As important as social media is for online travel and hospitality marketing, it often carries the stigma that it is too complex or too time consuming for small businesses . This often leads travel businesses to outsource or abandoning social media altogether. To help fuel your business’ productivity and social media presence, we have put together a list of time-saving tips.
1. Develop a strategy
Creating a social media strategy for your guest house or B&B does not have to be a complex exercise. It could be as simple as weighting the value of social media to your business, identifying the right social network and target market. For maximum results, try to keep your strategy simple and set attainable goals. Spend some time looking at how other players in your industry are using social media well.
2. Create a content calendar
A social media calendar adds structure and direction to your posts on social platforms. It allows you to identify the best times to post and creates consistency in your social media activity.
To create an effective social media calendar, it is important to identify trends and optimal sharing times related to your market. For example, in the travel industry, Tuesdays are usually a good day to post content and interact with your community on Twitter, due to the #TTOT (Travel talk on Twitter) think tank.
Add a theme to each weekday for variety in your social media calendar. Experiment with the themes until you find a social media routine that works for your business.
3. Work from a single platform
When you sync or conjoin your social media accounts under one application, posting updates becomes less time-consuming.Instead of logging into numerous accounts to post updates, you can compose a single update and distribute it on all your accounts. Applications such as Buffer, Hootsuite and Seesmic allow you to manage your social media content from one platform.
Instagram also has a powerful social media integration tool. Through the photo sharing app, you can post image updates directly to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Tip: Springnest’s auto-sharing feature can be used to post your blog or news articles to your website, mobile website, Facebook page and Twitter, with a few clicks.
4. Schedule your posts
With scheduling tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite, you can compose posts prior to publishing them. This allows you to publish posts to your social media accounts without having to do it in real time – a massive time-saver.
Note: Facebook has a built-in scheduling tool, allowing you to schedule posts from 10 minutes to an entire year in advance.
5. Monitor activity
Applications like Hootsuite, Buffer or Tweetdeck provide helpful insights on how your social media post are performing, and how your audience is interacting with your content.Through a multi-tab system (streams) on these applications, you can see when your businesses is mentioned, schedule and see feedback on your posts. By saving specific ‘searches’ in these applications you can easily track posts and conversations relating to your industry and market.
For example, keeping ‘B&B + Midlands’ as your custom search means you’ll receive feed related to both that has B&B and Midlands in it.
6. Manage conversations, leverage mobile
A big advantage of having a social media presence, is having the opportunity to have conversations and build relationships with partners, industry players, and even potential guests. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ have all released mobile applications, empowering you to respond to interactions and conversations at any time, from anywhere, using your smartphone or tablet.
Most applications enable ‘push notifications’ which will automatically inform you if someone has mentioned you, ‘liked’ your content, and sent you direct message.
Lastly, it is important to measure the results of your social media efforts, weighing up whether the you invest, brings a return to your business. Even though some valuable aspects of social media marketing are harder to manage than others, numbers never lie. Monitor your website traffic to see how many people clicked through from social platforms, use Buffer or a similar tool to see which of your posts got clicks or shares, and take some time to evaluate your Facebook page’s Insights.