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9 Hacks for Getting More Out of your Social Media Profiles.
By Josiah Mackenzie - Exclusive for 4Hoteliers.com
Sunday, 19th September 2010
 
Are you tired of reading articles on how to use social media?

This one is going to be different: I'll start with two assumptions: 1) You're smart, and 2) You already have basic profiles on sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

If this describes you, what's next in social media? I'd like to share some of the "hacks" I've seen used to optimize social media activity.

Facebook: Add a fan page widget on your homepage

Placing a Facebook Like Box on your website allows visitors to become a fan of your Facebook Page without leaving your main website.

Additionally, you can share the most recent updates on your page, and show some of the people who are already part of your community. (The subtle difference between this and the Facebook Like Button is that the Like Button is just for sharing content; the Like Box is for fan page signups.)

Facebook: Post on Saturday for more interaction

According to research from Dan Zarrella1, your hotel will get a lot more interaction on Facebook updates made on the weekend (especially on Saturday).

Not working during the weekend? Just use a tool like HootSuite that allows scheduled future posting on Facebook.

Twitter: Using lists to save time

Anyone starting out on Twitter quickly notices the volume of updates from people they follow can become overwhelming. How can you keep up with the updates that really matter? The answer is through Twitter lists. You can create lists for any number of people you follow.

Twitter: Create a background design that sells

Not enough people pay attention to their Twitter background design, but it can be a powerful marketing tool. It's nice to have a layout that matches the rest of your visual identity, but I like to go a step further and include sales information. Provide contact details. Highlight a special offer or promotion.

Twitter: Ask guests to follow you right after a booking

After someone makes a reservation or checks in to your hotel, you might recommend they follow you on Twitter for service. You can do this in person or over the phone, but I've received great results by putting this request on the "thank you for your reservation" page that people see immediately after making a booking. Once someone has made a commitment like this, they are obviously interested in what you offer, and the chances they'll follow you on Twitter or elsewhere go up dramatically.

Blog: Use Flickr to find "insider" secrets in your city

Flickr can also be a useful way to identify what visitors may find interesting in your city or destination. It helps to have a fresh set of eyes when creating a visitor's guide for your destination. Searching Flickr enables you to:
  • See what visitors are taking photos of
  • See what type of photos got the most attention
  • Identify the best photographers in your city (and work with them?)
  • Locate out-of-the-way points of interest in your neighborhood
  • Participate in discussions with photographers to determine the best places to take photos 
Here's the video demonstration:

www.hotelmarketingstrategies.com/find-highlights-with-flickr

Flickr: Publish under a Creative Commons license to increase your visibility

The Flickr Creative Commons license gives bloggers and web publishers permission to use images in their own work. From the perspective of the photographer - you in this case - it can be a great way to raise visibility. I recommend releasing every photo you upload to Flickr under this license. Photos of your property are great, but photos of your city or destination are even better.

YouTube: Optimize your videos for search

Many people are surprised to learn that YouTube is the web's second-largest search engine (after Google). Videos uploaded to YouTube should be optimized to increase the chances of people finding it. There are whole articles on this topic, but some starting actions you can take include:
  • Try to identify which niche search phrases are most relevant to your audience and the video, and then target these
  • Use the word "video" in the title
  • Write a keyword-rich description - it's the next-best indicator to search engines of the video's content, after the title
  • Provide transcriptions where possible (search engines cannot index video content, so this helps them get a feel for what the video contains)
  • Tag your video with keywords when uploading (which should go without saying)
  • Select an attractive thumbnail image 
Email: Add your latest Twitter updates to your email signature

A service called WiseStamp allows you to instantly embed your latest tweet or other social media update in every email you send. Even if you don't want to use it for your personal account, it might be a nice touch for customer service or sales emails.

1 - http://danzarrella.com/data-shows-articles-published-on-the-weekend-are-shared-on-facebook-more.html

This article is just a small excerpt of a report containing more simple, powerful changes you can make to maximize your presence on Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, YouTube, Flickr, and Email. You should download your free copy of Beyond Social Media Account Setup: 29 Hacks and Optimizations for Better Results:

www.hotelmarketingstrategies.com/optimize-social-media

About the author
This blog is written by Josiah Mackenzie, who enjoys exploring the relationship between emerging technology and the hospitality industry. 

www.hotelmarketingstrategies.com
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