//SOCIAL

Create a social strategy with Melinda Parris

To truly connect with your guests and increase your booking potential you need a strategy that works across all available social platforms.

So, before you delve too deep into posting, tagging and hashtagging, take some time to work out what the objectives and goals you hope to achieve are. It’s no good having thousands of followers and likes if your bookings aren’t increasing.

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When it comes to understanding each social platform, it’s important to approach them all individually. Choose one channel at a time and make sure you are effective with one before you start a another.

They do need to work in unison though and maintain a consistent brand image. Without a consistent brand image your audience will get confused and you may risk losing them.

Done correctly, your social marketing with regular, relevant and engaging content can be a small investment of time that will give you large, and almost immediate, returns.

We recently asked Melinda Parris, director and strategist at Brick Lane Social in Auckland, New Zealand, what her top tips were. To plan an effective social strategy and she told me almost every stage of making travel plans is documented on social media. “From finding inspiration for your next travel destination, to asking your friends and family for advice – where to go, what to see, where to stay, and of course sharing the best photos and videos from your experience.

“When it comes to marketing your business on social media, it’s important to first put a strategy in place so you have a foundation to work from and objectives for what you want it to achieve.”

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Here are Melinda’s three top tips when considering your social media strategy.

1. Ensure you post a variety of content that talks to the different stages of your customer’s journey. For example, give them reasons to visit, helpful information to plan their journey, and tips or hacks to prepare once they’ve booked. It can often feel easier to talk within the four walls of your operation, but you’ll quickly realise that you’ll run out of things to say.

2. Collaborate with your online community. Ensure you’re not just talking at them but including them by sharing their experiences. The authentic and genuine nature of shared experiences is what people look for when considering their accommodation. You can see this with the increasing amount of user-generated platforms like Airbnb and TripAdvisor.

3. Listen, respond and engage in conversation with your online community. You want your customers to experience a warm, friendly and personalised reception not only from the moment they step into the building but their first interactions with your brand.

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We also asked Melinda if there’s anything you should avoid doing when it comes to your social strategy. “Sometimes it feels like there’s pressure to post all the time but the golden rule is always quality over quantity. If every brand used the same stock imagery it would become very generic, very quickly. It’s best to take the time to generate quality content that tells a unique story about your brand that makes it stand out.”

Reach out to the team at Brick Lane Social and get your strategy plan in place.

PRO TIPNick Bonney