More than 70% of travelers update their Facebook accounts during their vacation or while fulfilling their hotel bookings. That is understandable if you think about it. How many times have you checked into the airport or at a hotel on Facebook or posted pictures of your vacation on Instagram?

The thing is almost every traveler will do this and much more to showoff their beach bods, share their hotel experience and shout out to their friends to show them how much fun they are having. All of this is what is known as CGM or Consumer Generated Media and it is a gold mine for hotel owners who want to increase bookings.

What is CGM? How does it relate to hotel bookings?

Simply put CGM or Consumer Generated Media is online content that is generated by anyone except content mills, journalists, brand owners and placed online for anyone to access.

Besides travel blogs, this includes trip planners and review sites such as Trip Advisor or Yahoo Trip Planner. Consumers are encouraged to share their travel experiences and hotel bookings through pictures, reviews, videos, podcasts and other media that can be accessed by the general public. This content creates brand awareness and is seen by many other potential customers that may have otherwise never known about your hotel. There is still nothing stronger than a referral when it comes to sales, and having other customers inform potential customers about their positive experience with your hotel is a sure fire way to increase your bookings.

How to use CGM to increase hotel bookings

In other words, CGM is the best way to generate free publicity for your hotel and increase hotel bookings. However, it has to be done willingly to be considered authentic. One of the ways to do that is to encourage guests to check in on social media while at your hotel for reward points or small rewards. That way you can advertise your business to their followers who might be compelled to check in themselves. Another way of grabbing CGM from your customers is through review requests after your guest checks out.

Think about it. If they know their friends had a positive experience, they will be more willing to stay at your hotel as well. Once they check in they can attract more people which will do wonders for your hotel bookings and website’s online visibility.

CGM is different from promotional content as it can give your hotel a human persona. It can be tricky to generate naturally which is the best state to get more bookings. However, you can be smart about it and use your hotel’s social media account to connect with prospective guests on a personal level. For example, you can offer rewards for people who like the official Facebook page of the hotel. This will place its presence on the map without much effort.

There are a couple of ways you can use CGM to improve your online hotel marketing. For one thing, you can use it to find out what people are saying about your establishment. These insights are completely honest and can be used to improve service on a personal level. By visiting websites that support such content (such as Trip Advisor or Viator) you can address issues that would otherwise be hidden from you.

Allow Lystra Marketing and Consulting to help you with increased hotel bookings using CGM. We offer online marketing services that can improve your hotel’s presence online and ensure travelers know what you have to offer. We can also assist in getting reviews and tracking any content guests generate, while keeping you informed along the way. Contact us for a consultation and ROI analysis today.