Social networks in resorts: key decisions and your digitization strategy

The management of social networks is a fundamental part of resort development and marketing in the 21st Century. Regardless of the digitization strategy for a project, it’s likely the whole team will be interested, from the beginning, in having profiles on the major social platforms. Often this interest even comes with a certain sense of urgency and of wanting to be everywhere at once. Experience has taught us, though, that decisions around social media require time and, above all, reflection, so novelty doesn’t drag us into bad choices. Arum Group’s extensive experience in the development and management of hotel and residential projects has helped us learn that, before opening any social profile or incorporating any “great new idea” into a resort’s digital marketing plan, it is crucial to stop and think strategically. Here’s why.

Not everything goes (when it comes to social media)

When choosing the social platforms for a resort, you can’t lose sight of your Buyer Persona. In-depth knowledge of your clients, even if there are multiple profiles, will help you avoid mistakes and rushing into decisions. While the newest video platform may be getting lots of media attention, your client, a middle-aged Northern European professional, may also be quite strict about his privacy rights and hardly ever use instant messaging. You must ask yourself where your client will be found, not what’s popular at the moment.

Figure out the story you want to tell

All day long, we receive communications, but we only retain a small part of the messages that reach us. If we analyze what we do remember, it turns out to be messages that have emotional content linked to a story. It is very important that your social posts are not limited to pretty photos and poetic phrases. Anyone can do that. If you want users to want to see your new content and share it, you have to give them something more. It’s about explaining who you are, and doing so in a fresh way. What’s your unique value proposition and what’s the story behind it? Is this a family destination in the mountains? Is it a hidden gem by the sea where environmental sustainability is paramount?

Which social media?

Working with your chosen social network doesn’t end as soon as you open a profile and decide to post a few times a week. When you start thinking about social media, you have to take budget, personnel requirements, and time into account. The more social profiles you have, the more management hours will be required. In addition, each profile will need a specific approach. The era of putting an automated software system to the task of posting the same content to multiple networks is over. Or at least it’s over for companies that value real communication with their clients and want to personalize their interaction with them. We must be certain that we can adequately manage the profiles we open and not abandon them. Even more importantly, we must budget and plan for the creation of valuable content: articles, high-quality photos, videos, and even white papers or studies.

Will you need an international profile?

Many luxury residential communities include people from different backgrounds, countries and origins. This means that important technical decisions must be made about writing posts in one language, two, or even duplicating the profile to have one for each strategic language market. In other cases, the company may want to retain a local profile domestically and an international profile, usually written in English. Obviously, this decision has its advantages, but also its drawbacks, because it duplicates work and confuses users who don’t know, when visiting the destination, for instance, which profile to tag.

Do you have a “social” staff?

We all know that the management of social networks should be professional, but the reality is complex. In an environment where authenticity and dynamism reign, companies with a social-friendly staff that actively participates in the creation of content makes the company’s voice richer. This does not mean that all employees must be active on social networks – an ideal but impossible scenario – but that all staff should keep the digitization strategy in mind and collaborate in the creation of content. For example, the resort chef doesn’t need to be a great influencer, but he should have the presence of mind to call down your social coordinator and alert her of an opportunity to film the arrival of an impressive 300kg tuna. This will result in content that is new, unique, and reflects what happens behind the scenes at your resort. Imagine the variety of interesting posts if your social media manager receives content from maintenance, F&B, or on-site boutiques.

Social networks are, without a doubt, crucial in resort management and a great help in promoting resorts and giving them voice and personality, but part of your project digitization strategy must include a careful and thoughtful approach to social in which no decision is taken lightly.