As you have probably heard… Millennials are travelling and spending more than any other generation.
“Great, more business for me,” said the Hotelier. “Not if you don’t wise up to this generations travel habits and expectations on social media,” said the Almighty Voice of Travel Insight and Wisdom (aka Gomingo).
As an accommodation owner, you need to be clued into this generation’s wants and needs, so you can provide an attractive service that matches. The millennial generation travels approximately 35 days a year and by 2020, will take 320 million international trips.
Social media is the key crux to the millennial travel business and understanding how to attract their custom is vital. We’ve taken all the stats into account to provide you with actionable tips on how to attract Millennials to stay with you.
1. The Stats
Take it from a millennial, we are travel-fanatics who love to share our adventures, experiences and the amazing accommodation we stay in on social media. Around 73% of millennials check social media before booking accommodation. In fact, 33% won’t book if the accommodation doesn’t have a social media presence.
Whilst this is important, it’s also vital to remember millennials can be your key referrals. Approximately 76% of millennials have shared images of the accommodation they stayed in, with 83% stating they would likely book accommodation after being inspired by images from their social media feed.
The best way to showcase your unique attributes, something millennials love, is through social media. Millennials being tech-savvy, experience-sharing travellers, love being able to contribute to something and telling other – potential customers – about it.
2. The first step. Get social, get trendy
If you don’t have a social media presence, get one. Facebook and Instagram are the key travel influencers with the largest audiences. Secondly, see what others are doing in your space and take ingredients from what works. your competitors will be a big influence and also an example of what not to do.
You need to aim to post original content around themes that Millennials love – experiences, health and wellness, infinity pools etc. It’s not about generating business immediately – albeit, with a good strategy this will come in time – its about building awareness and engaging with your customers. A little creativity in content creation goes a long way. Keep your messages straightforward, but exciting.
People are more likely to book with you if you humanise yourself and your accommodation on social media. Engaging with users by starting a conversation and sharing their posts (ask first) on your own page will likely spread your pages influence. This builds more trust amongst a travelling generation that values it as well as the pretty things. Speaking of…
3. What do Millenials want to see?
Millennials are fickle creatures who respond above all else to visual stimulation. When booking a property, millennials look at images first before anything else. In fact, around 60% only look at the aesthetic images posted on social media before making a decision. That’s a hefty amount!
Check out this example. Now, this one is a little too perfect and polished but the premise still remains. The brand has included its guests (who are likely to re-share), highlighted a local experience (what Millennials travel for) and brought in their own branding via an up-to-date trend (funky picture frame). A great content recipe, for sure.
Now we’re not saying do all this or fail. Find ways, through local experiences around your hotel or rental, popular trends (drinking in this case) and of course happy guests to sell your product to a generation who cares and appreciates this type of content.
4. It’s all about the experiences…
Millennials are travelling for experiences. 72% of Millennials would like to increase their spend on experiences in 2020 over physical things. This gives you – as a hotelier or holiday rental owner – a great opportunity to sell your accommodation too.
Do you offer a bike-hire service for guests to explore the lovely natural landscape at their own pace? Yes. Post about it. Do you have an area of outstanding natural beauty sitting on your doorstep? Post about it. This post below from Elk Creek has hit the nail on the head. They’ve showcased the beautiful nature around their holiday rental through photos taken by one of their guests. Simple, but very effective.
5. Show off what you have
Be authentic above all else. Don’t feel the need for blatant self-promotion, sell what you do in smarter ways. Use your most valuable assets, your property, your location, your food etc. Inject your personality!
The visuals don’t have to be picture-perfect but it sure does help. Remember engagement is the key to social media and social media is the key to millennial business. Check out this example from rental company Canopy & Stars. Now, usually posting a picture of the view from your hotel or holiday rental is enough to spark engagement. This goes the extra mile by including these outdoor baths. Look at the engagement from potential guests, they’re pining for the link to view this accommodation. They’ve been inspired and now they want to book it. Result!
6. Get creative
Now that you know the ropes, you’ll be itching to go out and take photos and maybe even hire a professional photographer to help you build up your engaging content library…
Before you do here are a few extra tips on how to take all this creative power and funnel it into a successful social media page.
Facebook and Instagram are very different, learn the differences and act accordingly.
Always ask your guests permission and consent when using one of their photos on social media or taking one of them at your property.
ASTA found that 33% of millennials are more likely to use OTAs. Use your visual content of amazing views, great plates of food, yoga classes etc. on your OTA listings too. Millennials trust OTA’s and you need to make sure the content will attract them to book there too. Aphrodite Cruise in Vietnam has a great example of this where they show off their tai-chi lessons (the experience) on the deck of their cruise hotel on the famous Ha Long Bay.
Utilise Facebook and Instagram reporting tools to measure your success and see what works. Treat it as an experiment first and foremost and drill down to the core ingredients that make your posts engaging then rinse and repeat.
That concludes our top tips for attracting millennials to stay at your property through the wonderful visual-filled sphere of social media. We hope you find it helpful.
If you do end up following these tips, let us know how it’s going by posting in the comments.