West Coast Hotels: What to Post on Social Media
- Posted by Arielle Rubenstein
- On May 4, 2020
- Adapt the messaging for your property’s unique selling points to be sensitive to COVID-19 policies
- Highlight your hotel’s natural surroundings
- Showcase your support for your employees and community
The West Coast has captured headlines since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on California and San Francisco in particular. The widespread stay at home orders have forced many properties to temporarily close, but hope is on the horizon.
At the time of writing this article, our West Coast regional dashboard shows that 40% of travelers are looking to travel to the West Coast 90 days out, and 30% are shopping for stays within the next 30 days.
Since March 25th 2020, the majority of users are looking for availability in May and September, and most of the activity is from people in California and Arizona. This data shows that there are short and long term opportunities for West Coast hotels — all that’s needed to stay top of mind is a little flexibility and creativity in your brand’s messaging.
How can your hotel stay relevant on social media and engage your followers — while respecting the mandated policies? Read on for post ideas from these West Coast hotels and resorts.
Re-frame Your Unique Selling Points (USPs)
Covering territory ranging from Arizona to California, the West Coast region is known for stunning scenery and the hotels there are no exception. The challenge here is to highlight your unique selling points in a sensitive manner, a task that the following hotels are excelling at.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Sanctuary On Camelback Resort & Spa has amassed more than 22,000 Instagram followers by sharing daydream-worthy images of their stunning location. Since the resort is temporarily closed, however, their feed has shifted focus to an amenity their guests can enjoy at home: cocktails! So far, the resort has shared four cocktail recipes that are normally served poolside (as well as an Umami-infused popcorn tutorial) that showcase the talent of their culinary team.
The posts have been positively received, with commenters saying how they, “Love the videos and recipes Sanctuary is posting! ❤ ” and “I can not wait until this quarantine is over so that I can experience this first hand…looks delicious!”
Wild Palms Hotel
The tropical Wild Palms Hotel in Silicon Valley, CA is usually a haven for workers from the nearby tech companies. They put a spin on the “work from home” posts currently popular on social media by suggesting that guests work from their pool instead. The lush imagery and timely caption resulted in a 5% engagement rate — twice that of the profile’s average.
The luxurious Hotel Californian in Santa Barbara, CA has been featured in myriad publications including Architectural Digest and Condé Naste Traveler. An enclave for trendsetters, the hotel normally shares user-generated content from the various influencers and photographers that they host.
The hotel is currently closed, however, so they’ve adapted by repurposing media hits and showcasing their best owned photography. The reviews speak for themselves — at time of writing, the post below had an average engagement rate of 5.5%, more than 5x the account’s average.
Screen Pilot Tip: If your hotel is short on PR hits, you can leverage guest reviews from TripAdvisor, Facebook, Google My Business, etc.
Reconnect with Your Natural Surroundings
“Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson.
With large parts of the United States under stay at home orders, the healing powers of nature are needed now more than ever. Though your community would probably like to experience your hotel or resort in person, immersive virtual experiences may be the next best thing. Share beautiful views and quiet corners of your property so that guests will be chomping at the bit to see them first-hand.
If your hotel is located near a park or hiking trails, consider posting a “social distancing in nature itinerary” like Hotel Californian shared, which also served a dual purpose of reminding locals that their on-site cafe is open for to-go orders.
The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch
With recent temperatures soaring to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Scottsdale, Arizona is in the midst of a spring heat wave. The pool at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch has never looked more enticing — and their most recent guests couldn’t resist taking a dip! If your hotel is currently closed, featuring visits from your “new” guests is a fun way to show your property’s personality as well as local fauna.
Noble House Hotels & Resorts
Noble House Hotels & Resorts operates boutique luxury hotels all over the country, with eight properties on the West Coast alone. To celebrate Earth Day, the management group shared a social media quiz that asked users to name as many animal species as they can, with an answer key at the end of the carousel.
This gamified post is a clever way for Noble House Resorts to showcase the animals that call their properties home — and hints that guests should keep an eye out for their furry neighbors on their next stay.
Show Your Support
“We’re all in this together” has been a prevalent theme during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing quarantines. Utilize social media to showcase how your property is supporting team members, partners, or the community at large.
Wild Palms Hotel
For one of our California clients, Wild Palms Hotel, Screen Pilot’s social team recently featured one of their lead housekeepers and her rescue pup on Instagram. Employee feature + pet appreciation = a great formula for social media posts.
Sanctuary on Camelback
Sanctuary On Camelback Resort & Spa showed their support for their team by hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for employees affected by COVID-19. This is a great way to give back to your staff and instill goodwill from the community, as one commenter said, this dinner is, “One of the many reasons I love Sanctuary.”
River Terrace Inn
Located in Napa, California, River Terrace Inn is renowned for their wine country getaways — they even offer a ‘Winemaker for a Day” package! While the hotel is temporarily closed, they’re still showing their support for their winery partner, Raymond Vineyards, by giving them a shout-out on social media with “picture yourself here” messaging.
To honor hospitality workers in the hard-hit city, many of San Francisco’s landmarks have lit up with purple lights, as “luxuruous, confident” purple is the official color of hospitality. Hotel Zoe may not be able to customize their exterior lights, but they made up for it with heart in this “virtual light up in purple” post.
Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
California’s Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort participated in “Take Out Tuesday” by highlighting local restaurants offering take-out in their community. The post was positively received with thankful comments from @VisitCalifornia and the tagged restaurants.
Overall, there are social media opportunities for West Coast hotels of all shapes and sizes. Drop us a line if you need assistance planning your social media strategy.
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