Cool hotel, bro! Millennials love User Generated Content

It’s no secret that millennials love to travel. They want to indulge in experiences, not materials. But they also want the biggest bang for their buck. And they are taking over the world, quite literally. Millennials are going to be the biggest demographic in the world, and the most important target group for your hotel.

The biggest method to draw them in is to capture and share experiences that they would also like to have. The wanderlust bug bites millennials often, and it travels through social media. They don’t respond to traditional media the way previous generations did.

Let the numbers decide – A survey by Crowdtap and Ipsos reveals that millennials spend 18 hours a day with media in some form or the other and 30% of that is spent on user generated content. 71% of millennials check a social networking site once a day.

How to encourage them to post?

It doesn’t take a lot of effort really. Young guests already share so much on social media about their trip. However, you can influence how and when they post. I will suggest creating and specifying photo opportunities in your hotel to encourage guests.

Other than that, you can hold contests and create specific hashtags.

The 57 Hotel in Australia does a fantastic job of encouraging guests to share selfies taken in their room.

By encouraging guests to use specific hashtags, the hotel can track what has been posted, and share this media with their followers. Every traveller who shares his or her selfie on Instagram is broadcasting to the followers that the 57 Hotel is a great place to stay.

What this approach shows is that you don’t have to just ask for content, you can cultivate it. Add a little incentive. Flatter your dear guests. It all comes down to engagement in the end.

Another great example is Marriott’s Travel Brilliantly campaign.The campaign asked guests not only their posts, but their ideas to improve the hotel experience.

An Integrated Approach to User Generated Content

User generated content is a brilliant way to increase authenticity among travellers on social media platforms. Why not take this one step further by integrating it into the website. Loews Hotels is leading the way with their #TravelForReal campaign.

They prompt patrons to share images of their stay by using #TravelForReal, then sharing good images on social media and website. Some great ones are even used in their online and print advertising (with due permission). The images are overlaid with the text “Everybody Needs – ___”. Each image fills in the blank to better communicate the hotel’s story.

How to Add User Generated Content to Your Website

Adding user generated content to your website helps build trust and authenticity around your brand. It also provides you with a regular stream of new content for your website without much effort. What’s more, a study found that visitors to websites that include User Generated Content galleries spend 90% more time on site, which is crucial because the longer someone stays on your page, the higher the chances of booking are.

If you don’t have an agency, you can use any of the free tools or applications available that you can use to curate a social media feed, including posts from your own social media accounts, as well as posts from others that use your particular hashtag.

Invest time in deciding which hashtag to use for your hotel and how you will promote it (both digital and offline). Your hashtag should be specific to your hotel and match your property’s unique story. To prompt guests to start using your hashtag, make sure first you’re using it in all of your own posts. Run a social media contest or even better, take cue from the 57 Hotel and suggest photo opportunities in the hotel itself. In no time you will have an army of storytellers producing trustworthy content that resonates with travellers.

Once this is done, take inspiration from The Flanders Hotel in New Jersey. They have used ‘Juicer’ to put together elements from social media feed into their website. Each post gives a sneak peek into what a typical day is like at The Flanders Hotel, like yoga, shows, wedding functions, parties, etc. to reach and appeal to more guests.

Hotel brands, whether luxury or boutique, independent, etc. should all collaborate with social media users with a strategy in mind.  Look for prospects which match with your brand’s personality, and can act as potential ambassadors for millennials. If you are not already in this game, now is the time to dive in.

Well, that’s all for today folks! Now, go ahead and try these out for size, and let me know how you fared at them! For more, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel –

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