As the hospitality industry evolves, so does its marketing strategies. One of the most effective ways to reach potential guests is through social media. But one of the most powerful uses of social media involves leveraging cultural trends—especially those trends that speak to your best audience. Do it right, and increase engagement, reputation, and revenue. In this article, we will explore how the hospitality industry can blend cultural and social media trends to improve their marketing strategies.
First, let’s talk about two significant cultural opportunities for hotels: Sustainability and Education
Sustainability Efforts in the Hospitality Industry
The hospitality industry has taken note of the growing importance of sustainability and eco-friendly practices as consumers become more environmentally conscious. Hotels are implementing various initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and attract eco-conscious travelers. Some of these initiatives include using renewable energy sources, reducing water usage through low-flow shower heads and faucets, and reducing waste through recycling programs and composting.
To effectively showcase these sustainability efforts on social media, hotels can create dedicated posts or stories that highlight their eco-friendly initiatives. They can also use relevant hashtags such as #sustainability or #ecotourism to reach a wider audience that is interested in sustainability efforts.
“Edutainment” Opportunities for Potential Guests
In addition to showcasing sustainability efforts, hotels can also use their social media platforms as educational tools for potential guests. By sharing information about the hotel and the local area, hotels can help guests make informed decisions about traveling to their destination.
Hotels can highlight their tenured employees as local experts. Their backgrounds can speak to the history of the local area, and tie in onsite activations that coincide with the local area such as nature walks or cooking classes featuring local ingredients. By sharing this information, hotels position themselves as experts in the local area and provide value to potential guests beyond just a place to stay.
Now that we’ve identified the cultural trends, let’s look at how to give them some extra punch by executing them with trending social media tricks.
Incorporating Memes and Graphics
Memes and graphics have become a popular trend on social media platforms. However, hotels should use them sparingly and strategically. When used appropriately, memes and graphics can help hotels showcase their personality and brand values. But overusing them can come off as unprofessional or unoriginal.
When incorporating memes and graphics, hotels should ensure that they align with their target audience and brand values. They should also use captions and hashtags to increase engagement on social media. Monitoring the performance of social media posts that include memes and graphics is crucial to optimizing their use in the future.
It’s also critical that a brand evaluate the timing of jumping on a meme. Trends can last 2 days or 2 weeks. Moving forward fast is to your benefit in creating a perception of your brand being a trendsetting.
Here’s a few examples of brands who successfully incorporated memes into their social media strategy:
Barbie Trend https://www.instagram.com/p/CqwLTywvQKW/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
Little Miss https://www.instagram.com/p/CgVd4KlOJ6U/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
Using Trending Audio on Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels is a powerful tool for increasing reach and engagement on social media. Hotels can incorporate trending audio on Instagram Reels to increase their visibility on the app and showcase their brand personality. Here are some examples of the songs that are currently trending and available for use on Reels.
- "Industry Baby" by Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow
- "Levitating" by Dua Lipa
- "Stay" by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber
Evaluating Trends for Hotel Brand Authenticity
While it’s important for hotels to keep up with social media trends, it’s equally important to evaluate each trend to see if it aligns with the brand’s values and message. Not all trends are ones to jump on, especially in the luxury hotel space.
Luxury hotels should still maintain an elevated social presence that accurately represents the hotel. However, incorporating trends can help add personality and relatability to the brand. It also could expand the potential audience, and ideally reach a younger demographic too.
L’Auberge vs Orchards Inn
Example of end of year recap:
- Orchards Inn https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cm12QEnKMDJ/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
- L’Auberge de Sedona https://www.instagram.com/reel/CnhU5pNpaWh/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
In conclusion, social media is an essential tool for the hospitality industry to increase engagement, reputation, and revenue. By implementing sustainability efforts, using their platforms as educational tools, incorporating memes and graphics strategically, using trending audio, and evaluating trends for authenticity, hotels can improve their marketing strategies and stand out on social media. As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, keeping up with social media trends and incorporating them strategically can help hotels connect with potential guests and strengthen their brand image. With the right approach, social media can be a powerful tool for hotels to showcase their unique personality and values while reaching a wider audience.