How to Protect Your Hotel’s Digital Facade
What’s the first thing people notice about your hotel? It’s the way it looks, right? You take time to keep up your property’s appearances, maintain fresh amenities and hire the best of the best. But is your building really what guests will see first? As a matter of fact, it’s not. Your hotel’s digital facade is just as, if not more, important than the physical facade.
Here are the six ways you can protect your hotel’s digital facade. Almost 65% of travelers book hotel stays online; here’s how to make sure that they book with you.
1. Your Hotel’s Website
Your hotel website is critical to your hotel’s digital facade. Often, it’s the first impression a guest will have of your hotel; it needs to be up to date, attractive and accessible by any device.
Your website is the front-facing customer service agent for your business. Your guests can call, but they ultimately want information at their fingertips. That information should lead them to convert – to book their stay at your hotel without feeling a need to ever call the front desk.
The conversion rate on the website of a leisure hotel is only from 1-5%. But there are several actionable steps you can take to increase bookings.
- Clearly state the benefits of your hotel. What sets your property apart from the hotel down the road?
- Include accurate, updated information.
- Secure your website with SSL for online booking.
- Tell your story! Your business is unlike any other. Tell your guests why you love what you do, and how that love will translate to the perfect booking for them.
2. Your Hotel’s Blog
You’ve probably heard that a company blog is good for business, regardless of the industry. That’s true; a business blog isn’t just good for ensuring that your hotel comes up first in a Google search, but it also shows your guests that you know what you’re talking about.
Your business’s blog is another important aspect of your digital facade. If your property has a story, this is a good place to tell it! But you can also tell guests about your city’s nightlife, attractions in the area or anything else you think that visitors will find interesting.
If you don’t have time to start a blog, this is one brick on your hotel’s digital facade that won’t be missed. Updating your blog infrequently won’t help your hotel at all; in fact, it can make your hotel website appear unprofessional. But if you can, begin a blog and update it once or twice each week.
3. Your Social Media Digital Facade: Instagram
You’ve updated your business website and begun (or chosen to forgo) a business blog. It’s time to get social.
Did you know that 80 million Instagram photos are posted every single day? That’s a lot of competition to your own Instagram photos. Creating a stunning, relevant and inspirational feed to entice guests to your property is essential.
It’s nearly impossible to book a hotel through Instagram. Instead, you should use the social media platform as a way to inspire your guests. Your feed, when viewed as a whole, should be a beautifully curated art piece, which allures your viewers.
Remember that your Instagram feed is for beautiful and inspiring images only. Some business owners are guilty of breaking these “laws of Instagram:”
• Do not use PDF images. Ever. Please, just don’t do it.
• Do not use links. Instagram does not recognize links.
• No captions, taglines or comments, please.
• No email addresses. Instagram will recognize email addresses as something else entirely, and you’ll tag strangers in your feed.
Improve your hotel’s digital facade by improving your Instagram!
4. Your Hotel’s Facebook About Page
Your Facebook About Page is an essential part of your digital facade, and it follows many of the same rules as your business website. First, accuracy, accuracy, accuracy! You’ll want to be sure that everything on your Facebook About Page is accurate. Incorrect information can, and will, cause you to lose bookings.
Secondly, please respond to messages which are sent to your Facebook Account! You don’t want to lose revenue to a competitor because you didn’t answer a guest’s question in a timely manner.
Third, be sure that the links, email addresses, contact information and other tools your customers will use are relevant. Once your page is published, ask a friend to double check the entire page.
Keep everything up to date, including phone numbers, links, rates and even your cover photo. Check it regularly, and keep it seasonal.
Are you protecting your hotel’s digital facade?
5. Your Hotel’s Facebook Reviews
There are hundreds of booking sites on the internet, and many of them have reviews. Trip Advisor, Booking.com and Yelp are a few of the most commonly used. But Facebook reviews are important to your digital facade.
Here’s what we recommend to you. No matter the rating you receive, be sure to respond to each and every Facebook review that your hotel gets. Even the most negative reviews can be offset by your responsiveness. It will show your guests that you’re listening, and that you hear both the good and the bad. Don’t simply hit “like,” but use words to reply thoughtfully.
6. Your Hotel’s Twitter Account
Finally, let’s look at Twitter as a part of your hotel’s digital facade. Twitter is huge. The platform currently has 330 million active monthly users. As you know, Twitter allows short “bursts” of messages. Even now that Twitter has increased the characters to 280, information is still greatly condensed.
Be sure to keep up with your Twitter account. Think of it like a phone at your hotel’s front desk. You’ve got to have an ear out for that ring, or you may miss something important.
There are a few ways of communication on Twitter: direct message, retweet or comment. Keep a constant eye on your notifications for any of these. Your Twitter feed will change very quickly – by the minute – and it’s very easy to miss something important. Install it on your cell phone, if you must. But don’t miss a hotel booking because you failed to see a notification.
Learn how to Tackle Twitter in One Hour a Week.
Protecting Your Hotel’s Digital Facade
You want your hotel to stand out, so you ensure that your property is in the best possible shape. But your hotel’s digital facade is just as important as its physical appearance.
The internet is an amazing tool for hotel owners and management. A savvy business owner can use it to put their hotel’s best face forward.