UGC Your Secret Weapon in Hotel Social Media Strategy
Today, Americans spend nearly as much time streaming user-generated videos on YouTube, TikTok, and other online platforms as they do watching traditional TV. A new study from the Consumer Technology Association analyzes U.S. content creator trends. The trade group’s research report, “Exploring the Creator Economy,” found that user-created content accounts for 39% of weekly media hours consumed by Americans vs. 61% for traditional media.
Today, UGC accounts for an increasing share of the marketing budget. And for good reason:
- Consumers find UGC 9.8x more impactful than influencer content. (Stackla, 2020)
- 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions. (Stackla, 2020)
- UGC drives 6.9x more engagement than brand photography
This is especially true in the hospitality world. According to Consumer Reports, over half of Millennials have decided to eat at a restaurant or book travel because of consumer-created content they saw on social media. And this translates to revenue as UGC is highly relevant within a hotel’s social media strategy.
- UGC provides an authentic look into the guest experience.
- UGC can be valuable to capture seasonal amenities and offerings
- UGC validates a purchase decision in powerfully authentic ways
- UGC offers original and fresh content delivered regularly
- UGC can be incorporated into paid advertising efforts by using reviews, photos, and press releases in advertising creative.
Let’s Look At How BCV Strategizes UGC
- Source high-quality UGC that’s aligned with the brand and property priorities
- Create an environment that encourages guests to take pictures of the property
- Think about the most picturesque, or just unusual places, where people already take the most pictures
- Prompt guests to snap and share their own pics with signage and social posts on your property’s social media.
- Always request permission from social media users
- Leverage UGC content strategically in editorial calendars
- Always credit the creator when re-sharing their content
- Have a consistent hashtag strategy in place with the property name
- Make sure to use the hashtag featured in brand posts and also share it on property
- Advertise your social handles and hashtags in the property elevator or lobby
- Review performance to pinpoint what resonates with the audience
- Track engagement and infuse learnings into future content capture
- Identify a diverse mix of content that can speak to various audience segments
How These UGC Strategies Worked for The Peninsula Chicago
One great example of a BCV client that has benefited from UGC is The Peninsula Chicago. They have consistently leveraged diverse and authentic UGC from their guests to highlight their amenities, engagements happening on the property, and weddings:
- 35% of their monthly content on Instagram and Facebook is UGC
- They deploy a hashtag strategy that is consistent, easily searchable and encourages guests to share their own experience: #PenMoments and #PenPets
- Check out this great example of the hotel leveraging UGC to highlight the unique amenities that set them apart from other luxury hotels in the market and reinforce their hashtag strategy
- Finally, they use UGC to share authentic experiences that appeal to more than just leisure travelers
The numbers are real. People, especially younger travelers, convert based on authentic content, often created by their peers. But remember, the User Generated Content strategy isn’t just getting your guests to do the work of marketing. It’s a new job for marketing to inspire guests to want to create amazing shots of your property. Inspire your guests, and they will create moments that amaze.
Want to talk more? We’d love to share insights from hundreds of social successful luxury hotel social media programs.
About the Author
Account Supervisor, Client Services
BCV, A RateGain Company
Stephanie Sosa is an Account Supervisor at BCV with over 6 years of experience in digital marketing. Passionate about fueling business decisions through consumer insights with proven success in the multi-family housing and hospitality markets. She is happiest outside in the Florida sunshine with her French bulldog, Thor.