TikTok has quickly become one of the most powerful, if not the most popular and engaging social media platform amongst today’s travelers. While the platform is by far the most popular among Gen Z, usage is on the rise amongst millennials and Gen Xers too. Since it launched in 2016, TikTok has expanded its user base and in tandem, its ever-evolving offerings, and has quickly become an effective tool for hoteliers to explore for their marketing strategies.
“Every single internet minute, more than 167 million TikToks are watched, giving the platform a higher rate of engagement per post than any other social media platform,” according to an article from CVENT from June 2022.
While the platform continues to grow in popularity, hoteliers are tasked with determining if it is the right channel for their business and end-consumers.
With the opportunity of having a new channel to tap into for your audience, comes the challenge of an ever-evolving landscape. TikTok requires a constant feed of engaging, relevant, and timely short-form content that not all hospitality marketers have available at their fingertips. If used currently, TikTok can become an important place to build brand awareness and deepen your audience reach.
In September, I met with the HSMAI Rising Leaders Council to discuss how effective TikTok can be as a marketing platform. Here are some ideas to think about when launching or developing your TikTok channel.
How Consumers Are Using TikTok:
- As a search engine for learning – to plan travel and more importantly, determine what your itinerary will include once you get there, searching for the best restaurants in Italy, for example.
- Snackable entertainment and educational content that’s accessible on the go.
- Browsing relevant hashtags by destination to discover places to stay, travel hacks, and more.
During our conversation, it became clear that in order to make TikTok an effective tool in hospitality marketing, it requires an always-on approach. This can include staying up-to-date with the latest TikTok trends, hashtags, and frequent posting, which can be a challenge for many of our teams as we navigate our multi-channel mix across other social platforms and beyond
The type of content that resonates most with TikTok users is also very unique, creative, and authentic, so this form of content is not something marketers often have “off the shelf.” Additional time, resources, and budget are required to create the type of content needed to fuel this platform and stay engaging.
Through our discussion, our HSMAI Rising Leaders Council came up with the following tips and tricks for staying relevant on TikTok:
10 Ideas on How to Generate and Manage the Increase in Content:
- Find your niche and stick to it – and where applicable, get the whole company involved in submitting content.
- Repurpose content across platforms where possible, for example using TikTok videos for Instagram reels.
- If you have staff traveling to different properties, create hyper-local/community content.
- Use TikTok for talent recruitment – include short videos on open positions.
- Break the work up among various staff – i.e., a content producer, a manager, and a strategy role.
- Show off amenities, deals you have at your restaurant, and spa offers, etc.
- Launch the channel when a property has a lot going on to generate excitement and engagement.
- Think about what type of persona you want to portray. What is the unique spin that your company can take on it?
- Tap into influencers or micro-influencers to create the content for you and be ambassadors for your brand
- Engage your local community or guests to create videos.