How to create original Facebook posts for your hotel and attract attention with vivid, sparkling ideas.
I admit it. Designing Facebook posts wasn’t one of my favorite things to do until recently.
Image courtesy Sara Kurfess/Unsplash
It reminded me too much of the management cocktail parties of my hotel days.
Every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. I was allowed to mingle with my colleagues in the “little black dress” for an hour or so to make small talk with the hotel guests… not really my cup of tea, because it was always kind of the same meaningless blah-blah.
And it’s similar on Facebook business pages.
Finding good “talking” topics is not that easy – no question about it.
And so most hotels post sunrise, sunset, the hotel facade during all four seasons, and a comment on how nice it would be to be here now.
However, not appearing on Facebook & Co
not an option either.
(Unless you’re always fully booked and don’t need guests.)
Facebook is (alongside e-mail) the ideal platform for exchanging ideas and staying in touch with guests outside of your hotel. Talking to each other (even if it’s only virtual) creates closeness, connects and above all… reminds them of you, again and again!
But when you finally sit down – with the best of intentions – and stare at your Facebook feed, there’s ….nothing….
I know that feeling only too well. Until recently, when I looked more closely into the topic of creativity. Suddenly a whole new world opened up… There are a few tips and tricks to get your creative juices going, and once you have a handle on it, it’s even fun!
Forget your doubts!
“I don’t even know where to start”. “I just don’t have any good ideas.” “I’m just not the creative type.”
Yes you are!
In this blog post, I’ll show you
◊ What you can do to get inspired
◊ What won’t help you at all
◊ Why it makes sense to plan your posts ahead of time
◊ Which tools will help you prepare your posts better and faster
◊ What posts will attract readers (and some good examples)
Here are 5 tips on how to switch your brain to “creative mode”
(By the way, I have tried and tested all 5 suggestions for you, and I have to say – I’ve had some awesome ideas popping up!)
Image Courtesy Matthieu Comoy-koo/Unplash
Tip 1: Change your surroundings
Sometimes your subconscious needs a change.
Anything that always looks and feels the same is poison for your creativity.
The brain goes to sleep. (figuratively speaking).
So if you need ideas, just rearrange your office, or sit in the empty (or full) bathtub to think.
Walk in the woods or go to a nice café. I’ve had some of my best ideas in the shower
and (!) while washing the dishes – it’s best to always have a small pad and pen nearby.
Tip 2: Think at the “wrong” time
If you’re fit as a fiddle in the morning, postpone your thinking until the evening, and if evening is your best time, postpone your thinking until the morning.
Sounds totally illogical, but Mareike Wieth, a professor at Albion College in Michigan and her team found that a tired brain thinks more “freely”. The focus wanes, our thought patterns loosen up, and all of a sudden a new idea emerges.
Tip 3: Get a little “cluttered” in your head
At least that’s what Dr. Florian Ilgen, a mentalist by trade, to increase ingenuity and get the imagination going.
Are you right handed? Then brush your teeth with your left hand (not that easy, I can tell you). Or if you are left-handed, sweep the driveway with your right hand. Take a different route to work or have a nice cup of tea in the morning instead of a nice, strong cup of coffee. (A real challenge for some of us – I know.)
To put it very simply, it is about “distracting” the consciousness or the “doer” so that the subconscious has a chance to “climb up” with its ideas.
Tip 4: Mind maps or thought cards – this makes searching for ideas real fun
Image courtesy Noah Buscher/Unsplash
You look for a term, e.g. the word “beer garden” and write it in the middle of a piece of paper. Now jot down everything that comes to mind pertaining to that word: It could be: trees, lake, bar, beer glasses, etc. Now take one of these words, e.g. tree, and add all associations. It’s all about stimulating creativity at first, and you’ll notice – little by little more and more ideas come up…
If you prefer to do this online – there are loads of great online mapping tools, for example Mindmeister with a free basic version.
Tip 5: Creativity can indeed be trained
The successful American author James Altucher swears by it: every morning he sits down and writes down 10-20 ideas. The only criterion – they must be new and original.
This may sound utopian at first, but remember – the brain is a muscle and you can train it, just like any other part of the body. It takes a bit of effort to get over your weaker self at first, but I can attest – if you keep at it, the results just keep getting better! It may not be the brightest idea every morning, but over time more and more interesting thoughts come up. Try it!
What unfortunately doesn’t help, and what you can forget about right away:
- Desperately looking for ONE great idea.
- Pressuring yourself to come up with something really creative in the next half hour. (Doesn’t work. I kept trying, even though I knew better…)
- See what others are doing and try something similar.
It’s best to go about it in a relaxed manner. Find a nice spot, put yourself in a good mood and simply get started.
And if nothing works today, just try again tomorrow…
Why it makes sense to plan your posts a little ahead:
Image courtesy Rachael Gorjestani/ Unsplash
Unfortunately, ideas do not flow at the push of a button. So it’s best to sit down one day a week or one day a month and prepare several posts. The advantage: you don’t have to start over and over again and you can even send your posts automatically.
Think of it as a long-term marketing project. The effort is worth it!
Because posting on social media only get results if you do it regularly and consistently. Facebook lives from the exchange of its users. The algorithms are designed in such a way that regular posting is rewarded with more visibility. If you don’t post at all for a while, the algorithm will immediately “punish” you and you can basically start all over again.
3 free tools to help you better prepare your Facebook posts
Facebook itself provides the Facebook Creator Studio. It allows you to schedule your posts and you can even set a specific time as to when the posts should appear in your feed. If you don’t want to rely completely on Facebook, have a look at Buffer , or try the best (but also the most expensive) option, MeetEdgar. Edgar allows you not only to plan and automate, but even recycle your posts!
Canva design puts your hotel Facebook posts in the limelight. Great designs, lots of good ideas, easy to use and! – for the basics there is a free Canva version.
Unlike the stockphoto posed images that so often scream “advertisement,” Pexels, Unsplash and Picography offer a large selection of natural, every day life photos. Hobby photographers and professional photographers post their photos on these platforms, and you can use them free of charge, without large restrictions.
What kind of Facebook posts attract readers?
In a nutshell: All posts that trigger emotions. Here are some examples:
The Achat hotel chain has it all. They post interesting topics and make their target audience part of the conversation. The Achat Hotel Griesheim asks its guests for their opinion: “What shouldn’t be missing in your hotel room? ” and guests have the opportunity to have a say in whether the shoehorn or the daily newspaper wins the race…. (This posts already had over 100 comments…)
Achat is creative and organizes entertaining online quizzes or ask their fans to suggest names for the new cocktail.
But even “the small hotels” have big ideas! Take a look at what the Gasthof Hotel Post in Strass came up with.
Alois Rainer takes his visitors on a video tour of the recently renovated hotel. In a series of 3 videos, he shows his visitors how it all began in the Post, how and what was renovated and what the hotel looks like today. He comes across as super likeable, speaks with zest and personality and you can see how proud he is of the result. You can’t help but smile watching him like this.
Or the Cortijo El Sarmiento Andalusia. A lively owner couple who takes up everyday life and behind the scene stories and share them with their readers in an entertaining way. There is no trace of effort and posing, but up close and personal. That’s what attracts! (3,150 people who already subscribed to the Cortijo newsletter speak for themselves…)
The Kimpton Hotels have been blogging for years and in their hotel blog they address just about everything that might interest their guests: from – “how to travel with my dog” to “how to host an intimate wedding”. Over the years, Kimpton has built a large following and bonded so closely with its guests, that they consider themselves part of the Kimpton family. They even take pictures of the welcome chocolate cake in the room and post it on Facebook to say thank you to Kimpton!
Virgin Hotels do it similarly. Although the chain is still relatively young, each hotel already has thousands of followers. Virgin posts topics relevant to your prospects, uses fun tones to address guests and makes you feel like ‘you’re one of them’.
A few more suggestions to get your imagination going
Allow your guests to take a look behind the scenes:
Introduce the people your guests usually never see: “Do you actually know who prepares your invoices?” and an entertaining portrait of your accountant.
Or record a funny video with your housekeeping team: Good music, good vibes, a little dance while the room is polished (or the towels are folded in the laundry, or the bottles are put away in the wine cellar.)
Or share interesting facts: Did you know that we prepare 280 eggs of all kinds for breakfast every day? Or even better! Introduce the chicken your breakfast eggs come from! (A photo from the farm)
Maybe a video in which your chef explains how the fried steak is perfectly crisp on the outside and still slightly pink on the inside.
People love stories. How have you spent the last few weeks with Corona in the (empty) hotel?
What went through your head, what did you miss?
Or look back and tell about funny, unusual and dramatic experiences in your hotel.
Tell your stories …
Take up an interesting topic and exchange ideas with your target group.
Now you’ve got the attention of your guests…
When all quarantine regulations are lifted and the hamster wheel starts turning again, it will be much more difficult to attract and keep attention.
And remember, HOW you expressing yourself makes a big difference to your readers.
How about a topic tag?
Monday blues, the “back then” Wednesday, wine Thursday, weekend start, Sunday morning art lesson – there are no limits to your imagination. Take up a topic, expand, create and get started.
Show what makes you proud
An award you won and how it came about, a guest comment and the story behind it, an employee who did something great, or a dare you passed. (Many years ago I was supposed to give a lecture “in front of a small group”. I was completely inexperienced and had never performed in public before and suddenly found myself in front of an audience of 200. My knees were shaking and I was soaked in sweat afterwards, but I pulled it off and I still remember the good feeling when it was over and I had overcome my fear…)
Challenge your guests to send you their best balcony selfie! And thank them with a reward next time they visit.
Other fun topics: The most creative Corona mask, the best exercise to stay fit at home, the best fitness drink created during Corona, what bad habit have you broken in the last year, what has put a smile on your face in the last few weeks, and and and …
Guest/Manager/Employee – Interview
Perhaps one of your guests (or managers, or employees) has an interesting job, hobby, or common interest that you know about and is willing to talk to you about. Recorded as an audio podcast or on Zoom/Vimeo and you already have an interesting contribution.
Entertain your readerswith the unusual and amazing:
“Who actually invented cornflakes?” or “Where does the phrase “Spill th beans” from? The Phrase Finder will provide you with a great selection of ideas..
Those would be some of my first suggestions. If you have good ideas – I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you very much! Turn on the music, get in the mood and let’s go!