Organic social media marketing does not rely on paid advertising to attract visitors to your digital domains (website, blog, social profiles). In other words, traffic and engagement you get from using organic social media marketing depends entirely on those who come across your social content without having been influenced by an ad. It helps to create a presence for your brand and encourages interaction. Gaining tons of followers is not the be all and end all - building an engaged community that cares about your hotel is. Once the algorithms sees that users are engaging with your content, they will push it to new audiences.
In regards to platforms, there's Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Pinterest, and so many others - not to mention ones that will inevitably appear next year! So... how are you supposed to keep up with all of these platforms and grow on each of them? The answer is you’re not. Focus on where your customer is and don’t feel pressured to be on every single platform.
Take a moment to sit back and consider what you want to accomplish for your brand on social media.
Perhaps you want to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Increase bookings
How can organic social media activity help your hotel's brand?
- It’s cheap. You can post as much as you want on all your platforms for literally no cost.
- It’s authentic. Unlike paid advertising, organic social media content gives you the chance to showcase what your brand stands for without promoting or selling anything.
- It compliments your hotel’s paid advertising. If a consumer is served one of your ads and then later researches the hotel, they expect the messaging and content to match up.
- It fosters engagement. Use the opportunity to connect with your audience by asking questions, encouraging responses, and creating a space for conversation.
- It serves as a help forum. Hotel guests are increasingly using social media pages as a way to contact you directly. Whether it’s to leave a review or send a direct message with questions, social listening is extremely important. If a consumer visits your page and sees there hasn’t been a post within the past couple of months (or even years!) that may lead them to think the page is abandoned, leaving them without an outlet for contact.
Ways you cultivate a community and grow your social channels organically
1. Employ passive and reactive content
Have a mix of both. Ensure you are thinking of your audience when you are planning your content. Create content that is engaging, entertaining or informative. Show your brand's personality, highlight what’s happening in the area & showcase what you have to offer. Passive content is that of which you can pre-plan, but it’s important to be reactive too. Keep up with what’s trending and get involved in the conversation when you can.
To make your reactive content effective, it has to land right for your target audience.
Can you make them laugh with an entertaining reel or post?
Identify a pain point?2. Reels
If you haven’t jumped on the trend of creating reels, now is your time. Reels have a much longer lifespan than any other type of content, and as we know, video content is king. Give it at least 12 weeks of consistent posting to see results.
3. User generated content
User generated content is original, brand-specific content created by your guest and posted on social media. UGC promotes the authenticity of your hotel and opens you up to the guests audience. It’s essential to think of UGC as the modern-day word of mouth. Be creative with how you encourage UGC.
4. Cultivate a community
Community is built when you allow your audience to get involved, and have a voice on your platform.
- Ask your audience a question at the end of your caption to encourage engagement & invite them to share their thoughts
- Make the most of community building features on the platform of your choice - polls on Twitter, Q&A box on Instagram - ask what their favourite thing to do in the local area is, make it relevant.
5. Be Consistent
Consistency is key. We don’t mean posting every day, but ensure that when you do post it’s consistent with quality, timing and messaging. Don’t just post for the sake of it.
6. Experiment and learn
Experiment and learn with insights. Take time before creating your content plan for the following month to review the performance. As with most things, trial and error is needed. Think about your audience, what content resonated with them and use trending sounds when appropriate i.e. when you can put your own twist on it.7. Collaborations with local businesses and mutual promotion
As a hotel, it is important to be able to say the food you’re producing is local, it’s free range, it’s organic. What are the stories you can tell around this – do you know the farmers who supply your meat, your dairy, your vegetables? People want to take care of themselves, they want to know where their food comes from. Highlight any local partnerships you have or community outreach that you do – always tag the other company and use the relevant hashtags for better reach.8. Collaboration with influencers
This is an excellent & quick way to naturally bring in new followers. Reach out to few influencers, set up meetings and ensure your interests are aligned so that they bring in valuable, quality followers. Micro influencers are those with 10,000 followers or less. Their engagement rate is higher than larger influencers because they have a dedicated follower base that trusts their recommendations. These authentic influencers won’t promote a brand they don’t truly like or feel they can get behind (if they’re doing their job right!) Perhaps do some research and find out who, in your area, would be a good one to partner with, and make a plan together. Using micro-influencers widens your reach in a way that feels natural, feels authentic – it’s a form of advertising that engages your guests completely differently to, say, a paid Facebook campaign.9. Think a little outside the box
Social media is a key part of the buying experience now, but in order to help that along, as a brand, you can use Facebook and Instagram to promote the joy and excitement around trip planning – not just focusing in on you and what your property has to offer. Help to enrich your guests’ holiday as a whole. Share itineraries, activity ideas, even create a competition for one lucky guest to win a full day of activities on their trip. All of this helps to increase your reach, but also sends a message about the kind of brand you are.