Social media can be overwhelming, with many platforms, a variety of formats and various audiences in every direction. As consumer preferences continue to change, so does the digital landscape. And you need to be visible where your guests spend their time online.

Being present on the right social media platforms can transform your hotel's digital narrative. It’s not about being everywhere, it’s about targeting the right people. Are you connecting with the right audience? A curated Instagram post might attract leisure travellers, while a well-crafted LinkedIn update could appeal to corporate event planners. Recognising these differences and crafting content to match can truly impact engagement and conversions. Plus, it’s more than just securing bookings. Constantly engaging with your audience builds brand loyalty too. When guests resonate with the stories you share, they're more likely to return and recommend your hotel.

Using resources without a strategy is a gamble. Dive in to learn how to choose where to invest your efforts and craft stories that resonate with your guests.

Setting the scene for a successful hotel social media strategy

The first step is knowing whom you're trying to reach and why. Every hotel caters to a unique blend of guests—from leisure travellers, and business travellers to families or couples. Each has distinct preferences and expectations. Figuring out your target guests helps you tailor your messaging and choose platforms that best resonate with them.

Then, set clear objectives. Are you aiming to boost off-season bookings, enhance brand awareness, or showcase new amenities? With concrete goals, your social media efforts will align better with your hotel's broader vision. Like this, you’ll ensure that your digital voice resonates, connects and compels.

After you’ve identified your target audience and set your goals, you can finally start deciding what social media platforms are the most useful for your brand. Here are the most relevant ones for hotels, complete with what audiences they help target.

Two young people looking together at a phone.
The first step in creating a social media strategy is figuring out where your target audience spends their online time.

The biggest social media platforms for hotels

1. Instagram

Instagram is like a digital photo album. It's a chance to show off your best amenities, from cosy rooms to gourmet breakfasts. When travellers see stunning visuals of your hotel, they're more likely to imagine themselves there. And with over a billion monthly active users, a lot of eyes could be on your hotel. Many users are aged 18-35, but there's also a growing number of people from older generations on there too. 81% of them aren’t just scrolling; they’re researching what to buy or where to book next.

What's great for hotels is the range of content you can share. Beyond just photos, you've got Stories for daily updates and Reels for short fun videos. Maybe it's a chef's tutorial from your restaurant or a guest enjoying their spa day. Partnering with influencers can also give your hotel a boost, getting you in front of their followers.

If you decide to invest in your Instagram strategy, it’s more than just about posting pretty pictures. You need to engage directly with your audience. Consider creating special promotions exclusively for Instagram followers, or showcasing real guest testimonials. It’s also a great chance to build collaborations with local businesses. These can transform your Instagram into a dynamic hub that continually drives bookings and boosts guest loyalty.

Screenshot of the social media profile of a hotel.
Instagram can be a great way to showcase your brand personality.

2. Facebook

Facebook isn't just for catching up with old friends. With 2.8 billion monthly active users, it’s an expansive community with potential guests from all walks of life. The real strength of Facebook comes from its demographics: while 32.4% of users fall within the 18-24 bracket, a significant number span the 25-55 age range, perfect for targeting families, business travellers, and event planners. And with 1.84 billion people checking in daily, there’s a consistent opportunity to engage, promote, and build relationships.

Plus, it’s great for more than just posting pictures or announcing offers. Facebook's advanced ad system allows for tailored promotions, ensuring your summer deal reaches the family planning their vacation, or the discounted suite rate finds the businessman looking for a last-minute booking. Then there's the trust factor: guest reviews and ratings on your Facebook page can be the deciding point for many. And let's not forget tools like Messenger, which can bring your guests closer to you through direct communication.

Person browsing the social media platform Facebook.
The intricate advertising options on Facebook can be a great asset for reaching new audiences.

3. YouTube

Think of YouTube not just as the world's second-largest search engine but as a window into your hotel for a massive online audience. Its audience is diverse—mostly between the ages of 18-50, so it’s a platform swarming with potential guests. With over 2 billion logged-in monthly users, there’s an abundant opportunity to capture attention. From families seeking a safe holiday destination to backpackers hunting for an authentic local experience.

Virtual tours of your rooms, common spaces, and surrounding attractions can transport viewers straight to your hotel. Seamlessly incorporated customer testimonials, provide a trust factor, while videos showcasing nearby attractions can paint the broader experience of staying at your hotel. The 'how-to' spirit of YouTube can also be channelled by hotels, with content like 'How to spend 48 hours in [your city]' or 'Making the most of your stay at [hotel name].'

Video production can indeed be resource-intensive, but it's an investment. People watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos a day, hunting for entertainment, insights, or guidance. Capturing even a fraction of that attention with immersive video content can make all the difference in a potential guest's decision to book.

Person filming someone else singing.
People watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day.

4. Pinterest

Pinterest serves as a digital mood board for millions. Here, dreams take flight and plans take shape. With over 478 million monthly active users, the platform excels in driving intent. Over 85% of its users turn to Pinterest for planning, and a significant portion of these are planning trips.

Especially appealing to women aged 25-45, Pinterest is a hub for those seeking travel inspiration and event planning. High-resolution images of your hotel rooms, the picturesque surroundings, and any unique features can spark wanderlust. Infographics on local attractions, boards highlighting themed stays, or travel tips specific to your location offer added value, acting as a teaser for what guests can experience.

Plus, it has a click-through rate that's higher than other social platforms. As a result, Pinterest is great for driving traffic to your hotel's website. While users often begin with daydreaming and ‘pinning’, it’s a key touchpoint in the early stages of travel planning. Engaging content here can nudge them from the 'dreaming' phase to the 'booking' phase.

Person creating a moodboard.
Pinterest is a digital mood board—create wanderlust with enticing photos of your property.

5. LinkedIn

While the social platforms we've discussed so far primarily cater to leisure travellers and vacation planners, LinkedIn is different. This professional network, with over 774 million members, is an untapped reservoir for hotels looking to target the corporate sector.

Primarily drawing professionals aged 25-55, LinkedIn has become a goldmine for hotels situated in business hubs or those boasting state-of-the-art conference facilities. Promoting business amenities, spotlighting your event spaces, and sharing corporate testimonials can attract the refined business traveller or event planner.

Beyond just attracting corporate bookings, LinkedIn also serves as a platform for showcasing your brand's corporate ethos and culture. Highlighting staff achievements or sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses into the hotel's operations can boost your hotel's reputation as an employer.

In essence, while LinkedIn might not be the first platform you think of for hotel marketing, it offers a laser-focused approach to reaching the business community. For hotels that cater to this demographic, it's an invaluable tool to ensure their rooms are always in demand, be it for a business conference or a solo business trip.

People discussing at the registration desk of an event.
LinkedIn is a great platform to reach event planners.

6. TikTok

TikTok is where creativity reigns and short bursts of content captivate millions. It’s the platform where younger generations—primarily Gen Z and younger millennials aged 16-30—spend their time. So much so that it has over 1 billion monthly active users.

Contrary to what you may think, TikTok isn't just about dance challenges and lip-sync videos; it's an evolving platform where hotels can truly shine by showcasing their fun side. Think short, spirited clips that highlight unique amenities or take on trending challenges. Engaging with the TikTok community can also pave the way for exciting influencer collaborations, as over 86% of TikTok users say they like to see brands collaborate with creators.

It’s easy to think of TikTok as a platform for the youth, but it's vital to remember that today's TikTok-loving teen will be tomorrow's travel decision-maker. Users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app, so there's ample opportunity for hotels to create lasting impressions. Investing time in TikTok now is not just about immediate engagement—it's about building relationships with a demographic that's swiftly coming into its spending power.

Person recording with a phone and a ring light.
TikTok is an evolving platform where you can showcase your fun side.

Next steps

Social media is an ever-evolving space. New platforms always emerge and change, like Threads, or those we haven't delved into, such as Snapchat and X (formerly Twitter). But it's crucial to remember one thing: spreading thinly across every available platform isn't the recipe for success. Focus on a few select channels that resonate with your hotel's brand, target audience, and marketing goals. Instead of diving headfirst into every new platform that pops up, take a step back. Evaluate its relevance to your audience, the type of content it promotes, and whether it aligns with your overall strategy.

Begin by auditing your existing platforms. Are they yielding the results you're looking for? Often, refining your presence on current channels can be more valuable than venturing into unfamiliar ones. While you shouldn’t jump on every new trend, it's wise to keep a finger on the industry's pulse. Subscribing to relevant newsletters or joining hotel marketing forums can equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

If a new platform seems promising, consider a pilot campaign. A small budget and experimental approach can offer insights without significant commitments. Regardless of your chosen channels, the essence of social media remains engagement. Genuine connections, collaborations, and community-building are way more important than follower numbers. Regularly revisiting and refining your strategy ensures you're always aligned with your objectives.

Feb 14, 2024
Trends and Insights
Written by
Hotelchamp Team