How to generate more content for social media
17 APRIL 2014 6:28 AM
If you don’t have a lot of time, you can follow these steps to generate easy content for your social media sites.
Let's be honest, social media is overwhelming to anyone who doesn't have someone totally dedicated to doing only that. Our hotel management company operates hotels of 350 rooms and less. The larger the hotel, the more layers you can create. Some hotels, however, don't have the resources to allocate for a dedicated social media manager.
In this article, I am going to detail how you can hack your social media presence in order to push real-time content out to your followers that is both engaging and of very high quality. This is not an overall strategy; this is just a piece of the puzzle to keep you relevant on a daily basis when you don't have the time to write an article or be brilliant on your Facebook page.
This strategy requires a WordPress blog. If you don't have one there is still hope for you, but the exact directions are not here. Your blog should be updated to the latest version. If you want one, discuss it with your webmaster. WordPress is affordable and used by millions of people across the globe. Therefore, there is no limit to people who can help you navigate quickly and easily. If you have some skill you might even be able to do it yourself.
You will need to download the Jetpack plugin that was created by WordPress. The plugin requires a WordPress account (which is free). To create the account, simply follow the prompts after installing the Jetpack plugin. After you have created your WordPress account, log in to WordPress through Jetpack, and you are ready for action.
On your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Settings->Sharing. From here you will be able to connect Google+, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Path and LinkedIn pages to your account. Follow the prompts from WordPress to finish the setup. Once this is complete, every future post has the ability to be pushed out to all of the social media sites you have enabled. You will be able to customize the message further and choose which specific sites you would like the post to be shared on. It will be shared as soon as the post is live.
Here is the tricky part. There is a service called “If This Then That” at http://ifttt.com. If you haven't already, sign up for an account. Although difficult to understand on its website, IFTTT is a service that is based on triggers.
For example, IF Instagram #NewYorkHotelExample THEN post it as a draft in WordPress. So every time #NewYorkHotelExample was used in an Instagram photo it would automatically create a WordPress draft post waiting for your approval next time you log in.
While this might sound tricky, it isn't. IFTTT “recipes” are extremely easy to produce. Here are the steps:
- On your dashboard, click “Create,” then select the Instagram logo.
- IFTTT will prompt you with different triggers. In this example, select “New photo by anyone tagged” and then fill in your keyword.
- Click “create trigger.”
- Afterward follow the prompt and select the WordPress Logo.
- Choose an action. In this case, select “Create a photo post.” This pulls up the action fields that from then on will automatically fill out. You can add text to your title or to your caption.
- Define your category (such as Guest Photos) and add tags (keywords). My recommendation is to make sure these posts are created as a draft instead of published immediately. You might end up with more photos than expected.
- Click “create action,” and you are done. Photos with those keywords will show up in your inbox from then on.
Repeat step 4. You can further define or add layers to your content. Your hotel is pretty, but what else does your hotel offer? Location.
Showcase your location by adding another Instagram trigger based on a location that you define. For example, add the nearby museum, park or attractions. All of these IFTTT actions can have custom post action fields that you should change to match the different triggers.
Depending on how busy your neighborhood is and how many actions you created, draft posts should now be trickling into your WordPress draft posts. Find the best photos of your hotel and attractions, make them presentable and publish them. This will make your blog more attractive to search engines, engage your guests and is something manageable. With WordPress you can even schedule when to post, freeing your week up from the arduous task of trying to be creative.
Facebook is the only tricky social media site for this strategy. It seems that the image featured via the link is never the Instagram photo.
What we do now with IFTTT is create a new trigger. Now that you have the hang of this, use IF WordPress image THEN Facebook page photo uploaded. This accomplishes the same goal, pulling information you posted in WordPress and creating a native image in Facebook.
Someone takes a photo of your hotel or a location of interest and posts it publicly on Instagram. This triggers the image automatically to be created in WordPress as a draft post. When you log on at your leisure, you are greeted with the draft version featuring this image. If it is a great photo, you will schedule it to be published when it is best for your property. When it is published, at that moment it will push your post out to all of your social media you use.
Sam Trotter is portfolio eCommerce Manager at Boutique Hospitality Management. Besides focusing on website revenues, Sam dives into how technology can positively influence a hotel's business. A self-confessed data junky, Sam Trotter provides news and analysis on website design, applications, marketing programs and other digital trends that are or will affect a hotel's business. To continue the dialogue or for the latest technology news that impacts your hotel, follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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