Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The easy way to get nowhere in social media!

It's not easy to get real followers
It does not quite work that way in social media
So you decided it was about time to get serious about promoting your hotel or other tourism business through social media. You already had a page in Facebook, a Twitter account and Instagram for pretty pictures. Needless to say the sixty some likes on Facebook and the hundred or so followers on Twitter have done absolutely nothing for you, probably worse, they made you look like you are asleep or that you don’t really care, although you probably did not yet understood the downside of looking asleep on social media.

So, you follow the popular and easy way that everyone seems to be using: you spend money to buy a bunch of likes and followers to make you look popular. Your Facebook page now has 10,000 Likes while your Twitter followers have mushroomed to a few thousands … and still nothing happens. Ah! … content! You sign-up on some web site to feed content to your Facebook page and rack up the tweets to look busy and active … and still … nothing happens. By then, you probably realized that you bought dummies, and that the content is only remotely relevant to your business and out of sync with whatever else you are doing to promote your business.

What you need is people, real live ones, not numbers. An active audience to interact with your own timely and relevant content. You also need to be able to respond and keep the conversation going when it happen, not whenever someone has some spare time to post a comment or tweet a reply. The lifespan of a Facebook post is measured in a few hours and that of a tweet in minutes. A conversation extends the life of your content if you catch it when it happen, not later today or the day after.

It is neither difficult nor expensive to make good use of social media. There are countless resources on the Internet to learn what to do and what not to do, including specialized blogs specifically addressing social media for the tourism industry. The bottom line is that, like any other business practice, there is no secret or magic shortcut. You simply need to handle social media in the same way as you handle all other aspects of your business: seriously with a plan and staff time allocated to that, not as an extra task to do on spare time. Get help from a consultant to get you started with a plan and directions if need be, but keep the work in-house with your own team. It is far easier and seriously motivating, to get your own people involved to learn how to promote the business they work for and be rewarded with the results. Your own team lives through the daily dynamic of your activities and once they learn how to present content, posts, blogs or tweets and how to interact with the audience, they will be your best ambassadors and marketers.

And one more thing: Don't advertise!

In a traditional sense that is. For example, never say there are a few rooms left at a special price even if that is the truth, it comes across as you are empty and dying for business. On the other hand, you can well insert a passing mention about being low season in a paragraph, everyone understands that it means lower prices and better availability. Never post a picture of your beautiful and quiet pool with no one around, it either looks like a promo picture or an empty hotel. People are social animals and a pool is a social focal point, show activity, show people. Unlike that of a deserted beach which people like to think they will be alone in the world. Show great food in single plates, never a buffet, as this is especially effective with Asian guests. Smiling staff? Of course, but not standing there posing for the picture, show them interacting with guests, doing what they do best. And never, ever post pictures with cloudy skies, it's just not vacations.

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