We all know the tremendous impact social media has had on our everyday lives – from the way we communicate with friends and relatives, to the ways we share information, learn about the world and make decisions. Research has show that before setting off on their trips and making reservations travelers conduct extensive research online. They are looking for the best place to spend their holiday by browsing through reviews and recommendations and reading up on forums online. Thus it is vital that hotels be active in engaging with their tech-savvy audience online. Social media provides many opportunities for improving your brand and strengthening your marketing strategies:

1. Build your brand.
Use social media to gain more visibility online for your brand. Establish who your target audience is and create profiles on their most frequented social media channels.

2. Listen in.
The Internet provides various opportunities for customers to share their experiences with others – review sites, forums, blogs, social media platforms. Stay on top of what customers are saying about your hotel and gain insight on areas you can improve upon.

3. Improve customer relationship.
Taking note of your customers’ opinions online gives you a great understanding of which areas you might need to improve upon and what your customers are most happy about. Replying to customer reviews and showing them that their opinions are valued and taken into consideration will go a long way towards building trust and improving your digital image.

4. Real-time customer support.
Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook can be used by hotel businesses to provide customers with real-time support and answer any questions they might have, as well as respond to their complaints and suggestions.

5. Encourage positivity.
Social media provides great ways for satisfied customers to share their positive experiences with their friends. Use the various features and applications available on social networks to encourage such customers to post their positive reviews. It has been proven that there is a direct correlation between positive reviews online and increased revenue. So, finding ways to encourage customers to leave positive reviews should be an important part of your overall online strategy.

6. Become the local expert.
Become the go-to place for what to do in your hotel’s area by frequently posting on social media about interesting local events, venues and happenings. Incorporate social media sharing buttons on your website and blog, so that viewers can more easily share with their friends your insights and tips on the local culture scene.

7. Reach the top of search engine result pages.
Search engines favor social media and review sites. Make sure you have well-optimized social media profiles, filled with interesting, shareable and relevant content which can help put your hotel ahead in search results.

Social media is a great way for hotels to reach their customers and build strong and lasting relationships. It provides a great source of information on customers’ experiences and with that on areas in need of improvement. Social media provides many opportunities for customer support and for encouraging customer engagement. Take action now and reap the benefits that social media has to offer.