When booking a hotel room, potential guests want to ensure that their stay will be comfortable, accommodating, and worth the money. Building trust with potential guests is vital, especially in the age of Coronavirus. Guests want reassurance that their stay will be safe, and that takes more than a promise.
A promising way to build trust with potential guests is through the use of User-Generated Content within your marketing strategy. UGC is content created by your guests and subsequently posted to social media. This content can be anything from videos to pictures to blog posts.
How does UGC build trust?
Millennials drive the growing interest and popularity in UGC. Often, this generation trusts such content more than paid or sponsored content. The reason is the need for authenticity. UGC offers a real-life experience rather than stagnant photos of a room or lobby.
Seeing how others experienced a particular property is an inside look at what it would be like to stay at your hotel. UGC tells an engaging story of your brand from a different perspective. This authenticity can attract new guests who want to experience a stay at your hotel for themselves.
Most importantly, UGC will show potential guests that your hotel is safe, that guests enjoy their experience, and that their health is in good hands.
How can your hotel implement UGC into its marketing strategy?
First, determine your target audience and the goal of your campaign. Spend time detailing and planning a campaign around appropriate UGC.
You want your audience to easily share content by knowing how to tag you, which hashtag to use, and which location to geotag. In addition, you should also create campaigns that encourage your guests to share content.
The key is to blend branding content and user-generated content. Stay true to your brand with your own assets while also trickling in authenticity through guest photography.
Share UGC that portrays your hotel in a positive light. This content can be found on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or even your Google Business profile. To find user-generated content on Instagram, search your hotel’s geolocation, photos your hotel is tagged in, or your branded hashtag.
If you don’t have a branded hashtag, now is the time to make one! It’s important for branding and for guests who can use them in their posts. With a branded hashtag, users are generating more content and building awareness for your hotel.
In addition to UGC created organically, your hotel can also ask guests to create content through campaigns. For example, Coca-Cola created a campaign called “Share a Coke,” asking its audience to post photos of themselves with a Coke bottle that bears their name.
Keep in mind there are legal ramifications when sharing user’s content anywhere other than organic social media, such as ads or print. Your hotel will need to have copyright permission first. Reach out to the content’s creator by direct message and ask for permission, and make sure you get their formal agreement in writing. Additionally, when sharing content on social media organically, always include a photo cred.