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Social Selling in the Hospitality Industry

Take a step up from basic social media marketing and a step towards better brand relationships.

When your hotel can be in the minds of customers without having to talk to them directly, why ever bother with a cold call again?

Social selling is today’s sales pitching. Don’t be mistaken in thinking that it ends at having a social media presence. It’s taking that social media presence and using it to expand and strengthen a loyal customer base that will be thinking about your business before it’s even brought up.

LinkedIn provides a metric they call the Social Selling Index (SSI) for businesses to assess their success in social selling. According to their statistics, 78% of social sellers outsell those who don’t use social media.

The SSI is calculated based on four key elements: establishing a professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships.

Though it takes a different approach from standard advertising, hotels have a lot of room to benefit from social selling. Here’s how to apply each element of the SSI to level up your hospitality.

Establish your professional brand

Establishing a brand comes first and foremost; it’s the basis for success for hotels just as much as it is for any other type of business.

Get your name and logo out into the world and into the minds of potential customers.

Creating an online presence is the first step in making the most of social selling. Having an easily accessible and easy to navigate platform for clients to view is key for more people getting more information about your business.

Take it further and use this platform to establish your niche as a hotel. Who do you aim to serve: traveling businessmen or tourists? What sets your hotel apart from others; is it world class customer service or unique dining experiences?

Find the right people

When done right, one of social selling’s biggest benefits is that you can find who’s already talking about your hotel and hone in on them.

Once your brand is out there, the people who are most likely to become patrons will be paying attention. Reap this benefit by pushing the services that will attract these customers most.

Again, consider what features make your hotel unique, and pander to those who will gain from it.

Do you have a rentable party space that’s been sitting empty? Use social media platforms to get in the face of people who will be interested in booking.

It’s like targeted advertising, and you’re using social media algorithms to your advantage to do the bulk of the work for you. Just make sure you’re reaching the right people.

Engage with insights

Insights are arguably social media’s most powerful tool to be wielded.

Sites like Instagram will provide numbers analyzing every post for the accounts it reached, engagement, profile visits, and more. This makes it incredibly easy to assess what content your viewers are liking best.

Instead of looking at individual clients to figure out what sells, social media users can show you en masse.

Encouraging engagement is a great way to both bolster your online presence and get further data. Use additional features such as polls to get feedback in a way that’s more convenient and more appealing to clients.

Build relationships

It may seem counterintuitive to partner with your competitors, but forging those relationships is key in the online-focused modern world. Connectivity is how you reinforce your presence and increase web traffic.

Immediate benefits from partnering with other hotels can include pooling resources for advertising and reaching new clientele.

Consider working with companies from adjacent industries, too. Collaborate on exclusive deals on booking airline tickets or car rentals to the same benefits.

Building relationships with other businesses leads to a relationship with their customer base.

Another component of this element is bonding directly with your own pre-established customer base. By maintaining your presence in their minds, you can get more customers coming back.

Applying all of these tips will help with search engine optimization.

Even for smaller businesses that are building their customer base from the ground up, garnering online traffic is an achievable goal.

In a world that’s shifting more online with every day, online presence is the best way to get in people’s heads, where your brand will be more likely to be their first pick.