As our world moves more and more into the digital space, it's important to keep up to some degree. Knowing your clientele is key to knowing how far into the digital spectrum you need to go. Making your business at least social media friendly will keep you up-to-date with technology.
Business trips and vacations revolve around cell phones and social media, so having free and easy access (and room specific) WiFi is a must. No matter who your guests/customers are, they will need to be catered to by means of a solid, fast WiFi connection. This should be something that is known and happening, so let's move past the basics into more inviting and social media worthy ideas, so take a look at these suggestions:
Create photo walls: Make your business “Instagrammable." Have spots throughout the business that are the perfect spot for a photo. As the restaurant Brew Ha Ha accomplished, the mural in the picture above by Patti Gillespie has become an iconic social media "must" in Pensacola, FL. Create the outdoors indoors, have props, add some extra lights, make it a place where people can’t help but but want to snap a photo. This will make a lasting impression with vacationers and patrons. Memories are held in photos, so help your guests create it by doing more than just supplying the location. These photos will be posted with the business tagged in the location box, providing easy access for future visitors. And the biggest advantage is that this is free marketing for your business and something to take full advantage of!
Have an ongoing hashtag: Creating a hashtag will provide guests and patrons with a digital place to join in together, to see what others are doing that they may have missed, or to simply expand your reach on social media. Make it creative and make it something people beyond your business will want to follow. Here is a link to 7 Examples of Successful Hashtag Campaigns for some inspiration.
Find influencers: Influencer marketing involves marketing products and services to those who have an impact over the things people purchase. For example, bloggers have become important influencers because they are seen as authentic and have loyal followers. Influencers have the power of making their audience want to buy, visit, or consume whatever is being offered. Run giveaway contests, use promo codes, these are great ways to bring awareness to your business. Invite the influencer out to showcase the property and amenities. Influencers are almost like spokespeople, except you work with several of them and reach audiences that one person never could. Influencers give you access to the masses, so take advantage.
Have your own social media: Your business needs to not only be in the social space, but it needs to thrive in it. Having your own beautifully crafted Instagram will invite guests and patrons in, and they will want to follow your account. Post well thought out photos of views, in house food and cocktails, behind the scenes snapshots, and run your own contests. Create a space for your business to sell itself.
These simple things will help your business stand out from the rest, and these changes have the power to make a chain hotel more than just one of many properties, but perhaps a sought after charming boutique hotel. Social media is here to stay; therefore, creating the right kind of digital atmosphere is key to staying relevant in an ever-changing online world.