The hotel industry is in a position of flux at the moment given the increasing popularity vacation rental websites such as AirBnb which are taking a huge chunk of the hotel trade’s business. There are many hotels, particularly the smaller ones which are having much difficulty in attracting new customers and it is important that they continue to change with the landscape in order to say relevant.
There are some hotels who are doing it right such as the Bicycle Hotel and Casino which I stayed in recently, an amazing hotel with a brilliant casino and, most importantly in today’s climate, a strong online presence. The internet, and being popular online, is a surefire way to increase your customers and here is who to go about it.
Social media is the number 1 place to lay your focus if you are trying to create an online buzz about your hotel. I would recommend that at the very least, your hotel has a profile on Instagram and on Facebook. Using these channels not only enables your guests to be able to write reviews and give your hotel the thumbs up after staying, but you can also use this free marketing to really spread the world about your hotel. The key to gaining popularity is to be creative and have fun with your profile. Show off everything that your hotel does and you can count on some more customers thanks to social media.
More than 90% of hotels are booked on sites such as Expedia and Booking instead of directly on the hotel website and you need to make sure that you are featured on these sites. Make sure that when you add your hotel to the sites, that you give every single piece of information that you can about the hotel so that prospective clients know exactly what to expect. You can use these sites to offer promotions such as cheaper rooms at the last minute, so that you don’t leave rooms empty. Make sure that you are confident in your service as guests will be encouraged to leave reviews, and a bad one could ruin your reputation.
A great way in which you can boost the success of your hotel is to reach out to influencers such as travel bloggers who can write a review about your place in exchange for a 2 night sponsored stay. Many of the world’s travel bloggers will bite your hand off at the prospect of staying in your hotel without paying and you can really benefit from this as they can provide you with a trustworthy link back to your website, as well as featuring your hotel on their blog. Given the amount of traffic that many travel blogs receive, you can count on some great online exposure if you are able to use influencers in this way.
Focus your efforts online, and you can see many more customers through your doors.