Your Guests Are Your Secret Marketing Team

Brand engagement has never been easier, yet it may feel that it’s never been harder. Yes, there are many channels where customers can connect with your business. But, attracting followers and creating hospitality social content for them often turns into just another task on a never-ending to-do list. 

Regularly generating high-quality social content will drive engagement with your brand, leading to a higher conversion rate, making you more life-long customers

However, your guests are already doing your job. People create content about your business all the time. From tweeting about their check-in experience, checking-in on Foursquare or Facebook, to snapping pics of their savory dinner; it’s second nature for guests to post about their trip. With just a gentle nudge, you can channel your guests’ efforts into specific directions, producing exactly the kind of content you need to nurture more leads into lifelong customers. 
These are some of our favorite ways that hostels and hotels can take advantage of user generated content to promote themselves. 
Photo Caption Contest

People are naturally competitive and they love to win prizes.  One of the best ways to get your guests to produce content is through contests or competitions. Holding social media contests is a great way to drive engagement in your social channels, increase word of mouth, and reinforce your hotel’s brand identity.
This can easily be run on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Post a photo in or around your hotel or use an image taken from your locality, and ask your followers to caption the photo.

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Post clues on your Facebook page and task your guests with identifying and capturing the answers. Your guests are already out and about town taking photos of these places. This is a great way to keep your business top of mind during their stay. Use a specific hashtag to curate a gallery of the user generated images on Facebook or Instagram. 

Name the Place

This is a great one for Facebook and Twitter. Pick a local landmark and post a clue about it on your account, like a historical fact. Then, use your Facebook or Twitter analytics to figure out the best time of the day for engagement and post during that time. Close the submission window within 24 hours. 
You can also run this on Instagram by taking a photo of the landmark and cutting it up into pieces and displaying a piece of it every day. Then, instruct your guests to add their answer as a comment on the post.

Guest/Staff Selfie

Ask your guests to take a selfie with their favorite hotel staff-member. Make sure they add specific hashtags for your brand or at least mention your @ handle so that you can track their posts. It can also work as a motivational tool for your staff to deliver awesome customer service! 

Show Off Your Location

This is perfect for hotels and hostels with stunning views, but remember; everyone likes to take pictures of their trips, no matter where it is. Post a sign showing great vantage points encouraging your guests to take a photo of the view.

Food/Drink Photos

Do you serve food or have a bar? Something special that may be photogenic? People love taking photos of their food and drinks before they dig in. Ask them to submit a photo on Instagram of their favorite food they ate at your hotel.  
These are only a handful of awesome ideas which can easily generate great social content for your brand, with only a pinch of additional work. The best way to run these contests is to use your internal signage and post the rules and prizing for the contest, which can easily be done at your front desk and Facebook page.  

Regularly generating high-quality social content will drive engagement with your brand, leading to a higher conversion rate, making you more life-long customers. But just because social content is useful doesn’t mean you have to do all the work. Often, your guests are already doing your job for you.

And don’t forget that there are other great hacks for optimizing your customer experience with the resources you already have!

MarketingJoe Ruskey