There is no shortage of competition online in the travel space. Small and Medium sized Resorts are often left with the task of fighting to compete with large corporate chains with unlimited budgets for marketing and PR. Luckily social media has come along and changed the game and leveled the playing field a bit.
Over the past decade there has been a monumental shift in the way that consumers find and purchase products, services, and yes, vacations online. Creativity is the key to differentiating yourself in this “new normal”, and those that are nimble can outdo the larger companies.
Dare to be different with your marketing approach. Don’t just talk about your resort, talk about the area itself. Educate your customer base and find out what gets them excited through their engagement and “likes/shares/comments”. There are a few simple guidelines once you find out what your base customer wants to hear about.
This may seem like common sense, but many resorts and smaller venues don’t feed enough content to their audience. There are always things about your establishment that you can promote, even if your season doesn’t change at all, there is always something amazing about the area you are located to show off. Think about things that are new and exciting to those that don’t know about you and post often.
There isn’t any point in paid advertising or using PPC methods (pay-per-click) if nothing changes about your website or social media pages. Keep everything up to date with new updates if possible, a few times a week at the very least for your social networks.
Images of your resort and the surrounding area what will incite people to click, engage, and daydream about your location. Don’t you just immediately want to travel when you see some amazing natural structure on a secluded beach? Make sure that when you post on social media, you also use high quality personalized images that are professionally taken whenever possible. You want people to see the picture and envision themselves in your resort.
Making people crave your establishment starts with perfect pictures. Instagram is one of the best social media places to highlight extraordinary pictures of your locale that will keep travelers coming back to see something they missed the last time. Never underestimate the power of some amazing drone footage to explode your bookings when shared and blasted out there.
People just love to win stuff. It seems to be part of our DNA. So capitalize on that fact by offering specials, and giveaways often on your social media pages. It can be as simple on Twitter as asking customers to “retweet to win.” Then you can randomly pick out of those that have retweeted your post to win something. Free dinners, a cocktail or two, and even cool t-shirts are prizes that people would like to win.
Every day Twitter posts trending hashtags that change regularly. Keep up with what’s trending to see if you can #trend-into to whatever is most popular. One great one to utilize are some that go along with the days of the week, like “#WednesdayThoughts” or “#MondayMotivation.” So for example, if you want to promote your Wednesday check-in special, on Thursday, you could tweet, “Are you craving a getaway, right now? #NeedTravel.
That means make your “tweets” and posts personal about your resort. Have a local animal that is constantly hanging around? Tell your fans about it and create a community. It gives your place a more human touch so that people will be looking for that amazing cat that just lays around the property stirring up trouble.
With any post on Facebook or other social media page, you want to link back to your homepage. So whether you are promoting “half-price seasonal specials” make sure that it is driving traffic to your page where they can make an actionable decision.
Or if you are posting a picture of the latest dessert your sensational pastry chef has whipped up then link back to the page with the entire menu of desserts you offer.
On a side note, make sure your website is up-to-date and loads quickly. People will not stay on a page that takes forever to load, so keeping your website advanced will prevent that. It’s estimated that 47 percent of consumers want a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less. If they have to wait over 3 seconds, they will navigate elsewhere.
Focus on times of year and days of the week when people are most likely to book with you, focus all your energy on being in front of them when they make their decision. See how easy that is? When you remind customers of your place right before they receive their tax return, they will have you at the top of mind when they are thinking about where to go next!
You want to build up your Facebook page following by having as many people as you can “like” your page, or “follow” you on Twitter or Instagram. Get local bloggers to come to your resort, and write about it. That way you can have them market for you in a covert way on their websites. Make sure it links to your homepage, and social media pages.
A great story goes for any digital marketing that’s geared towards all the major social media sites. Have a story to go along with your brand. Don’t just be a faceless name on a marquee. As one of the very best tips for resorts, it’s vital that you tell the story of your establishment with some flair. Be meaningful in your efforts. This will make people eager to look at your postings on social media to find out what is going on each week at your popular resort and sure to keep you at the top of their mind.