October 9, 2014 • By Joe Haydn
Ever watch the competition land a big event while you’re stuck at a 60% occupancy rate? You know their rooms are full. Their restaurants are hoppin.’ And all you can do is scratch your head and hope that meeting planner calls you next time. Fortunately, that’s not all you can do. You can build a LinkedIn marketing plan that puts you in front of thousands of meeting planners. In a moment, I’m going to give you some specific tips on building your LinkedIn plan, but first let's get you in the LinkedIn mindset. Remember that it’s social media… not “sales media.” Professionals log on to gain business insight and connect. Everyone knows you have something to sell. So, you can ease off the sales pitch and just be helpful. Work it like you would a networking event—not too pushy, friendly and professional. Now, that you’ve got the LinkedIn mindset, let’s get to those 5 simple action steps…
1. Connect with Meeting Planners in Groups:Imagine you could pull thousands of prospects into one room and talk shop. A nice dream, but tough to pull off, right? Luckily, there are LinkedIn groups that do just that. Professionals join groups to share content, ask questions, and get answers. You’re allowed to be in 50 groups at a time. In one Event Planning & Event Management group, there are currently 211,894 members and 18 subgroups. You could be active in a group like this every day.
2. Content Publishing:LinkedIn now allows you to publish your own helpful content directly on the site. This can be especially useful if you struggle to reach a business audience. Use LinkedIn publisher to write directly for event planners. You could give tips on choosing the right room configurations or feeding a group in a tight time space. Or you can tell stories of past successes.
3. Company Pages:Besides personal profiles, LinkedIn allows hotels to create company pages. Your company page is an important part of your branding. You can use it to promote blog posts, announce changes, and position your hotel as a leader in your area.
4. Seek Partnerships with Local Vendors:LinkedIn has over 187 million users and 40% check it daily. Why limit yourself to direct connections with planners? Join local business groups. Send InMails and personalized connection requests to synergistic local vendors. Remember, it behooves them to connect with you, too. This can be one of the easiest ways to grow your network.
5. Keep an Eye on the Competition:What if your competition got that big event because they’re already active on LinkedIn? If you’re not active, you’ll never know what the competition is doing. And they’ll continue to fill up while you continue to miss sales targets. It’s time to get LinkedIn. Now that you have a plan, it’s time to log on. Join a few groups. Think about what you could publish. Connect with other locals. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments or connect with us on social media. We’re happy to answer them for you.
Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 30th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com