Start Your Own Hashtag And Find User Generated Content

User-generated content, or UGC as some people refer to it, is hugely important for companies on social media. It is easy for firms to say what they want on social media (within legal limits and regulations of course) and many companies tune out the promotional aspect of a firm’s message. This is causing problems in connecting with an audience because many people just don’t want to listen to what a firm says.

People want reviews, testimonials and insight from other users. The emergence of social media and the internet has made it very easy for people to share an opinion and people love to share their thoughts and opinions with others. Companies need to realise this and if you are a hotel, you need to think about how to harness the wealth of user-generated content that is created at your venue or resort.

Users love taking and sharing holiday pictures
If you use social media, you know that people love sharing holiday snaps. It doesn’t matter if someone is using Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, if they are on holiday, there is an almost obligatory pic by the pool or a picture with a drink or just a lot of images of people enjoying themselves away from their normal life.

This means that people think of hotels as a positive place where they enjoy themselves, but it also means that there is a lot of user-generated content for hotels to capitalise on. When a person posts about their holiday, a great image will attract the attention of their friends and if the hotel is tagged or questions are asked about the hotel, there is a good chance that other people will appreciate the effort your hotel puts in to ensure that holidaymakers have a brilliant time.

Currently, there are two main barriers to hotels benefitting from the UGC that is being created at their venue, and these are:

1. The hotel doesn’t know about the content that is being posted
2. The content is not being seen outside of the poster’s social circle

Hotels need to capitalise on content and a great start is to persuade guests to tag the hotel into their images or for the hotel to create a hashtag that relates to the hotel and persuade guests to share content with this hashtag.

A hashtag allows the hotel to have more control over UGC
When a hotel has access to a lot of user-generated content about their hotel, they can share it with their world. However, by creating a hashtag that is used by guests, a hotel can direct prospective guests to the hashtag, allowing people to see a bank of UGC that paints a positive image of the hotel.

A fantastic way to encourage guests to use the hashtag you create is to offer a gift or bonus for doing so. A simple promotion would be that every guest who uses the specialist hashtag is entitled to a free drink at the bar or money off a service. This will ensure that there is a strong bank of content to be shared and people will engage the promotion in a positive manner.

When you start your own hashtag, here are some things to consider:

• Keep it relevant
• If you have a local element to your service, try to include it in the hashtag
• Check for any double-meanings
• Keep it as short as possible without losing meaning
• Test a few options on people to see what the reaction is
• Once the hashtag has been decided, share it as strongly as possible

If you are a hotel, you need to offer content from the guests’ point of view. Reviews and testimonials are ideal, but hotel pictures grab attention on social media and you have a chance to provide content that people want to see.
If you want to learn more about the importance of hashtags for your hotel or you need guidance in delivering user-generated content, contact Agent Travel and we will be delighted to help.

Thanks for reading
Ian Watson
Agent Travel