Here at Screen Pilot, our social media team is pretty well-versed in the marketing and engagement strategies for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Most digital marketers lift up these pillars of the social media world as a holy trinity of sorts – and with good reason, as the channels see more than 3 billion monthly users combined.
If we’re strictly speaking “total subscribers” and “active monthly users”, our team thinks there are three additional platforms your hospitality brand should be exploring.
- Pinterest – 175 Million Monthly Users as of April, 2017
From a trip planning and micro-moments perspective, it certainly doesn’t get much better than Pinterest. The category for travel is one of the top 10 most popular within the Pinterest platform- and if you’re not advertising or, at the very least, managing your brand organically on this channel, you could be missing the opportunity to reach users with very high intent.
“In theory, Pinterest is a marketer’s dream come true: 170 million users, mostly young affluent women, essentially voting for their favourite brands, products and online content.” – Catherine Shu, TechCrunch Writer
Needing a boost in your weddings and events business? Welcome to the Mecca. According to Social Media Today, 40 million people use Pinterest for wedding planning every year.
Optimize your Pinterest efforts like you would any other channel, and you’ll see great SEO results. Do your keyword research, think like a user, be thoughtful in your descriptions, optimize your profiles and pins accordingly, and be sure your pins link back to the appropriate webpages on your site. Oh, and advertise! According to Pinterest, “when someone saves a Promoted Pin, other people see that Pin in their feeds, which drives additional sales, especially among new buyers. Since Pins last forever, your ads continue to engage people and support your goals for years to come.” Advertisers receive an average of 20% more (free!) clicks in the month after launching a Promoted Pin campaign.
2. Reddit – 274 Million Unique Visitors in January, 2017
This online community – now the 9th largest website in the United States with 8 billion monthly page views – is nothing to shake a stick at. Now deemed “the front page of the internet”, marketers are starting to pay attention.
Known on Reddit as “Sponsored Headlines”, ads can be targeted to specific communities, interests, collections, and geographic locations. Especially great for marketing your spa or restaurant to local audiences, interest categorization within this channel changes dynamically based on what content the user engages in – so targeting based on browsing behavior means relevant ad delivery at the right time.
Marriott Hotels recently even won a Webby Award for their innovation in native advertising on the platform. In a brilliant mix of understanding both the channel and it’s users, the hotel giant encouraged users to engage on their sponsored content and even put the responsibility of choosing a contest winner in the hands of the community itself. In the end, Marriott Hotels achieved almost 200,000 clicks on its contest page and Reddit’s highest ever user-generated content for sponsored posts.
Additional fun fact: Reddit currently only sees ~5,000 advertisers to date, versus Facebook’s 3 million active advertisers. Which means less competition for ad placement and user attention.
But buyer beware – this community is insanely close-knit and any inkling of insincerity can mean a reputation management nightmare for your brand. Familiarize yourself with the channel and become an active member, learn from others, and avoid being sales-y and pretentious. This isn’t your average social network.
3. LinkedIn – 106 Million Monthly Users as of April, 2017
For travel and hospitality brands, LinkedIn can be a great option for B2B focused campaigns. Here at Screen Pilot, our clients are continuously looking for solutions to drive awareness and interest in their event space, meeting space, corporate retreat offers, membership benefits, and strategic partnerships in human resources – to name a few. Being able to target audiences as specific as “Job Title” and “Company Name” means pinpointing more than just active job-seekers. Targeting based on seniority means getting your message directly to decision makers within those companies and organizations.
If you’re hoping to bring in new leads for group, catering, or even a specific event or conference, develop a Lead Gen Ad Form to include via your LinkedIn ad campaign and put your sales team in direct contact with interested parties.
Looking for a more organic solution? Create a group page or a showcase page based on your properties’ meeting or event space and encourage relevant partners to follow your updates via email newsletters, RFP’s, sales contracts, and more. Update your LinkedIn members with exclusive offers and availability to keep them returning year after year.
If you’re interested in exploring these marketing strategy options for your properties’ in 2017, or starting with a bang in 2018 with something new, let us know! Our team of social media experts would love to talk strategy, consult on campaigns, or help you execute in a new medium whenever you’re ready.