Millennials are taking over the travel industry by storm. The travel industry is doing better than ever and they’re the ones to thank for it. According to a recent study, 65% of people plan their trip based on what friends and family post on Facebook. Furthermore, 75% of millennials (ages 18-34) used blogs, status updates and in-person conversations to make travel decisions, while travel advertisements had little, to no impact.
As a hotel manager/owner, knowing how your guests make purchasing decisions is paramount – and according to TravelersToday.com, millennials are the ones investing the most money on travel; they even go as far as saying some millennials see travel as an entitled privilege. It seems that this mindset is rubbing off on other generations as well, particularly on people born in the 60’s and 70’s.
With this popular way of thinking, social marketing and pushing the bar on customer service by finding creative ways to use technology, has become a necessity. Here are 4 ways you can increase bookings at your hotel:
- Setup a WiFi Landing Page – With a custom WiFi landing page, you determine what to show your guests as soon as the connect to your WiFi. This is a good place to provide your guests with social buttons, so they can easily check in/like/share/tweet with a link back to your hotel. Boom. Instant, free advertising. Since millennials are all about deals, you could even add an incentive on this page – for example, “Check In on Facebook for a Free Gift at the front desk!”
Engage Your Customers on Social Media – So now your guests are tweeting and liking your Facebook page. Great. But that’s not going to be enough. Further the discussion and stay relevant on all the social media channels. This means post regularly – about things your guests want to hear. The best yielding results would be deals, reviews and things to do in the area. Most importantly, when your followers comment, make sure to comment back as soon as possible. Don’t just create the discussion; join the discussion.
- Implement a Loyalty/Rewards Program – 62% of travelers determine vacation plans based on loyalty perks and exclusive deals. Most hotels have some form of points system already in place, based on the number of stays with their hotel chain. Integrate social media for more points! Offer your guests a power up – either on the WiFi Landing Page, on your Facebook page or as a text message, when they’re getting close to a reward level – and give them more points for writing a review on TripAdvisor.
- Use Direct Messaging – This is a tricky one. Use it the right way, and you have a loyal customer; use it the wrong way, and you could damage your social presence. The key is knowing this, everyone wants to feel special and remembered. If you choose to engage in a marketing plan with Direct Messaging via Push Notifications or Text Messaging, follow these cardinal rules:
- Don’t over do it. Don’t message your guest every month (or heaven forbid, more frequently… cringe…).
- Send powerful, meaningful messages customized for your guest.
- And send it with a KISS… to avoid any awkward situations, that means Keep It Simple, Stupid. Keep your messages, short, sweet and to the point.
Emails are easy to filter and often ignored. The best way to get your message to your customer is by sending it directly to them via Push Notification or Text Message. But only effective when you follow the above rules. Emails are filtered for a reason; make sure your message has an incentive or an important message that directly affects that guest
For example, a personal favorite, “Happy Anniversary! Looking for the perfect getaway? Book your stay with Us for a Free Room Upgrade and a bottle of Wine!”. Did somebody say “wine”? I’m in…
MyConcierge™, a new service from our InRoom Connections department, combines all the features above through Social WiFi, WiFi Marketing & Monetization. It can work with your existing internet connection to setup Guest WiFi for your hotel, and will even work with most existing routers, for those that are already satisfied with their Guest WiFi.
Whether you choose to target millennials through your WiFi or not, Social Marketing and Exclusive Deals are the key to reaching the millennials wallets.
Does your business have any success stories from connecting with millennials? How did you do it? Join the conversation on LinkedIn!