“Every business is leveraging its reputation by using online platforms and why should the hotel industry be left behind? Here are some ways to build your customer base by making the most of your online presence.”
Hotels are self-marketing entities. They are physically present and stand stunning for everyone to see. This doesn’t discount the fact that they need to go out there and increase their visibility as much as they can. The competition is thick and there is no reason to be laid back. In today’s digital age, every business is pumping up its online marketing strategy. Hotels are doing the same but mere online presence is not what will get people walking in.
There is a lot that the online world has to offer and there is a lot that you need to do in order exploit these offerings. Let’s find out, what all can be done to optimize a hotel’s online presence.
- Trust is the foundation of every customer relationship
If you want your existing customers and potential customers to trust you, you will need to be empathetic and quick in your responses online. You will receive a lot of hate comments from dissatisfied customers but you are not supposed to ignore these either. When you address these online and respond to your customers, they feel important and it is there for all to see. This puts you in a good light and your hotel will be regarded as the one that puts customer service above everything else.
- Website makeovers
If your website is old and hasn’t been updated in a long time, you need to do it now. Freshen it up, add blog posts and be regular with it. People love to read travel tips and blogs on hotels and food and culture of the place you are in. You need to keep up with the latest trends and attract people to your website. Ensure that the website is responsive and easy to navigate. Anything complex and slow loading is a complete no-no. Keep the galleries updated and let the best reviews and testimonials shine through.
If you want your rankings to go up in search engines, you can’t discount the need for SEO. Search engine optimization is not a fancy addition to your online strategy but a necessity. Competition is way higher than you think it is and if you wish to make it to the eyeballs of prospective customers, ensure that the SEO of your website is in good hands. A mobile optimized website is a great way to go up on the rankings and get more traffic.
- Social Media
Of course, there is no way this was not going to be a part of this list. Social media is inevitable. Everyone knows it is the ultimate platform for direct engagement with customers and your target audience. It helps you reach out to a global target audience and you can build trust and curiosity with various campaigns on social media. However, you need to ensure your campaigns are attractive enough.
- Travel forums
Look for local forums surrounding travel where you will be able to answer people’s queries specific to your industry or hotel. Forums are a great way to interact and build online reputation. It is a platform to show your customers and prospects that you are always on top of industry news and can share any kind of knowledge with them regarding your domain.
- Keep an eye on your online presence
Monitoring your online presence is important so that you are aware of what people are talking about you at all times. You can use Google alerts, which is a great tool for web monitoring. You will get quick updates via email and RSS which will help you keep track of your online reputation.
You could offer some seasonal discounts for your hotel or run a contest to engage the audience. You could also talk about any special events that happen in and around your hotel. This is a great way to let people know that you are always up to something interesting. Not to forget, social media is one of the most effective tools of customer service. Talk to your customers, respond to them and get the interaction going!
Write an answer that is detailed and helps the user find the information that he or she is looking for. Reddit and Quora are two such amazing platforms where you can indulge in such interactions.
Online presence isn’t just about being visible on social media platforms and having your own website. It is about maintaining them and preparing solid marketing strategies to extract the potential of these platforms to the fullest. Your hotel business is in the hands of customers. Always remember, the customer’s perception is your reality.