Looking for hotel social media ideas? You’ve come to the right place. Today we’re going to dig more deeply into the practical nuts and bolts of using social media as a boutique hotel operator.
In previous posts we covered the social media marketing ideas needed to build a strategic framework and the key elements of a hotel social media campaign. This time we’re focused on the practical ideas that you can put into action.
The breadth and variety of these ideas should help underline why it’s necessary to have a calendar that controls your boutique hotel’s social media rhythm. Through planning you’re be able to make sure your team is on the same page and is publishing posts that compel followers to engage with you.
We’ll also take a look at how these specific hotel social media ideas should be tweaked to suit the channels you chose to focus on as part of your hotel’s social media strategy.
Guiding Your Hotel’s Social Media Ideas
Remember, first of all, that social media marketing is distinctly different from advertising twenty or thirty years ago. The objective is the same — to light a spark that leads to new or repeat business — but much more of the power is in the hands of the audience. The nature of social media means that your messages and channels are always a tiny distance away from being ignored, unfollowed or blocked.
Luckily, there is a simple recipe for avoiding this fate: Your hotel social media posts should educate, entertain, and be useful.
There will be times when you’ll want something from your followers (their business in particular) and we’ll get to those messages last, but at least 75% of the time your posts should be primarily about helping make their lives easier or more interesting. Internalize these ideas and social media will become one of the most fruitful planks in the broader marketing strategy for your boutique hotel.
Helpful and Informative Social Media Ideas
This section has the hotel social media post ideas that should form the greater part of your social media calendar. Further down we’ll get into the entertain portion, as well as more direct appeals for followers to do something, but for now it’s important to know that posts that are helpful and make customers’ lives easier are always on solid ground.
1. Give Dining Tips
Hopefully this is obvious, but just in case: these should not be for the restaurants inside your hotel. Instead show followers that you’re part of a broader community and want to eat the same wide variety of local food that they do.
— Roger Smith Hotel (@RSHotel) May 15, 2017
2. Ideas for Day Trips
Demonstrate to followers that you’re interested in making your guests’ experiences as rich as possible by offering ideas on what to do during the day.
3. Reading Recommendations
Connecting to culture is an excellent way for boutique hotels to differentiate themselves from the mass market. The extra benefit of reading recommendations is that enjoying books related to your hotel, city, or location can really enrich the anticipation that upcoming guests feel before they arrive.
Today we recommend four great Icelandic books you should read while planning a trip here:⠀ ⠀ Halldor Laxness: Independent People – the book is considered among the foremost examples of social realism in Icelandic literature. ⠀ ⠀ Arnaldur Indridason: Into Oblivion – this is the latest crime novel from Arnaldur about detective Erlendur. Erlendur is asked to investigate the cold case of a young girl who vanished into thin air on her way to school forty years earlier.⠀ ⠀ Gerður Kristný: Bloodhoof – Gerður is one of the superstars of contemporary Icelandic poetry. Bloodhoof is the re-casting into compulsively spare modern verse of an ancient Eddic poem ⠀ ⠀ Svava Jakobsdottir: Gunnlöth’s tale – This spirited and at times sinister novel ensnares the reader in a tangled encounter between modern-day Scandinavia and the ancient world of myth. Svava herself was one of Iceland’s foremost authors and feminists.⠀ ⠀ Today we recommend four great Icelandic books you should read while planning a trip here:⠀ ⠀ Halldor Laxness: Independent People – the book is considered among the foremost examples of social realism in Icelandic literature. ⠀ ⠀ Arnaldur Indridason: Into Oblivion – this is the latest crime novel from Arnaldur about detective Erlendur. Erlendur is asked to investigate the cold case of a young girl who vanished into thin air on her way to school forty years earlier.⠀ ⠀ Gerður Kristný: Bloodhoof – Gerður is one of the superstars of contemporary Icelandic poetry. Bloodhoof is the re-casting into compulsively spare modern verse of an ancient Eddic poem ⠀ ⠀ Svava Jakobsdottir: Gunnlöth’s tale – This spirited and at times sinister novel ensnares the reader in a tangled encounter between modern-day Scandinavia and the ancient world of myth. Svava herself was one of Iceland’s foremost authors and feminists.⠀ ⠀ #iceland101⠀ #101experience⠀ #101hotel⠀ #wheniniceland⠀ #Authors⠀ #writers⠀ #Book⠀ #recommendations⠀
Make it something distinct to your boutique hotel or its culture and the followers who make it will feel a deeper connection (which they can tell their friends about) to your property.
5. Give a Weather Report
This helps inform upcoming guests and makes it easier for them to know what to pack, but it also helps handle potential objections if the forecast (like the example below for London) is pleasant. The other ideas in this category work well across all of the major social channels, but because Twitter is more focused on timely updates, this idea works best on that channel. The idea could work on Instagram or Facebook, but it would have to be less direct. E.g., a photo of a sunny boardwalk underlined by accompanying copy about the weather.
Guests staying with us this week will be able to enjoy beautiful weather ☀️ pic.twitter.com/I0gk6BP0qA
— 41 Hotel (@41Hotel) May 22, 2017
Social Media Ideas that Connect with Other Users
The purpose of these hotel social media post ideas is to connect with others, mutually amplify each others’ messages and, well, be social. At base, there is a certain quid pro quo to some of these ideas — I share your post about my business in the hopes that you’ll continue to tell followers about the excellent stay you had with my hotel.
6. Connect with Influencers and Repost Content They Create at Your Hotel
More than five years ago, the leading of edge of getting positive coverage (also known as earned media) moved from editorial to bloggers and now it has shifted further to a group of content creators that call themselves influencers. Their large, specific, and engaged audiences are a direct route to new business. A McKinsey study found that this type of marketing is twice as effective as traditional paid advertising.
Depending on the size of your hotel, perhaps an even greater opportunity is to work with “micro-influencers”. Their reach is much smaller, but their audience is even more targeted again. This can be very helpful, especially for campaign launches where “grassroots” support helps you to get traction.
7. Run an Influencer Campaign
Once you’ve found your footing with one influencer, the next step is a mutli-influencer campaign or event. The Terrace Hotel put on the award-winning #SocMediaSleepover where they invited influencers to stay at their hotel for a night and participate in a murder mystery party.
8. Pet Influencers are the Next Frontier
Dogs especially are a surefire route to unlocking a positive “ah, that’s so cute” reaction with a network of potential customers. All sorts of brands, including boutique hotels are tapping into pet influencers as a social media idea.
9. Make a Space “Instagrammable”
Social media posts become noticeably more effective as marketing tools when they have an obvious connection to real-life experiences. Creating a physical Instagram frame is a fun and savvy way to bridge the gap between digital and personal.
10. Repost a Guest Review
At this point, we’re steering more towards self-promotion with the idea of reposting a glowing review that a guest has left on a site like TripAdvisor. The goal is to move followers along the path towards becoming customers by sharing an endorsement from someone they might identify with. The best reviews to post, are ones that mention a specific feature of your boutique hotel — “the room design has a personal, human touch!” or “staff had suggestions for nearby by restaurants that were unbeatable!”
This hotel social media post idea works best on Twitter and Facebook where it’s less likely to disrupt the more cohesive style you should have cultivated on Instagram.
— Roger Smith Hotel (@RSHotel) May 23, 2017
11. Repost Editorial Reviews or Blog Posts
Here’s another post idea that amplifies a positive message about your boutique hotel. Feature-length reviews are a rare diamond in the world of marketing tools, so maximize the return you get by sharing them widely. Bloggers and travel publications are keen for as much traffic on their websites as possible, so they will also be grateful to see you help promote the article.
Again, Twitter and Facebook are best for this tactic, especially because they allow for more effective resharing and outbound links.
Post Ideas that Add a Human Touch
People and personality are critical elements that distinguish boutique hotel from mega chains. These social media post ideas cover the areas that help give a softer, friendly touch to your marketing efforts. I think they work especially well at encouraging repeat business because they help remind past customers of the people who helped make their stay a great one.
12. Staff Profile Photo
Show a member of your staff happily hard at work.
13. Behind the Scenes Look
Even better is give a casual, unscripted view into how staff solve problems for guests and make their stay more enjoyable and pleasant. As a “quick hit” post, this idea does best on Twitter.
Behind the scenes at 41. Adele and Lauren hard at work setting up a guest request! pic.twitter.com/NsTzC2dUiA
— 41 Hotel (@41Hotel) May 26, 2017
14. Community Event Photo
When staff go out into the community to participate in special events it’s a great opportunity to create content for social media channels.
15. Staff Raising Funds for Charity
Equally, when staff take the initiative to participate in fundraisers for a cause, spread the word! The organizing charity will also benefit from the increased visibility.
— 41 Hotel (@41Hotel) May 23, 2017
“When I travel I want to experience life like a local,” is an oft-repeated motto of the boutique hotel visitor. Embracing this philosophy is one of the reasons that Airbnb has managed to position its network as a distinct option from traditional accommodation. The content you share to social media can help counter this by demonstrating your boutique hotel’s full-time, full-service connection to the local community.
16. Local Holiday Tradition
Holidays are a way for us to connect through our shared differences. Telling guests, for instance, about how locals welcome the new year in your part of the world, gives your social media posts local character.
17. Wildlife Video or Photo
Nothing captures the idea that your boutique hotel offers an escape from the big city and working lifestyle quite like a photo of deer in your backyard or an eagle circling overhead.
18. Celebrity Photos from an Event
If your hotel is in a city like Los Angeles or Hong Kong, celebrities are probably a big part of its context and appeal to guests. They are “the local wildlife” so to speak and it makes sense to put them front and center on your social media channels.
With the new photo stack feature that allows users to upload a series of related photos or videos, Instagram is even better suited to this post idea.
Showcase Your Boutique Hotel’s Special Features
As we get deeper into this list, the ideas are more self-promotional. So long as these posts are balanced with a greater number of helpful or entertaining ones, there’s no need to hold back. But be sure to put as much thought and effort into all categories of posts.
19. Introduce a Feature
Tell followers about some part of your boutique hotel that makes it special or particularly useful for meeting their needs.
20. Take Followers on a Video Tour of the Property
Production value matters especially here, so this is definitely the place to hire a professional rather than trying to do it yourself. Youtube is an obvious choice for sharing videos, but Facebook is just as suitable and has more robust tools for finding an appropriate audience for your video through paid promotion.
21. Introduce Regular Menu Offerings
Give followers a glimpse of the food offered at your boutique hotel. Make sure the food looks delicious and is well-presented, but also avoid over-promising. The food that appears on your social media channels should be what the visitors can expect to receive if they order it.
In the example below, the fireplace in the background and the hand placing the menu add liveliness to the photo. This type of peripheral activity makes food photos seem more realistic and less posed.
Food photos do well on almost all social media channels, but Instagram is particularly appropriate.
Light and bright, start your morning with a continental breakfast #regram ?: @mikajohn_ #breakfast #continentalbreakfast #croissant #orangejuice #oj #London #LondonHotel #LondonTravel #TravelGram #InstaTravel #RedCarnationHotels #LuxuryTravel #luxuryHotel #FiveStar #5Star #BoutiqueHotel #Hotel41 #Belgravia
22. Promote a Special Event or Menu
These could be related to a particular holiday or might be a special culture event like an author discussion series. Letting followers know about these plans is a great way to attract business from locals.
Text over an image, like in the example below, allows you to circumvent Twitter’s character limit and also means that the details are more likely to be seen by Instagram followers than if they were included in accompanying copy.
— The Falcon at Hatton (@thefalconhatton) January 16, 2017
Discounts and Offers
Offering something at the same time that you’re saying “please book with us” is an excellent way to make a social media post seem more selfless than it is.
23. Discount or Promotional Deal
Direct and to the point, these posts should be clear about what’s in it for the customer. They should also create a sense of urgency — this price is not the regular price. Finally, it’s important that while you’re offering a discount you don’t break from the usual tone and aesthetic of your hotel’s social media posts.
— The Standard (@standardEV) May 23, 2017
24. Offers Specific to a Channel
Facebook gives the opportunity for businesses to advertise a discount or other offer as a special type of post. These are great for reaching a particular audience (like visitors to your website) and have layout features that make them stand out from other Facebook posts.
The Pure Asks
In this category of hotel social media post ideas, we have something in mind and our followers can help us get it. Make them direct, to the point, and balance these asks with other more selfless content.
25. Vote for Us
Personally this is my least favourite type of social media post. Registering to vote in an online poll can be cumbersome and time-consuming and there usually isn’t anything in the bargain for the followers who take the time to vote. But if you feel your hotel is likely to win an award that will bring in valuable business go ahead and promote. But don’t do it half-heartedly and make sure you truly are one of the front-runners.
— 41 Hotel (@41Hotel) May 29, 2017
26. Announce an Award Win
The more palatable flip-side to the previous idea is letting followers know when your boutique hotel wins an award. Everyone understands the excitement of winning and will be happy to share in the good news. Be sure to thank those who are responsible, whether it’s a selection committee or the voting public.
We’re delighted to have been awarded a prestigious #ForbesTravelGuide Star Rating award! Check us out here: http://ctt.ec/5L8X1 . . . #awardwinning #LondonHotel #LondonTravel #TravelGram #InstaTravel #RedCarnationHotels #LuxuryTravel #luxuryHotel #FiveStar #5Star #BoutiqueHotel #Hotel41 #Belgravia #London @redcarnationhotels @forbestravelguide @createvictoria
27. Come to Our Event
Share the details and encourage ticket sales for a special event with this social media idea. On Instagram in particular, images with a classic feel and informative text can stand out and grab attention.
Consistent Principles for Hotel Social Media Ideas
As you build your following and your team increases their familiarity with the channels you have picked to focus on, these hotel social media post ideas will become second nature. As well, your social media calendar will help establish a rhythm that means you don’t have to search for new ideas. Throughout, keep in mind that:
- Social media posts should always be educational, entertaining, or useful.
- The primary purpose of at least three-quarters of your posts should be to make your followers’ lives easier.
- For the other quarter, when you ask for something, be direct and don’t break from your established style.
- An essential part of using social media effectively is to cater messages to the particular channel (e.g., Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.)
We’re happy to help you build out at social media strategy that includes a plan for putting these post ideas to work. Drop us a line and we can start a conversation about how social media can encourage direct bookings for your boutique hotel.