By now you’ve probably noticed the # symbol (now also known as the hashtag) followed by a word or phrase (without capitalization or spaces) all over social media. And you might be wondering what it’s all about.
I’ll tell you #whatitsallabout because you need to be working hashtags into your own advertising tactics. They might just be the best free social media advertising tool for your hotel.
Introducing the hashtag
In 2007 the pound sign was reborn as the hashtag in order to organise Twitter tweets around the topics they cover, making it easier for people to find and follow messages with specific themes. Now, with over half a billion messages tweeted daily across Twitter, the hashtag is more popular than ever.
But it’s not limited to Twitter alone. Hashtags are used across social media, which means that you can use hashtags across your own social media channels to strengthen your brand and promote your hotel.
Wait, so why are hashtags good for my hotel business?
Hashtags get noticed online; if your hotel’s hashtags are getting noticed, so is your hotel.
Successful brands use hashtags because they know people follow their favourite ones on Instagram and Twitter. People check up on these hashtags often, making them an excellent way to get and stay connected with a wide online audience.
There’s more good news: The most popular hashtags are all about pastimes—such as travel. So hashtags are incredibly relevant to your specific business.
You just need to know what hashtags travellers are using. When you do, you’ll be able to target this audience with relevant hashtags in your own posts, which could grab their attention and thereby grow your hotel’s brand awareness.
So how do I add a hashtag to my posts?
Just hit the # sign and type a word or phrase (without spaces). You can use numbers, but no special characters such as the ampersand (&) or a currency symbol.
Before you start adding random hashtags, however, note that not all hashtags are created equal. There’s a way to create successful hashtags.
What hashtags should my hotel use?
Some hashtags are definitely more popular than others; but popular is not always the way to go. You want to reach a targeted audience. Rather than trying to come up with hashtags all travellers are searching for, use those that only some are searching for. Consider this: There are over 120 million posts with the hashtag #travel on Instagram alone, while #travelingtheworld has around 200 thousand posts and #traveluk has nearly 20 thousand posts.
So if your hotel is in the UK, it’s more beneficial for you to use the #traveluk hashtag. By doing so you capture the attention of the people who could be your potential guests.
You should also use a mix of hashtags in each post. Try those that contain an emotive saying, like #wishyouwerehere, and those that are categorical, like #luxuryhotels or #bedandbreakfast.
Here’s a list of some different kinds of hashtags that you may want to consider using in your social media posts:
Emotive hashtags that will get you noticed by travellers
#wishyouwerehere – to show off your hotel and location
#wanderlust – to show the world why your area’s worth a visit
#doorsoftheworld – to show off your beautiful hotel entrance
#letsgoeverywhere – to let travellers know about nearby activities
#morningslikethese – when the lighting is just right and your hotel looks its best in the a.m.
#darlingescapes – if your hotel offers stunning views or luxury escapes
Categorical hashtags that will get you noticed by travellers
#bedandbreakfast – if you have a B&B
#hoteldeals – if you have a special offer such as a spa package
#luxuryhotels – if your hotel boasts luxury, design, or boutique concepts
#poolside – so that your pool gets the attention it deserves
#hotelroom #hotelsuite #hotelpool #hotellobby #hotelbar – to tag rooms and amenities
Lifestyle hashtags that will help position your hotel
#liveauthentic – to broadcast unique attributes you want to share online
#picoftheday – to share one picture a day that just says it all
#nothingisordinary – similar to #liveauthentic
#livethelittlethings – for in-the-moment shots of your hotel and its events/guests
#neverstopexploring – to inspire travellers to visit your locale
#travelgram – like a virtual postcard
#unlimitedparadise – if your locale or hotel is especially extraordinary
#instapassport – to show off the region
#cntravelereats – for your food images—and a chance to get noticed by Conde Nast’s foodie squad
How can I create hashtags unique to my hotel?
You can also create and use some of your own hashtags that are unique to your hotel, its offers, seasonal campaigns, and the lifestyle that it exudes.
Here are some tips on how to create hashtags that’ll appeal to travellers and build your brand identity:
- Get inspired by looking at what hashtags reputable hotels are using already.
- Decide which topics are relevant for your hotel brand and name.
- Think about how to elicit an emotional response from your audience.
- Brainstorm new phrases that’ll uniquely represent your hotel and guest experience.
- Pick one (or a couple) of the tags you’ve come up with and test how they perform by including them in your social media posts.
Here’s an example of a hashtag you might want to use if you have a B&B on or near a vineyard: #enjoylifeonavineyard
TIP: Have a slogan or campaign currently running? It’ll make a great hashtag.
Once you’ve settled on your signature hashtags, encourage guests to use them in their own social media posts so you can quickly find and share them.
What else do I need to know about hashtags?
To get your posts as many views as possible, include multiple hashtags with each. Shoot for 5-10, and if you think even more are applicable, use them. It will help you reach more people.
Use hashtags that are relevant but not too broad. If you use #travel, it’s less likely that your post will be seen, because social media is already flooded with posts with that same hashtag.
Come up with your own combination of popular hashtags relevant to your hotel and its offerings. Also post your own hashtags to set your brand apart—and let people know; leave notes at reception and signs in guest rooms to tell them your hotel’s unique hashtags.
Think you’re hashtag savvy? Tell us what hashtags your hotel uses and why in the comments below.