Running a hotel or bed and breakfast can be incredibly rewarding – you often get to choose your hours, work from home and enjoy a healthy profit provided you're delivering a great service and have high occupancy rates. However, as any hotelier will tell you, one of the most challenging parts of working in the hospitality industry is marketing your hotel and ensuring that your rooms are filled every night. Below, we've rounded up some key business tools that you should use to market your hotel this year.
Whether you’re addicted to Instagram or Snapchat is an alien concept to you, there’s no getting away from the fact that social media is an important business tool. According to figures from Yahoo, 53% of people recommend companies and products on Twitter. It’s, therefore, essential that you have an active presence on the platform so that you can find new clients and deliver good customer service. HootSuite, a free-to-use tool, allows you to schedule social posts across platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, meaning that you can spend more time focusing on your business and less in front of a computer screen.
An excellent tool for tracking brand mentions, SocialMention allows you to see exactly who has been posting about your hotel online. While you may think that such feature won’t be of benefit to you, having access to such rich data will allow you to monitor brand awareness, rectify complaints and negative reviews, and decide where to focus your marketing efforts.
No hotel business would be complete without a great looking website, an easy-to-use online booking tool and integration with some of the world's biggest online booking platforms, such as Booking.com and TripAdvisor. Eviivo is an all-in-one management tool for hoteliers and bed and breakfast owners, allowing you to take online payments, design an SEO-optimised website and keep track of your bookings in an easy-to-use diary.
If you’re always running promotions, themed nights and special offers, then you’re probably spending money on a graphic designer to create promotional materials. Stop. If you want to save money and promote your brand effectively both online and in your hotel, then use Canva, a free-to-use graphic design tool with thousands of poster, social media and leaflet templates that you can drag and drop online. As Venngage writes on its website, 60.8% of digital marketers believe that visual content such as infographics and digital flyers are essential to their marketing strategy in 2017 – it's, therefore, essential that you follow suit.
In an aim to compete with companies such as Ever Note and One Note, Google recently unveiled its new Google Keep tool. In short, the tool, which is available for Chrome, iOS and Android, allows you to make notes and lists and share them with colleagues and friends. Using this software allows you to keep track of deliveries, special guest requests and upcoming events, saving you time and allowing you to be more productive.
These five tools are essential for any hotelier or bed and breakfast owner. Not only do they allow you to save time and money, but they make the process of running a bed and breakfast more streamlined and more enjoyable. Test-drive them all today!