How Can User-Generated Content Boost Hospitality Marketing
How often have you scrolled through your Facebook or Instagram feeds to find your family and friends’ vacation photos? Whenever they post a photo of the hotel they’re staying at or tweeted about the resort; they’re subconsciously promoting their stays. This type of digital word-of-mouth advertising that comes in the form of photos, videos, tweets, blog posts, statuses is referred to as user-generated content. Essentially, it is the act of brand promotion by an unpaid contributor otherwise known as a fan.
The hospitality sector can leverage user-generated content (UGC) as a powerful tool to boost their marketing. Here’s how to use Social media to improve Hopitality marketing:
Showcase Hotel Facilities and Offerings
When fans post photos of their stay at your hotel, they’re giving their network of friends an inside look at everything from their suites to the facilities like the gym or the pool. When they take a photo of themselves poolside with a cocktail in their hand, they’re giving their audiences a glimpse of what it would like to stay at your resort.
It’s often through user-generated content that audiences discover a hotel’s additional services or something that differentiates them from other resorts. Through other people’s posts, they see that you may offer childcare services or are a pet-friendly establishment. While your website and brochures may already say all these things, it’s different when people see these additional services enjoyed by actual guests.
Build Trust and Brand Awareness
Consumers prefer to see “raw” photos of hotels rather than the overly photoshopped and staged ones that they will see on company websites.
According to the Nielsen Consumer Trust Index, 92% of consumers trust user-generated content more than traditional advertising. For this reason, social media managers are quick to use UGC in their social media marketing. It’s an excellent strategy to build trust with your audience. When your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are filled with nothing but owned media, it appears self-serving and product-centric. Peer-to-peer marketing remains the most powerful form of marketing. By including UGC, your followers get a glimpse of real-life people who have used and given your products and services their approval.
Keeps Your Social Media Active
Content creation is time-consuming. While you can curate content, your audiences will also want to see content that is related to your services. And when you use UGC, you are able to post more consistently rather than posting only when you’ve created new content.
Remember, you don’t have to wait for user-generated content to happen organically. You can invite your guests to tell their stories online by providing an incentive. However, it doesn’t have to feel forced. It can be something as simple as inviting your hotel guests to post a photo while they’re staying at your resort and using a special hashtag; those who do will enjoy a free drink at the bar or a special discount on spa services. You can also garner UGC by holding photo contests that promise a prize.
In conclusion, user-generated content is an excellent marketing tool because of its authenticity. With more people trusting brand advertising less and less, incorporating UGC with your owned media is the best digital marketing strategy.