When it comes to booking lodging for an adventure, it’s safe to say that travelers seek a hotel experience just as exciting and engaging as the excursion they’re embarking upon. For this reason, I’ve always been drawn to boutique hotels for their ornate charm and intimate guest experience.
As the Social Media Manager for Denver’s premier boutique hotel, Hotel Teatro, I’ve been able to witness what it takes to rock social media for a one-of-a kind, boutique property. Not only is it important to stay on top of trends in the industry – it’s equally as important to listen to your guests on social.
Below are my top five tips for curating and managing a killer social media strategy for boutique hotels:
1. Small, yet mighty – take advantage of your size.
One of the many upsides to managing social media for a boutique hotel is the fact that our property’s smaller size allows me to keep a closer pulse on what our guests think of the hotel and what they are posting about us on social media.
With only 110 rooms, we are intimate and conversational with guests on social media. Another advantage? The size of our property allows me to be mobile, where I could be working on a Facebook campaign from the lobby while simultaneously snapping photos for Instagram and chatting with guests about their stay.
If it’s an option, take advantage of having easy mobility and access to guests in your boutique hotel, and make a point to interact with them on a digital and face-to-face level during their stay.
2. Boutique hotels are one-of-a kind – show what you’ve got!
The vast majority of boutique hotels are independent, standalone properties, which instantly differentiates a boutique hotel from others in the surrounding market.
Before working on a new social strategy, take stock of what your boutique hotel offers that others may not – and leverage that on social. Consider implementing boosted Facebook posts or pinned tweets (both low-cost options), to promote the unique facets and hidden gems of your hotel on social.
3. Give guests a reason to talk – set a share-worthy standard.
Shortly after jumping into my role, we began handing out newsletters to all guests upon check-in. When designing this collateral, I made sure that all of our social properties – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram – were well-represented within the newsletter.
Drive home your social media presence to guests – reiterate hashtags to use at check-in, have your social media handles clearly displayed around property, and guests will be apt to catch on and join the digital conversation.
4. Keep your visuals interesting.
Whether it’s an in-house artisan coffee bar, top-notch amenities or a lobby full of interesting artifacts, these boutique hotel morsels make for great social content, namely on visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
Time and time again, I’ve witnessed guests Instagramming the same area of our property – “The Study,” our lobby, which is laden with interesting textiles, reclaimed wood and bookshelves. Common areas in hotels naturally draw in guests throughout the day, so take note and make sure yours is share-worthy.
5. Welcome back, return guests!
One of the best ways to garner loyalty and win over guests is by acknowledging them on social – what a surprise! All sarcasm aside, dig a little deeper into your folios and keep a rolling list of frequent guests and VIPS on hand, so that you can welcome them with a simple tweet upon arrival.
Remember: your return guests are choosing to return to a boutique hotel for a reason, so give them the service that they would expect from your property on social media. I’ve found through practice that guests appreciate these small gestures, as they are courteous without being intrusive. More often than not, the initial tweet leads to a continuous Twitter conversation throughout a guest’s stay, making for a seamless, ‘distinctly Teatro’ guest experience.
Lindsay Shoemake currently resides in Denver, CO and serves as Hotel Teatro’s first in-house Social Media Manager, where she enjoys being the voice of the iconic brand in the digital sphere. Over the years, Lindsay has been featured for her expertise in social media, digital marketing, branding and PR by the likes of USA Today and The Huffington Post. When she’s not working, Lindsay enjoys blogging, designing, visiting new coffee shops and exploring the best that Colorado has to offer. Connect with Lindsay on Twitter.