Marketing Your B&B On Social Media
Marketing your B&B on social media provides you with a massive opportunity to reach new guests, engage with long-standing fans of your B&B and grow your brand across a wide range of platforms.
But marketing your B&B on social media isn’t just about posting away on every social platform available. You first need to have a plan in place.
These 5 simple steps will help you to maximise social media in your B&B even further:
#1: Identify your brand and your audience
There is a lot of noise out there on social channels so it’s really important to decide what it is about your B&B that sets it apart from the competition.
Ask yourself a few questions:
– What makes your B&B different?
– What does your B&B have to offer?
– What can you do to stop your guests (or potential guests) from scrolling past you in their feed and actually engage with your posts?
It’s also really important to decide on the tone of voice you’ll adopt on social media and how this fits into your overall marketing strategy.
Social media, as with all the other marketing pillars you have in place, is an extension of your brand so it’s vital to ensure you have consistency across your website, social media and any other touch points someone may have with you.
Once you’ve decided on what you’ll be talking about, you’ll need to figure out who you’ll be talking to.
One of the best ways to do this is to create a Guest Avatar. Information such as age, gender, location, interests, devices and occupation are massively valuable when putting an Avatar together.
Audience data is readily available from a host of different platforms like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.
You’ll likely make a few tweaks to your Guest Avatar over time as your audience grows and could end up with a couple of different Avatars to suit your different business goals.
#2: Learn from the masters
When it comes to marketing your B&B on social media, it’s also important to explore other people’s social media profiles – and not just your competitors, look at the social media profiles of complementary businesses as well.
Check out the profiles of brands you admire and the brands your guests would be interested in. Gather as much information from them about what works.
Look at how often they are posting and what times they are posting. What exactly are they posting about? What is getting the most interaction – pictures, links, videos or questions? Look at what is working for them and try to integrate that into your posts. Also note what isn’t working and what you could do better!
#3: Define a social content strategy
Copy and paste just won’t work. Different platforms call for different content and will depend on the audience you’re looking to target.
For example, if you know that your Guest Avatar tends to consume more visual content you’ll likely be looking to focus attention on platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube rather than say, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Personally, I create a ‘Content Calendar’ to map out my activity over different weeks or months to ensure I have a full picture on the type of activity I’ll be running per platform.
As well as giving me a holistic view of my activity, it’s also a great way of ensuring that each different post or campaign is clearly linked back to my objectives.
Also, it’s really important to understand the specifications for content on each platform – image sizes, video length, text restrictions etc – to ensure that when you’re ready to launch a campaign, you have a full arsenal of assets at your disposal. And again, don’t just copy and paste, think about how that content is consumed on each channel.
#4: Engage with your audience
Ensure you always engage with your audience – add to discussions, provide your own insights, pose topical questions, start interesting new threads.
Always respond to comments and posts to show you are listening and that you do take notice and genuinely care.
Social media is definitely an ‘always-on’ channel so be prepared to speak to your target audience on their schedule, or at least set their expectations on when you’ll be available to respond to them. If you leave a query unanswered for a few hours you could be at risk of losing a potential new guest or upsetting an existing guest.
There are thousands of conversations happening on social media (some relevant, some… not so much) so my advice is to get involved where it’s relevant for your business. Platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are rife with hashtags which allow you to jump on hotly discussed topics and share some valuable insight.
#5: Test, measure and refine everything you do
The key to measuring your results is to not be afraid of data – there’s a whole load of it at your disposal when running digital campaigns and social media is no different.
You’ll most likely be using the same analytics platforms you would have familiarised yourself with when creating your Guest Avatar such as Google Analytics and the insights you can get from each of the social networks you’re running activity on.
It’s massively important to keep track of what activity has worked in line with your business goals and it’s equally as important to understand the activity that didn’t work. There will be some valuable insights into what approaches don’t quite resonate with your target audience, which will allow you to tweak and refine activity over time.
Until next time, remember …
Marketing your B&B on social media will help you to attract more guests and increase direct bookings. If you want engagement, and ultimately bookings, YOU need to be engaging, be conversational and ask questions. And you always need to leave room for your audience to add their voice.