With limited domestic travel opening up, it is a great idea to have an authentic stream of messages about your property flowing to current and potential guests.
Share your own lockdown experience.
Be real. Show how you are coping with the hurdles the pandemic placed in your path. Touch base with the other properties in your area, start conversations. Comment on the posts of others in the industry. Share a great tip you got, or ask for one if you need it.
Everyone is in the same boat to some extent. Relatable content puts a stamp of authenticity on your brand.
Show what’s new at the property.
Tell your past and potential guests what you have been busy with during this time. Show them the renovations that are underway, or the sanitation stations you are installing. Did the protection equipment arrive for your staff? Take a photograph of you unpacking the boxes. Or of the protocol training session you had outside in the glorious sunshine. These small ways of reinforcing your safety measures will also stick in the minds of those a little nervous to take the open road once they can travel again.
Introduce your staff members, or the new additions to the animal family on the farm. You want to make people feel like they already know the character of your establishment even before they arrive.
Get into the shoes of your guest.
In the vein of ‘wish you were here’, light a fire in the fireplace of one of the units at sunset. Show the late-night stars, the cosy reading nook or the way the early morning light catches dew on the roses outside the door. What would your guest see on the walking trail? Or what would breakfast look like under the new protocols?
Showcase your property as if seeing it through the eyes of your guest. Think of which pictures you would take if you stayed in the room or unit for the first time. And fill the gaps with stories or anecdotes about why a certain decor item caught your eye and made it onto the mantelpiece.
The social media soapbox.
Statistics show an increase of 70% in social media traffic since lockdown started. People are on their devices constantly, reading about how others are experiencing and navigating this strange period of time. This is where you should be talking and sharing. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. This is where your message will cross the screens of those dreaming of a break. If you haven’t yet, start an account on these platforms. And start posting.
Be careful though of sharing everything you read. Especially since these channels are flooded daily with news (real or fake) on the virus and its effects. Do not fall in the trap of negativity and become one of the accounts that only complains about the situation you’re facing.
While you have the right to feel less positive (and sometimes very angry at times), you need to keep in mind that people will gravitate towards positivity at this stage. Everyone is looking for some good news or something a bit lighter than the rest of the noise. Make a clear distinction between your personal account and views and that of your property, which should ideally stay more neutral in tone.
As we discussed before, it is not the time for a hard sell. It will count in your favour a lot more if you just serve up some realness. Remind people that you are still there, and that you can’t wait to welcome them back. The main goal now should only be to plant the seeds and give it some water daily.