Summer is coming with sunburns, hot ocean beach days, and tourists—lots and lots of tourists all geared up for revenge travel. Travelers are set to go big and spend big on their next trip. Work-from-home professionals have saved their cash during the pandemic and now they’re ready to use it. But there are lots of accommodation options to choose from; how can you make your hotel stand out from the crowd? Make sure your marketing is up to date on all channels to attract summer guests to your hotel—not your competition’s.
Update your property’s website. Now isn’t the time for last season’s ski images. Guests can’t picture themselves in the snow when it’s 90 degrees out.
This goes for written content too. All your rates and packages should be current. Mention any nearby summer events. This makes you stand out as part of the local community and supports your unique selling proposition. Music festivals and farmers’ markets are fair game.
Check that your SEO is up to date and incorporate travel trend keywords where appropriate. Include phrases about family travel. School is out, and intergenerational trips are in. People are on the hunt for hotels with connecting rooms and childcare options.
Your website and booking engine should be mobile responsive and easy to navigate on a smaller screen. More and more guests prefer to book on mobile; it’s convenient. If you offer that convenience, guests may choose to book directly with you rather than through an OTA where you’d have to pay commission…or with one of your competitors.
Make your site look nice. Guests are more likely to sign up for something that’s visually appealing. Make sure your design reflects your brand and curate professionally taken photos. If your current website feels a bit stale, consider a redesign to freshen up your property’s face online!
Repurpose your updated website and blog content on social media. (Start a blog if you don’t have one already!) You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time. You’re busy. Chop and change your content instead. Shorten it a little for Facebook and a lot for Twitter. You can also be more informal on social media than on your site. Have a conversation.
Post videos too. They give guests a lot of information in a way that’s easy for them to consume and share. It’s the old adage, show don’t tell. They also go a long way towards creating an emotional connection. Your guests aren’t all Mr. Spock. They buy based on what gets them excited.
Take advantage of user generated content. Make it easy for guests to share their experience by promoting your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter handles in prominent places around your property. You can also run social media contests with specific, branded hashtags to drum up awareness. Match the contest to your audience. Do they like making funny videos, or would they prefer something they can do in a couple clicks?
For more ideas, read our article on creating engaging hotel social media content.
Use tools like Hootsuite and Revinate to monitor and manage your social media channels. They automatically scan the web for places where you’re mentioned, even if you aren’t tagged directly. That way you can make sure you catch and respond to any negative comments, and share any positive posts across your channels.
Figure out which channels your guests use and concentrate on those. If your audience is retirees, you don’t need to worry about TikTok.
Include buttons on your website that link to your social media accounts to make it easy for your guests to follow you.
Managing reviews is critical to your property’s online reputation. It’s no fun reading about disgruntled guests complaining their towels weren’t fluffy, but you can also use reviews to find out what you’re doing well. Take a peek at the things guests liked and market those things! Guests calling your hotel cozy and quaint? Use that language on your website.
Spend time responding to your reviews. Use your customer’s name for a personal connection and try to be genuine. If something went wrong, apologize. Be the bigger person. It will pay off as potential guests see how committed to customer service you are. When responding to positive reviews, use your business name and keywords to make sure the review shows up in search results.
Eighty percent of potential guests will screen you out if you have three stars or under.
Don’t have many reviews? Ask. Drop your guests a link to your property’s preferred review channel in your post-stay email. WebRezPro PMS comes with automated email templates and reputation management integrations for making gathering and managing reviews easier.
Check in with your guests while they’re still staying as well. It’s a win-win. Any issues the guest has are resolved, so they don’t need to write about those issues online…unless it’s to say how responsive your customer service is. Even if you can’t offer a perfect solution, most people will appreciate that you tried your best to help.
While you want to encourage guests to book directly with you and save yourself those commission fees, OTA sites are still important to your marketing strategy.
OTAs come with profile pages, and you want to fill those out all the way. This ensures your listing is included when browsers use search filters and boosts your credibility. A complete profile looks professional. A half-filled one shows you didn’t put in the effort.
Add images to catch your guest’s eye and keep those images up to date along with the rest of your information. You don’t want to send your guest on an online scavenger hunt for the correct phone number. If you have any special offers coming, be sure to include those too.
Integrate your property management system with your OTAs. You don’t want to have to scramble to find those bookings and match up your rates.
Reviews crop up in OTAs as well, but you’ve got that covered with the tips in the previous section.
Just because people are ready to travel again doesn’t mean the pandemic has gone kaput. Promoting your property’s sanitation procedures and contactless check-in goes a long way towards making your guests feel comfortable booking. Those family travelers you’re trying to capture may have children under five who can’t be vaccinated. Outline the precautions you’re taking online–on your website, social media channels, and OTA listings.
Summer is stressful. You’re putting out a thousand little fires while your staff checks to see that the air conditioning still works. But following these tips will ensure that you get the most return for the effort you put in. You want that sweat to be worth something.