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Social Media for Hostels – Strategize, Integrate and Engage!

Social Media was made for the hostel and budget accommodation market – cost-effective and far reaching.  And it’s a leveller – you can be a small fish in the big pond yet make more of an impact then the big boys if you do it well.  Whatever the size and type of the accommodation business, Social Media must be integrated into all marketing activity!

Embrace social Media and all that comes with it. If you just dabble, you’ll get nowhere fast.   Fail to answer that critical tweet or comment on TripAdvisor or other UGC sites and all other marketing efforts you might be proud of could go down the drain.

It’s amazing how many businesses think they have to be on Facebook or Twitter just because everyone else is or it’s the thing to do e.g. if you build it, it will be ‘liked’ automatically.   Businesses need to have a fully-integrated marketing strategy so they can meaningfully interact and socialise with their fans and followers.

Too often the Social Media ‘expert’ is someone who has been assigned the task rather than a person who genuinely embraces the medium and all its possible outcomes.  Your Social Media specialist needs passion, needs to know your product and services intimately, understand there are objectives and can communicate effectively, with personality.  

The excuse that it’s hard to measure the result or get a ROI is frankly rubbish.  More and more tools are available to watch impact – search engines now pull results from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and Google Analytics can measure the impact of Social Media.  Plus the goal is not just to measure for a specific ROI but to gain engagement. It is a great way to connect with customers, build loyalty and grow your reputation.

So how do you use social media to get results from your marketing efforts? 

  1. Be active! Add engaging content often and don’t be silent for too long.   An average of 10-20 tweets a day is a great start.
  2. Share lots! Enable shares from your website, share other’s relevant content on Facebook and retweet tweets from others.   
  3. Show your social media links on all marketing material from your website to email and even offline such as on posters.
  4. Think about the timing.  The time to add Facebook posts or tweet is definitely an art form worth playing with.  It is said that outside normal business hours gets a higher response. 
  5. Get engaged. Ask questions, encourage comments and make sure there is an actual personality behind the brand.

Social Media gets results but think about how to weave it throughout your sales & marketing strategy.   It will be worth the effort.

Jeannie Shapiro
http://tinyurl.com/6zr8f7w

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