Looking Ahead Means Booking Ahead
A Note from our General Manager
First of all, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year filled with a sense of persistent optimism. I also want to share some thoughts on the trends currently driving successful hotel social media programs–which gives us at BCV many reasons to be very positive about the coming year.
1. The Extended Surge in Revenge Travel. After lockdowns and variants kept us all close to home, people want their vacation time and experiences back! Everyone is traveling–and customers and hotel staff alike need to rally around safety and community to ensure that awesome experiences and travel opportunities can get back to pre-Covid levels. Hotel social media programs will play a pivotal role in connecting properties, people, and possibilities.
2. Media Choices Must Drive ROI. At the moment, every property is concerned with putting heads in beds. Choosing which social channels to leverage means a tough look at the ROI potential of each social network. Instagram and Facebook have proven, sophisticated targeting to reach people who are shopping and booking. A less mature channel like TikTok that is focused on influencers and a younger audience might not be able to drive the immediate booking and revenue needed.
3. The Continued Boom in Short-Form Video. Video today is more than just YouTube. Video Stories are an integral part of social engagement. They are a must-have. But don’t forget the importance of quality video production featuring signature experiences. With more video being shot, quality definitely counts. It’s not enough to be better–you have to look better too. And video is the best way to do that.
4. The Mainstreaming of Influencers. TikTok and influencer marketing have quickly evolved. Professional influencers and social networks are developing new products to help show value. The tools to evaluate the performance of these programs are rapidly improving. Brands that understand how to execute an influencer strategy that fits their business and their audience will enjoy increased reach and perceived value.
5. Proper Execution of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. VR and AR represent very different opportunities. The strength of VR lies in how it takes you to a hotel property that might not even be built yet. That makes VR a powerful option for showcasing pre-openings or unique locations where a property will be built. AR, on the other hand, enhances the context you are already in. AR uses overlays to point out different features, different rooms, interactive maps, and more. Both can add a blend of utility and ‘cool factor’ to your marketing mix. And as you’ll see in the next section, cool factor might just pay off.
6. The Creation of New Revenue Streams. Beyond increased bookings, savvy properties will explore and expand the ways in which they create incremental profit. Social eCommerce is a fast-emerging source, and has increased over the last year. FB and IG have made it easier by integrating social eComm directly within their apps. Social eComm can be used for booking, seasonal offers or flash sales. But the real opportunity is to leverage the luxury and prestige of a property and its location by offering branded gear, experiences, or packages.
7. The Secret Weapon of a Superior Staff. Luxury is tied to service. But right now, and for the rest of 2022, there will be an ongoing challenge to deliver luxury experiences with up to 1/3 less staff. The staffing shortage is real, and that means the team you have and the systems in place must focus on providing a stellar experience–even when short-handed. Making sure you get it right now will go a long way to building repeat business.
I sincerely hope these thoughts help you start thinking about how to take advantage of the many opportunities in hotel social media marketing. At BCV we help luxury hotels with their social media and would love to talk to you about your social marketing plans for 2022. Have a safe, happy, and adventurous New Year!
About the Author
BCV, A RateGain Company
Mark Skroch is the General Manager for BCV Social. Previously, Mark held senior positions with leading agencies such as Energy BBDO, Digitas, Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson. As an entrepreneur, as well as a seasoned leader with over 20 years of experience, Mark has led and implemented integrated communication strategies across a variety of industries, from telecommunications to packaged goods, sports, retail, spirits, mobile devices, insurance, and financial institutions.