Social networks are the new Google. Learn how to show up in searches

Social networks are the new Google. Learn how to show up in searches

More and more people are using social media to search locally – to find out about a restaurant’s menu, the best parties that weekend, whether their favorite store has a promotion, and so on.One of Facebook’s goals is to gather more and more functions from search engines.

This means that social networks will become increasingly important for your hostel, hostel or hotel to be discovered and attract more guests. But how to do this? The answer is not overposting, nor asking all your family and friends to enjoy your hostel on Facebook, nor follow 800 people in 2 days and pray for them to follow you back.

It’s simpler than it sounds. Follow the steps below and your property will have a robust and attractive profile for both potential travelers and travel enthusiasts as well as for Facebook and Instagram algorithms.

1. The basic information should always be up to date.

Does it seem obvious? It’s not. Think about the experience of your potential guest. Imagine having to log in to Facebook to see some information,  Instagram to check out your next party, and the phone on Google is outdated? What a mess! When people find the profile of your business on Facebook, what will they see there?

Stop what you are doing and follow this first steps checklist for social media of tourism properties:

  • Have you turned your Instagram profile into a business profile?
  • Does this profile have a phone, email, and directions? If yes, these 3 buttons will appear on the profile of your property. If you have already placed the information, click on each of the buttons to see if they go to the right place.
  • Does your Instagram profile have highlights with important information such as amenities, upcoming events, or how to get there from the airport?
  • Does Instagram’s description take on the face of your business and tell you what style of ownership you have?
  • Do you use a Facebook page or profile? Turn the profile into a page, if you have not already done so. Only then can you see the statistics of who interacts with your business and sponsor posts.
  • Have you added your property’s address, phone, price range and email?
  • Is your cover photo still about the 2014 World Cup? How about switching to a cool photo of the last party that went around?

There you go. You took the first step and cleaned the house. Let’s move on!

2. Your profile must have varied and recent posts.

Whoever enters your profile is trying to get to know your property. What do you think they will see: an interesting and lively place or a ghost town with some Happy Hour posting in 2015? If your last post was six months ago, is your hostel still open or closed?

A good company profile on Instagram doesn’t need to post every day, or more than once a day. But it always has to post.

Think carefully how many times a week it’s feasible for you and your staff to post on social media. Twice a week? Once a week? That’s enough. But have this commitment to post always, regularly. Going from 4 posts in a week to none in the other is much worse, in the eyes of the algorithm, than keeping up a steady pace of 2 posts a week.

Also, bet on varied content and formats! Your profile will become more interesting to visitors, Facebook and Instagram algorithms value variety, and that will translate into more comments and tastings. Here are some suggestions of social media content for hostels, inns and hotels:

  • Photos of your property (with and without people interacting): rooms, common areas, breakfast, closeup in the cool decorations;
  • Timelapse of your breakfast, with people lively, sleepy or hungry coming and going;
  • Photos or videos of interesting people and their stories, their travels, and why they are there;
  • Boomerangs or rewinds of someone at a party by raising their glass, showing off their dance moves, or laughing with friends;
  • Short videos of someone playing an instrument, like a guitar;
  • Advertising of future events (Happy Hours, theme parties, etc.);
  • Disclosure of initiatives with partners;
  • Photos or videos of the view of your property;
  • Photos or videos of events, tourist attractions, restaurant and everything that is legal in your city and surroundings.

These are just a few ideas. The important thing is to show the best your business has to offer!

3. Your posts should use keywords and hashtags strategically.

What is a keyword? It’s what we type in a search. For example, “best beaches in Brazil” is a keyword, as are “cheap hostels in Rio de Janeiro”, “best hostels in Cartagena”, and so on.

Many people don’t know, but individual posts on Facebook and Instagram also appear on Google. In addition, these social networks use parameters similar to Google when you search, trying to show what is most relevant to you, and also using keywords as criteria.

Use keywords in the text of your publications in a natural way. There’s no need to overdo it. Your followers shouldn’t even notice – just Google and social networks. Focus: Choose one keyword per post, related to its content.
Hashtags help organize information on social media. They are important for your profile to be discovered by someone already interested in the subject, who can look for things like “travel”, “eco tourism”, “hostel” and stumble into your property’s profile. In addition, the social networks themselves use hashtags as reference when suggesting posts or similar profiles – if the user enjoys and interacts with profiles about travelers, backpackers and etc, you may also be interested in your business if the hashtags are similar. They are so important that nowadays Instagram allows you to follow hashtags!

Use 2 to 5 relevant hashtags per post. If you use excessive hashtags, the algorithm will interpret it as spam and devalue your post in your followers feed. In the case of hashtags that don’t relate directly to the post, it’ll be badly received by the users, and the algorithm will also devalue the publication – after all, imagine being looking for tours in the Amazon forest and running into a hot dog photo? What a mess!

Now it’s up to you.  Is your property’s social media looking good? Tell us about your most popular post and let’s have ideas together!Social networks are the new Google. Does your hostel appear in the searches?

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