The benefits of a pre-opening social media campaign are totally worth the effort. Social is the perfect place to build an audience, share teasers, generate early room bookings and build out a loyal following. You’re excited about your property. Share that enthusiasm with future guests and build into the launch–starting now.
The ultimate goal of a pre-open social media campaign is to garner awareness. You want to do everything possible to help your hotel make a splash on it’s grand opening. There are several content strategies to drive interest and excitement ahead of opening.
Social Pre-Open Strategies Can Be Scrappy
A pre-open strategy is a three-tiered content approach.
- Phase one is the teaser phase. The priorities during this phase are building buzz, gaining and maintaining momentum and managing online conversations.
- Phase two is the reveal phase—this phase focuses on activating strategies and driving reservations.
- The third phase is what we’d consider to be the celebration phase. This is when the hotel is opened, guests are experiencing the new property first-hand and we’re able to start implementing a user generated content strategy.
Show Your Stuff with Pre-Opening Images
- Sharing renderings during the pre-open phase is a great starting point.
- Detail shots like a close up of a chandelier or wallpaper pattern show off the aesthetic you’re going for.
- Consider animation or movement to the photo to snap things up.
Content Program Considerations
- It’s incredibly important to schedule a social-friendly, lifestyle content shoot as soon as possible when the hotel is finished so we can ensure we’re only using accurate images to portray the space post-opening.
- Destination content is another important element in our content strategy both pre and post-open. Focus on telling the entire story of what a stay looks like as opposed to only focusing on the hotel spaces. Think of how you can get the local community, influencers & media involved.
- Remember to include the local community and invite them to come enjoy the hotel, whether it’s by visiting one of the media outlets, or by booking a staycation.
The Power of Influencers
Influencers are a great way to get the word out about the hotel and grow our audience.
- We recommend partnering with influencers during the celebration stage of the pre-open strategy.
- Strategically select influencers that are in line with the hotel’s target demographics (family travel, couples getaway, etc.)
- By partnering with an influencer, you’ll gain exposure to his or her followers and it’s a great way to grow your following organically. Influencer partnerships are also a great way to build up your content library.
- We recommend inviting the influencers for a complimentary stay and requesting any content captured be shared with the hotel for future use.
The Performance of Paid Social Ads
For brand new properties, we recommend a community building ad on Facebook to generate fans. Run this campaign until you reach a fanbase of 3k. Top priority for both Facebook and Instagram will be Post Elevation campaigns. These campaigns boost your content to a targeted audience of existing and potential followers to increase reach and engagement. As you’re closer to opening and special offers have been confirmed, we recommend implementing various Website Click campaigns. These can run in Facebook or Instagram feed and Instagram stories. This ad type allows you to drive people back to the website and encourage bookings. If budget allows, we also recommend implementing a Reach campaign to drive foot traffic and awareness to the property and its outlets.
Conclusion: It’s Never Too Early to Start Pre-Opening
Whether you’re building, renovating or reimagining a property, that physical work takes months. The same can be said for your digital marketing. Leveraging the visual power of Instagram and Facebook, there are many ways to establish a foundation, build an audience and show off your flair over time. The importance of starting social in synch with the property timeline has never been more opportunistic. Let’s get started!
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About the Author
Director, Client Services
BCV, A RateGain Company