To TikTok or Not TikTok? In 2023 That is the Question.

With over 1 billion users in 150+ countries, TikTok has become the new center of the digital marketing world. Its short-form video content has gripped users since its creation in 2016 and has taken off globally since 2020. 

And with all the action happening around the app, this leaves us wondering. Is it time for the hospitality industry to adopt TikTok into its marketing strategy? And the answer to that? More complex than you might think. 

This blog post explains how, why, and if you should implement TikTok into your marketing strategy for your hotel, along with some advantages and disadvantages. 

How & Should Hotels Use TikTok? 

Well, for what’s worth, you should not use videos of silly cats racing across the hallways or of people dancing on the reception desk to gain views (albeit, you’d probably get quite a few from that). 

TikTok is good for one thing and one thing only. They are creating short-form video content catered to the younger generation. And as Millennials and Gen Z’ers become tomorrow’s guests, it’s crucial to understand what they like in your hotel and how to give it to them in the best way they know. 

The way content has been consumed over the years has changed immensely. Baby Boomers primarily used billboards and radio, while Gen X’ers used TV and the newspaper as the prime way to connect with their target audience. This leads us to what we have today: social media. And what’s the most powerful and trending social media platform right now? You guessed it. TikTok. 

So how do we use it in the hospitality industry? Well, let’s look at what makes your hotel the best. 

Is it your award-winning in-house restaurant with signature lamb chops? Do you offer a special spa treatment not available anywhere else in the area (such as a Turkish bath or Thai massage)? Could you have the best view of the beach and sunset in the city? 

These are all things that make you unique. And if you’ve ever heard the phrase “shout it from the rooftops,” posting it on TikTok would be the next best thing. 

Imagine this, a short 30-second video of your hotel’s professional barmen creating a signature cocktail only available at your hotel, with trending music in the background. It leaves the viewer in awe, even if they’re not physically present. It does, however, plant the idea of “what else is there to see.” 

Remember, TikTok is all about keeping it short and to the point. So if you intrigue your audience once, they are inclined to watch more simply because it’s ‘only’ 30-60 seconds long. The more content you create, the more TikTok rewards you, and the more viral you will become over time, thus turning viewers and followers into customers and guests. 

(We at ArdanMarketing will create a holistic plan and get you started on your TikTok journey. Click here to find out more)

Why Should We Implement it Now?
Trends may come and go, but algorithms will change forever. 

In the 2010s, Facebook and Instagram were where all the hype was. Gaining followers by posting engaging content, putting proper hashtags, and a simple follow-for-follow was a recipe for success. These methods got nearly any account tens of thousands of followers within their first year and were considered the golden age of Facebook and Instagram organic marketing. That, however, is no longer the case. 

Facebook and Instagram have moved closer to the “pay to play” business model since 2020, bringing engagement to record lows. Today, even if you have a page with 50,000+ followers on Facebook, you’d be considered lucky to receive over 50 engagements. 

The statistics for 2022 are in and are abysmal at best, with Facebook coming in at a whopping 0.07% engagement rate and Instagram not far behind with 0.60%. It’s difficult to build brand success when your followers have trouble seeing your native content, let alone others not invested in the brand. 

So what’s so special about TikTok, you ask? TikTok’s algorithm works in ways that reward creators for quality content. The more people watch your content, the more reason the algorithm has to push your content to a larger audience. The longer people stay on the platform and watch videos made by you, the more reason TikTok has to increase your views. With an average of 5.10% engagement rate, it trumps Instagram by 8.5x and Facebook by a staggering 72x.

That being said, the solution to increase your following and going viral within the next year is, without a doubt, TikTok. 

Wait. Just the next year? 

Maybe. See, as algorithms change and more and more businesses and content creators flood the app, the average engagement is bound to decrease over time. Meaning eventually, TikTok will be just like all the other social platforms. 

Although it will likely take more time until engagement levels decrease, organic content gaining millions of views was only meant to last for a while. TikTok will probably be no exception. So the time to capitalize on growing your guest base by sharing your message with the masses on the platform is now.

So Should We Use TikTok in our Marketing Strategy?
Well, it depends. 

If you’re looking to attract tomorrow’s guests, you need to use today’s platforms. For them to know who you are and what you stand for, you need to be on the channels where they consume the most content. This is especially true if your primary target is the leisure market and you have many services that cater to it. 

However, suppose you’re a business hotel or a hotel that focuses on the senior citizen market. In that case, TikTok will likely not bring the highest return on investment, as your target audience is using the platform less. 

That being said, the immense opportunity to show your hotel, resort, cruise line, or anything else in the hospitality industry is upon us now. We suggest you ride the wave and increase your potential guest base by marketing your business on the platform. 

Once they’ve shown interest or booked a stay at the property, reaching them will be far more accessible as they will already be susceptible to your marketing and can be demonstrated offers via text, emails, or other retargeting campaigns that you have set in place. 

So What’s the Ardan Verdict? 
The answer is yes. You should invest in the platform if it fits your demographic and you have what to offer viewers that will eventually become guests. 

The best time to start your TikTok journey was yesterday. The second best time is now. 

At ArdanMarketing, we help hospitality-oriented businesses grow their direct bookings via digital marketing strategies like the one above to grow a new guest base and share your business’s message with the world. Contact us today so you, too, can start seeing success in digital marketing.

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