Our series on guest segmentation has already shown how your property can attract families and appeal to business travellers. In this final post, we suggest ways you can get more bookings from millennial travellers: from social media to personalisation.
Millennials are the most connected, tech-savvy generation yet. Born between 1980 and 2000, they’ve come of age alongside the rise of the Internet, mobile phones and social media – making millennials unique when it comes to travel.
As they’ve grown up around technology, the world is a very small place for millennials. So it’s no surprise that they’re 23% more likely to travel abroad than older generations. However, they expect a smooth and seamless experience, which brings its own challenges.
To help you overcome these, here are our tips on how to attract more millennial travellers to your hotel or accommodation:
1. Use social media in your marketing strategy
In much the same way as they connect with their friends, millennials engage with brands by sharing information about their experiences through social media. In fact, 42% of their Facebook posts are travel stories.
This puts your property in a great position to catch the attention of millennials and get their booking. From running competitions to promoting local events, there are lots of social media content ideas that can increase your online visibility.
To set your property apart from competitors, try to use a unique, branded hashtag for your social media posts. This will encourage your followers to share your content and help you to keep track of, and repost, user-generated content.
In addition, social media is simply a cost-effective way to improve your online presence, promote your brand identity and reach new potential guests.
2. Improve the guest experience with guest messaging
With technology increasingly paving the way for quick and easy everyday communication, millennials have the same high expectations when it comes to their trips.
Instant messaging offers you a fast and instant way of responding to special requests, sharing important information and managing expectations.
3. Personalise the guest experience
As a generation accustomed to so much advertising noise, millennials are more selective and have a shorter attention span than other potential guests. They tend to lose interest in any communication that doesn’t feel relevant to their particular needs.
Try to use whatever data you have on millennials in order to come up with offers they’ll find interesting. It’s essential to hone your message by speaking to them, not at them.
The thing about millennial travellers is that 46% are willing to exchange personal data for relevancy. So you can learn a lot about their preferences from their social media channels alone.
4. Encourage guests to leave a review
Social validation is key for millennial travellers because they really trust the opinions of their peers. According to research, 82% consider reviews important when booking accommodation.
Reviews are therefore a great way to build your online reputation and attract millennial guests. So make sure you keep track of incoming guest reviews, reply to all of them, and view each one as an opportunity to enhance your property’s image.
There are even ways to turn negative reviews around that can result in positive outcomes for your business.
5. Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Having grown up with technology at their fingertips, millennials like to do various tasks on the go. When it comes to accessing the Internet, 75% use a mobile device and 18% of those are mobile-only users.
So, naturally, millennial travellers also like to research their upcoming trips on their phones. Given that 46% book travel on a mobile device, your property website needs to be mobile responsive to make sure it’s usable – and looks great – across all devices.
What’s more, this reliance on mobile means millennials book much later than other generations of travellers. In fact, 49% take last-minute vacations.
In 2017, around 80% of last-minute bookings were made from a mobile device. So if your site isn’t optimised, you’re missing out on potential bookings and revenue.
6. Help guests discover local culture
Authenticity is the real deal. Whether driven by curiosity or a desire to up their social media currency, more and more millennials are seeking local experiences, out-of-the-way places and genuine connections with locals.
You can cater for this demand by helping millennial travellers discover lesser known attractions, cooperating with local guides and teaming up with local restaurants to show off your region’s cuisine.
7. Be more environmentally and socially aware
As many as 68% of travellers said they intended to stay in an environmentally friendly accommodation in 2018 (source: Booking.com internal data).
Look over your property’s sustainability practices to make sure you appeal to the growing number of eco-conscious millennial guests.