search strategy effort and affords an excellent opportunity to visually give your hotel or restaurant increased exposure.