Without a framework of what you want to talk to people, you’ll end up talking everything. Having clear direction will help you to impact the message you wanted to the right people, and that’s more related with what you want. Successful content strategy will help to gain the right connections and meaningful interactions with your followers. Where in turn, you get more loyalties and keep growing your business.
Below are seven steps you need to follow to create successful content strategy.
- Identify your Content Objectives.
The first step to create your content strategy is to know why you want to have social media profiles for your property.
- Do you want to reach more people online?
- Do you more people from your channels to visit your website?
- Do you want to get bookings direct from your page?
The above can be one of your content objective. So, how do we know we’re successful at it? Below are the metrics we can use in tracking our objectives
- Post Reach – Number of people reached per post(s)
- Post Engagement – Number of people interacted with your content, by liking, commenting or sharing.
- Engagement Ratio – This is used to measure brand effectiveness at engaging their audience. This is calculated by taking total interactions per post over total reach times 100.
- Website Referrals – Number of people visiting your website.
- Revenue – Total revenue received on the bookings came from social media. This works if you’ve using booking engine.
Now you’ve identified your key content objectives with the metrics that you’ll use to measure. I’ve described more about 5 Social Media Goals Every Hotelier Should Measure If you’d like to learn more.
- Research your Content Topics
Find out what are their needs for content, what do they want to know about your property, location or certain activity. So, you might need to position yourself as expert in the field as you help them during the research before they book.
- Use TripAdvisor’s Questions & Answers section on your Management Center to find out top ten frequently asked questions about your property and location, then add in your excel sheet for new content ideas.
- Use Google Keyword Planner to find out top 10 long-tail keywords most sought at your location, related to your property, things to do and other travel related content. – best town pubs , things to do, restaurants for vegetarians, etc. Try to find out long-tail keywords with most searches relevant to your location. Then add in your list.
- Monitor your competitors on TripAdvisor’s Q&A section and social media pages’ comments. Find most common asked questions, then add in your list.
- Use normal FAQs you get on emails, phone and your social media channels. Then list them.
You can break your content ideas into various categories you’ve defined yourself such as trip ideas, guest experience, food and drinks, what’s happening (at your location), day-to-day activities or behind the scenes.
For example; chef creating an omelet or housekeeping staff making the bed can be grouped in day-to-day activities category.
- Choose Format and Type of Content
To spice up your content publishing, you need to use multiple formats of content allowed for your channel. Here are some of the content formats that are commonly used in hospitality industry;
Consumers are visual driven, but this doesn’t mean you should stop using text. Text has little weight, but you need to use when is necessary. For example, you can use it to provide summary of your blog article on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Linkedin. Make it short, punchy and easy to ready with call to action and shortened link to your blog article. Also, you can use text to drive conversations on your Twitter account.
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin , Pinterest and Instagram allow you to share images with your followers. Make it more interactive, create a story around it to spike conversations with your followers. Unless it’s organic, your image caption should have shortened link to take your visitors to your website to learn more.
Video is one of the best way to capture attention of your community, they automatically start playing on feed they get clicked. So, you might decide to share different views of rooms, resort activities or anything unique that will inspire your audience to visit your hotel.
- Live Streaming
This works better if you have hosted event at your property such as music bands, parties or activities available at your property. Your community will interact with you and provide feedback in real-time. You can gather audience sentiments through their comments including emojis and use valuable feedback to improve your brand performance. You can stream your event on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube
- 24 Hour Stories
This feature is currently available on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Since they last only 24 hour better you find optimal time where most of your community are available online. You can use these stories to update what’s going on, sharing upcoming events or behind the scenes content with link to learn more. The more stories you share, the more you’ll appear in someone’s feed.
Every business is different, try multiple content formats allowed for your channel. Then stick with the format that you think will work better for your brand. Connections with your followers matter to get your community coming back for more and more because you’ve something interesting to share.
- Identify your Social Timings and Frequency
How often should you post on social media?
At what exact time?
Your answers will be determined by reach and engagement of each content. Free tools like FanPageKarma will tell you best hours and days when your users are interacting with your contents. You can use recommended time and days you’ve seen in your report to post your contents, and still keep tracking the performance by day and time.
In case you’re just starting out and you don’t have historical performance data, you can learn from others who are doing it. Coschedule did their research from their 20 case studies to find out the best time and days, and here below is the summary of the best time and days recommended for posting;
- The best time to post on Facebook is from 12PM to 4PM.
- And the best days to post is Wednesday at 3PM, Thursday and Friday from 1PM to 4PM, Saturday and Sunday from 12PM to 1PM.
- The best days to tweet, depends whether you’re B2B or B2C. B2B works better on week days while B2C individuals tend to interact more on weekend.
- You can tweet anytime from 12PM to 6PM, noon to evening.
- Instagram followers look to engage all days of the week but on Monday look to be more active than other days of the week from 8PM to 9PM
- Videos perform better in any day from 9PM to 8AM.
- Post your content more during off-work hours than the work hours
- Friday, Saturday and Sunday are perfect days to reach your Pinterest community.
- Best time to pin is 8-11PM with 9PM being the peak.
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are better days of the week to connect with your followers.
- Best time to post is 12PM, 5-6PM and 7-8AM.
- The best day to post on Google+ is only Wednesday from 9-11AM.
Remember the above are just 20 combined case studies from multiple sources including Hubspot, Quintly and Fastcompany. Those are just feedback what worked for other business. Just use their recommendations to find out what can work for your business.
- Build your Brand Voice
If your property were a person, how would that person you want to sound like? Authentic, Enthusiastic or funny?
That’s the same should be in your brand communications, you need to personify your brand. Have perfect tone that will be consistently communicated not only in your social media channels, but your website and your TripAdvisor profile.
If you don’t have yet, here are some tips you can use to build it.
- Describe your brand in 3 words.
How can you tell your brand in three words? What are the traits? How previous guests talk about your property in their reviews on review websites and booking websites? Warm, kind? Insights will help to identify who you claim to be and your guests perceive you.
- Find Inspiration
Find hotel brand pages that you think have better voices when it comes to connect with their guests? If you love the piece of their content, take a screenshot or copy their caption and post URL, and paste to your excel sheet for reference.
- Create your own voice
I believe, up to now you’ve identified core traits your brand represents or you want to represent and how you can use them to connect with your followers.
No matter how your brand voice will sound like, you should always be unique, personable and authentic to drive people engage with your brand.
- Create your Content Calendar
You already have ideas what kind of content you need to communicate with your community. Below are five steps you need to follow to create and schedule your content.
- Outline your content topics.
I trust you’ve came with the list of your best topics you want to share with your community from the research you have done so far. Write your list of topics on its own tab of your “Content Strategy”. So, some of your topics might be trip ideas, day-to-day activities, what’s happening or city trivia and fun fact.
- Start to collect your contents
How will you collect your content? Who will be responsible for taking property photos and videos? Do you have professional photographer/videographer? If you don’t have enough budget to hire freelancers or agencies to do job for you, you can do it yourself. Find a good camera to take high quality photos and videos, and also learn high quality photos HermesThemes, Leonardo Blog and Trivago for Hotel Managers have good content you can learn and do it yourself.
- Design your photos/videos
Next step is to design your photos and videos, making them look more beautiful without losing property authenticity. You can hire company or freelancers online who will design your photos at lower cost. If still you cannot afford, you can do it yourself with free design tools such as Canva, Pixlr Editor and Lightworks
- Create your caption.
Now, you have a photo or video you want to post that you need to create your caption. People are influenced by stories we share, something interesting behind will attract them to interact with your content. Be little creative in storytelling. There more chances that something promotional will get less attention, compared to something that will spark their emotions.
You can create contents for the whole month with their captions on your excel or Google sheet and keep revising them for errors before scheduling.
- Schedule your content
One benefit of scheduling your content will save you more time, so that you focus on the other tasks. It depends, on how many times you want to post 2 times or 3 times a week, but you should have enough content for one month ahead of posting.
- Evaluate your Content Performance
Content strategy is not set and forget task, you should check constantly are well are you performing for each channel and each content topics.
Use your metrics such as post reach, engagement and engagement ratio to measure your content progress.
- Why post has high organic reach but lower engagement?
- Why reach for the posts has been declining too much within three weeks consecutively?
- Are you posting promotional contents most of the time?
- Have you experimented with other days and times to post?
The insights derived from your observations can help to optimize your content strategy by trying new ideas and keep tracking on the performance. In case you need to serious audit for your account, I recommend to read this article before you start.
Success on getting perfect content strategy has never been overnight job, it’s slow and systematic process. You work on it, learn on it, refine it and keep reworking. Do you have any idea you that you think should be part of content strategy? Please share below on the comment section.