Plan Strategy Social

As a marketer, one thing I am asked about a lot is social media tips, tricks, and advice. Over the years I’ve found that a lot of people seem overwhelmed by what to do with social media. They know they need to be there, but are unsure if they are on the right path. So, this month I wanted to share my top three social media resolutions for 2020.

Write Out Your Strategy

The first resolution you should make for your 2020 social media is to clearly define exactly what the purpose of it is. I’ve seen so many businesses manage Twitter accounts and when I ask them what their goal for Twitter is, they aren’t certain; they just assume they need to be there.

For a resort, Twitter is not necessary. I’ve heard some success stories where resort managers use Twitter to network and communicate with other local businesses and partners, but that’s their strategy for the platform. If you don’t have a reason for being on the platform, then don’t be on it.

I recommend defining your social media strategy by clearly defining exactly what your business goals are and how social media can help. In my experience, resorts are typically using social media for reputation management, revenue generation, and owner communication/satisfaction.

So, if you want to use it for reputation management, your strategy should include a plan for what terms and platforms you need to monitor, how often you should monitor them, and the basic talking points that you want to respond with when reviews are left online.

If you are using social media for revenue generation, you should use a mix of 80/20. 80 percent of your content should be to inform, engage, and entertain with only 20 percent of your content being direct calls-to-action such as booking prompts, specials promotions, reasons to book, etc.

If you are using social media for owner engagement and satisfaction, your strategy should include creating content that owners would enjoy, keeping them updated on happenings at the resort, events when they will be in town, improvements to the resort, and local area. The strategy for owner engagement should be to remind them what they love about coming there year-round, not just thinking about the resort on the week that they are there.

A tip for forming marketing strategies and doing something with it, is to attach actionable tactics to each strategy. For example, if you want utilize Facebook to increase revenue then a very basic layout for your strategy could be:

Goal: Increase Revenue

Strategy: Utilize Facebook

  • Tactic 1: Hire a certified professional to promote via Facebook advertisements (set budget, goals, expectations).
  • Tactic 2: Post video content at least once per month.
  • Tactic 3: Three posts with an image per week.
  • Tactic 4: Set up automatic message with hours when someone will be responding to messages sent to page.
  • Tactic 5: Establish schedule of frequency that messages and notifications will be checked.

This is just a basic, rough idea of how to set actionable social media tactics that relate to your overall goal and strategy. For an individual business/resort, there will be a lot more detail, but setting a strategy helps you to understand the overall importance of taking the time to log in each day and create content.

Choose the Right Platforms

As I mentioned early, it’s ok if you are using Twitter, but you don’t have to. Assess the resources and talents you have at your property and allow your strategy to be developed around that.

It’s better to be great on one or two social media platforms than to be mediocre all around. If there’s someone on staff who loves Snapchat and has a vision on how to use it at the property, then incorporate using Snapchat into your strategy.

My personal recommendation for resorts is that they should have a Facebook page because they can share content and receive reviews. Plus, it houses content such as contact info and hours that are important information that guests seek.

After Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are good platforms to consider. Twitter, Snapchat and all the various other social media platforms out there should solely be used if you have a specific person on staff or at an agency who understands how to truly use these platforms for the overall business goals.

Invest in Content

The real heroes on social media are the businesses that understand the importance of investing time, energy and funds into exceptional content. Depending on your budget, there’s a variety of ways you can invest in content.

Hire an ongoing social media content creator/manager/agency, this is going to be the most expensive route, but a good content creator should also provide you with real results that help to legitimize the cost. If you hire an outside content creator, ensure they are meeting with you at least once a month to ensure your goals and that your messages are aligned. For example, an outside agency won’t know what rental specials you are running and when you have occupancy holes you need to fill unless that’s communicated regularly.

The other option is to solely contract out some professional content that can be repurposed and reused throughout the year. This could be photos and videos that capture both real estate style images as well as lifestyle images with guests enjoying the local area and resort. These lifestyle images and videos are especially helpful for social media, because they are more inspirational and relatable than a standard photo of a living room. If you invest in having photos or videos shot, you can repurpose it into so many things, from social media to improving website content and printed marketing collateral.

If you don’t have money in the budget for investing in content, another option is to utilize your local resources. Many activities, attractions, visitors’ bureaus, and chambers of commerce invest in content that they are typically happy to share with local partners who help drive business. Reach out to local companies and ask if they have any photos or videos that can be used on social media with a link back to them. After all, your guests aren’t just interested in your resort, they will be more engaged with content that features all the exciting things to do in the area.

Kelley Ellert is the Director of Marketing for Capital Vacations, one of the largest timeshare management companies in North America with 71 properties for which she oversees the marketing and communication efforts. She resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where Capital Vacations’ corporate headquarters are located.