Social media is a powerful tool for businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry. With the number of features, businesses can use these platforms to engage with their audience, market their products and services, and provide the best customer service. Small and new business owners can even utilize social media marketing strategies with little to no budget to stand out from the competition and educate the public about the existence of their businesses.

But because of the effects brought by the pandemic to the business sector, businesses have to change how they use social media platforms. This is especially true for businesses operating in the tourism industry as most attractions are closed to prevent the spread of the virus.

Tourism business leaders now have to find ways to keep their potential guests engaged and encourage them to visit attractions once restriction eases. If you’re a business owner operating in the tourism industry, you need to leverage hospitality social media marketing right now to build your business for the future.

You can make the most out of your social media marketing today using the following tips.

Instead of Selling, Educate Your Target Audience About Your Business

These days, one of the most common functions of social media is to sell products and services. Entrepreneurs operating in various industries use this platform to encourage their target audience to go out and spend their money, especially when introducing something new to the market.

But with times changing in a post-COVID world, Social media continues to change with it. Instead of using social media channels to sell services, opt to use the platform to educate your target audience about your business. Posting the right content on social media will inspire them and encourage them to visit your business once restrictions ease up.

You can educate your target audience about your hospitality or tourism business by:

  • Creating a Facebook page to broadcast alerts and updates
  • Posting blogs
  • Streaming live videos

Strive to Post Engaging Content

The quality of your content can affect the excitement your target audience will have for your business. Marketing your tourism services on social media can increase your brand’s visibility, but this doesn’t automatically translate to engagement. Since you want to build excitement to ensure your target audience will patronize your services once the pandemic settles, engagement is vital. Customer engagement allows you to foster customer loyalty and makes it easier for you to collect valuable insights from your customers.

Leverage social media right now by posting engaging content. Besides promoting your hospitality services, you should also use social media platforms to encourage your audience to reach out to you. There are many ways to utilize social media for engagement, such as:

  • Involve the audience in your posts by asking them questions and encouraging them to leave comments on your posts
  • Add thought-provoking quotes and insights to your posts that encourage your followers to reply
  • Share customer testimonials and online reviews
  • Keep your content short, straightforward, and easy to understand so your followers don’t scroll past your posts
  • Include visual elements in your posts to break the monotony of reading through big chunks of text to help keep their attention

Avoid Bombarding Your Target Audience With COVID-Related Content

The spread of the virus has changed everyone’s lives, but some have experienced more negatives than others. Many have had to cope with losing jobs, loved ones, and personal freedom, so COVID-related resources and posts may incite negative emotions.

Sure, you can inform your audience on when your tourism services will resume and what they can expect from your business once it reopens. However, focusing too much on COVID can have adverse effects on your audience and your image as the pandemic has had different effects on people’s lives.

When using social media to communicate with your audience during a crisis, try keeping your content light every once in a while. Although it’s a pressing issue today, your social media posts don’t have to mention COVID all the time. You should know when and how to draw the line because excessively discussing COVID may negatively impact your target audience’s interest towards your brand. This is especially true if they’re recovering from loss due to COVID and don’t appreciate the reminder.

If you want to use social media to communicate during this crisis properly, take note of the following tips:

  • Acknowledge and listen: One of the easiest yet most effective ways of communicating with your target audience during a crisis is to acknowledge the situation and listen to their concerns.

Since cleanliness is a primary concern these days, you can use social media to inform them of any sanitation practices you are implementing in your place of business. This is a great way to let your target audience know that you’re listening to their concerns and your business acknowledges the new normal, and enhance the customer experience.

  • Show empathy: As mentioned, COVID has changed many lives for the worst. When posting content on different social networks, always show empathy and think twice when uploading memes and jokes. It’s also important to consider the tone of your captions and think about how other people might interpret these.

Many people have lost their jobs, lost loved ones, are overwhelmed by working from home and supervising their children at the same time, or might be sick with COVID. Don’t forget to acknowledge the hardships some people are experiencing and show them empathy.

  • Provide organic value: Offering value-added strategic content to your audience can increase leads and make your business more relevant, even during the pandemic. To provide organic value to your posts, engage with your audience and change your hospitality social media strategy to better adapt to their needs today.

Since there are still many travel restrictions in place, you can provide content that can help your target audience remain productive indoors while still promoting your tourism business. For example, if you own a hotel, you can provide tips on how people can redecorate their home to feel like your getaway destination. If you’re running a restaurant, provide easy-to-make recipes your followers can try at home.

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Stick to a Schedule When Posting on Social Media

According to research, internet trends heavily influence consumer behavior. Before a person pays for a service, they will likely research the service provider before doing business with them. This is especially true if the consumer doesn’t have any experience with the brand.

This ability to influence consumer behavior is one of the reasons you should regularly post on social media. Sticking to a posting schedule will increase the visibility of your hospitality business and allow you to create a positive image online.

So, regardless if you’re posting the discounted rates of your tour services or sharing a positive customer review, pick a schedule and stick to it. Regularly updating your content on social media will help online users remember your brand and, hopefully, use your services in the future.

Creating and sticking to a social media schedule is now easy to automate with the many tools available online. Listed below are five of the most common social media scheduling tools you can use today:

Use Google Analytics

Implementing all of the social media strategies in this article won’t guarantee your business will thrive during and after COVID. On the contrary, your resources may go down the drain if you only implement strategies but neglect to audit their effectiveness. How will you know if your social media strategies work if you’re not checking any of your metrics?

Aside from following all the tips in this article, you should also use Google Analytics to monitor and analyze the traffic of your online platforms. Through Google Analytics, you can easily determine which social media platform drives the most traffic and how social media users interact with your profile.

Moreover, Google Analytics can help you understand which demographic regularly visits your social media profiles and why they leave your page. This tool also provides information on what kind of content you should publish and determine if you’re achieving any goals with your social media strategies.

Properly utilizing Google Analytics will make it easier for you to improve your social media strategies and prevent you from wasting valuable resources.

Invest in the Right Strategies

Social media plays an essential role in the success of any business, but you need to pay attention to the strategies you use because trends are constantly changing. Using a social media marketing strategy that worked before the pandemic hit doesn’t guarantee success when implemented today.

If you want to maximize social media today and attain success in the future, keep up with the times and adapt to the changes happening in the industry. Nothing is ever permanent in the tourism industry, but using appropriate social media strategies will make it easier for you to cope with these changes and still succeed in the long run.

Ready to drive traffic to your tourism business and win more sales? Schedule a discovery meeting today!

Meet the Author:

Scott Rehnberg

Scott Rehnberg, Outreach & Content Strategist

Scott comes to the table with extensive experience in Content Marketing and Digital PR. His passion for Digital Marketing has afforded him insight into the buyer's journey and how to best reach targeted audiences on behalf of our clients. He specializes in Off-Site SEO, Content Marketing, and Link Building, closely monitoring new opportunities for our clients to speak into. When he’s not at work or researching new SEO trends, Scott can be found enjoying time with his wife and children, as well as pursuing new musical ventures.