How Hotels & Resorts can learn from FC Barcelona to reap rewards in Social Media

Barça became the first sports club on the planet to reach 100 million fans on social media by February 2014.   At the time, Barça was attracting, on average, more than 100,000 new followers every single day among its 30 official channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo.  These spectacular numbers are proof that they aren’t betting on a single channel, but rather they are looking for users wherever they may be. Barça doesn’t wait for its fans to come to it; Barça goes out and finds them.

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Their strategy was concentrated into 3 areas a) Creating content adapted to each territory through the Club’s international websites b) Utilizing social media as a platform for distributing this content; and generating engagement — commitment — through the employment of mobile apps, promotional marketing, and c) management of the global community of FCB fans. Their digital strategy was strengthened in November 2011 with the inauguration of their new web platform. It featured a fresh design and a broader structure supporting more than 6,000 pages, giving Barça fans everywhere a cutting-edge source of information and enjoyment. The new websites in Catalan, Spanish and English kept up their growth in the ensuing months while the Club incorporated sites in several new languages. The first was Chinese in June 2012, followed by French and Arabic one month later, Japanese in December of the same year, Indonesian in May 2013 and, finally, Portuguese in October 2013. By then, the platform consisted of sites in nine different languages with content specially adapted for each country or region. The launch of each site brought with it new social media profiles that could promote social networking, most importantly on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

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So how can Hotels & Resorts learn from FC Barcelona when implementing their Social Media strategy? Know where to find your audience Look at which nationalities visit your hotel or visiting your competitors and start connecting with them in their language across the social media platforms that THEY use.  With the many great CRM options for independent hotels these days, ensure that your website is in their language, so they can easily find out about the offers and services you provide for their specific nationality and customs as well as the great activities that they can enjoy within your local area.

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Content is King Offer insights on whats it like to stay at the hotel, maybe a video of behind the scenes of a wedding, or your why not share the recipe of your chef´s signature dish.  Celebrate your clients national festive days as well as offering insights in what is going on  around your community.  Focus on encouraging engagement, and extending the value for your clients.  Make sure you share the great content you are generating across all social platforms in your clients language

Go Mobile A great way to connect with your guests is through mobile apps by generating engagement and commitment through the employment of promotional marketing in real-time.  Push notifications have over 90% readability rates, far higher than any other marketing medium.  By incentivizing your guests to download your app from the moment they have booked a room, will allow you to connect with them in a totally new format that they will appreciate.  Who today does not use a smartphone or use a APP?

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By utilizing this strategy, Hotels can make their themselves far more discoverable, reach a far greater audience, enhance the guest experience and improve customer loyalty.  FC Barcelona maybe leading the way in the amount of fans, but hotels can learn from them and be just as successful. Struggling to gain visibility in Social media or do not have the budget or man power?   Do not worry, we can help you get up and running, with the right configuration and a little know how, Social media can become a powerful tool. Email us at info@hotelient.net for more information.

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