Being an hotelier is not an easy job to do, especially nowadays when everyone can become one. And since vacation season has just begun – here are some ideas for social listening application suited for your business.
Hotels, motels, pensions, free rooms, and more – the tourism business attracts a lot of people. If you don’t own a hotel (and chances are you may not own one), you can rent out your room through Airbnb. But how to gain traction using social media listening? What practical advice can we offer you?
The good thing is – it doesn’t really matter where you have your Airbnb apartment. It’s more a matter of what are you listening and monitoring.
Reputation Might be Everything for You
If you’ve been in the business for some time, you might be familiar with several reputation management tools. It’s associated strictly with the accommodation places mentioned before, and the importance of online reviews as explained in detail in this article.
The bottom line is – 53% of the people would not book a hotel room without having a guest opinion about it. It’s incredibly precious to receive a positive feedback from satisfied guests, so take care of that Airbnb review system!
But first, you have to have guests.
Use Social Listening and Join Discussions
Let’s say that you have a place in Malibu.
Or in Hum, Croatia, which is one of the smallest towns in the world with a population of 21 as per the 2011 census. As Robert Frost used to write: “Good fences make good neighbors”.
Either way, you’re an expert. Find discussions relevant to your business on forums, on TripAdvisor, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. People are talking about their next destination either to find a great overnight stay or just to learn more about an area they plan to visit. No matter what it is, you can help them by taking part in the discussion.
Here’re a couple of examples of conversations you could join as a host, i.e. to offer an alternative
There’s a lot of conversations already going on – all you need to do is listen.
Become an Expert, a Guide, and Built Your Credibility
People love Airbnb not only thanks to the convenience of the booking process but also due to the human element. The interaction with the host allows you to ask questions not only about the apartment; it lets you get to know the place you’re visiting from the local’s point of view. And that’s priceless.
If you’d be lucky enough to get in touch with a girl or a guy who like to share their knowledge, you’d probably ask them about everything. What’s it like to live in the town on a daily basis? What do you like most about the climate? Which coffee shop do you like most? Are there any cheap, but at the same time tasty falafels in the neighbourhood?
This is the kind of stuff that either requires a lot of research or is simply unfindable in any guidebook. By taking part in online discussions (for which you listen first!), you’re establishing yourself as a go-to person for said area. You can include a short CTA with a listing of your room or an apartment, and the prospects will automatically assume that staying with you is equal to having an opportunity for asking more questions. And getting them to feel the place a bit more.
And Remember – Don’t Push Too Hard and Give Value First
If you start with “I’ve got a great place”, the rest of your post won’t matter. Start with what brings value to your customer – may it be trip tips, link to a great guide, a cafe recommendation.
As for the self-promotion aspect, I would include a link, a banner, or some other light-ad form that makes your prospects aware of your offerings. Not in a pushy or cheap way, though. Be honest about it. You do want to take part in the discussion, but you also want to stay relevant in your field and not do it just for the conversation’s sake. Giving value first is simply something extra, a part of your business model. Some hosts offer a free cleaning service. You can be the one that will leave the local tips for your guests.
And that might place you on a map.