At Phrasing, we’re big advocates of the idea that our clients don’t need to be on every social channel. Spreading yourself too thin and experimenting in social networks where your audience is not engaging. E.g. If your target is males between 25-35 on the coasts, you shouldn’t be messing around with Pinterest. It’s of very little to no use to you. It is better to be really good on a couple networks than half-decent on many.
With that being said, we are profoundly endorsing a social media network for a very specific category of our clients. Boutique hotels should, without a doubt, be on Snapchat. I will rephrase that just a little in saying that boutique hotels should absolutely spend money on Snapchat in the form of branded filters. Allow us to show our work.
Reason Number 1: Snapchat is Cool to Millenials
I don’t know how many of you are hanging out with a lot of millennials but, they love to use Snapchat. In the dating scene, men and women often give away Snapchat handles in place of phone numbers or other forms of direct contact. This not only allows people to talk to one another but follow each other’s stories in a voyeuristic capacity, thus providing examples of what other members in their desirable social circles are up to.
If you are looking to get in on the expanding millennial money train, and most boutique hotels are, you are going to want a presence in this voyeuristic environment.
Reason Number 2: Filters Build Brand Trust
If you’re familiar with social media advertising and social media marketing, you’re probably familiar with the concept of social context. That’s simply advertising that we put out that comes along with social media information e.g. “Tim Welsh likes this page” on Facebook. You’re probably also familiar with the concept of native advertising. Each of these adds credibility to your marketing because it comes along with the trust that a person has with his/her friends.
Snapchat filters are somewhat unique because they live in the middle of the Venn diagram of social context and native advertising. Every post that goes out in personal messages or stories is co-branded with the user that took the video or picture. This means that your brand gets ALL of the trust that the user can give you. If you’re looking to enhance your brand’s social equity, this is a no-brainer. It doesn’t matter how weird a guest’s posts are, their friends will like it.
Reason Number 3: They Drive Conversion
The last reason that we’re going to talk about today is probably the most important when it comes to why a hotel should take on this cost. Snapchat filters/lenses can actually make you money. As pictured above, you can actually add branded elements to users’ posts that use one of the lenses. In the example, the client is trying to sell movie tickets. Why not use that to sell rooms?
If you know your hotel well, you should know what people like to take pictures of and post. When I worked with QT Hotels & Resorts, my team could easily see that there was a trend at properties about what elements people loved to post about. At QT Sydney, guests loved to take pictures of the beautiful baths. With QT Port Douglas, people often photographed themselves near the pool. QT Gold Coast’s guests posted photos from the balconies (I even posted one on my IG.).
By understanding these trends, we could create lenses and filters that people would use for those posts and offer up rooms for other potential guests. Take a deep look into what sorts of images go out for your hotel and start planning accordingly.
In Summary: Start with Ads but Experiment with Stories
We primarily focused on Snapchat filters and lenses but that’s not the only way that we suggest using Snapchat. In all honesty, we believe that this should be one of your 3 most active social networks if you’re a boutique hotel or boutique hotel chain.
After you spend your time and effort creating lenses, look into creating Snapchat videos that mirror the platform’s typical user-generated content. MGM Resorts International had a “Live from Las Vegas” campaign that mirrored the type of user content that you’d expect. The results were clear. They had an 18.5% lift in visitation intent and a 94% positive ad feedback rate. Both are pretty phenomenal stats.
Lastly, social networks are inherently supposed to be a social space. If you recruit well, you will have employees that LIVE the brand and look exactly like the customers whom you’d like to attract. Give them control of your Snapchat and make stories a major focus of what you do. It will help you connect on a more personal note and be visible in a space where big-box brands cannot and OTAs don’t yet monopolize.