Never let a glowing review, recap, or repost of social media content related to your brand go to waste again. With help from social walls, hotels and restaurants can maximize their online and in-person engagement with audiences across all demographics.
Have you been curious about getting one (or two, or three) but don’t know where to start? In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about social walls and how they benefit hospitality brands. From which app is leading the social wall pack to practical ways to maximize your investment, we’ve got all the A’s to your most important Q’s on social walls for hotels and restaurants below.
What is a social wall?
A social wall (also referred to as a social media wall) is a collection of content from various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that can be displayed in one central feed. This may live on a company’s homepage. But social walls can also be displayed on one or more physical screens at a hotel or restaurant. For example, see our embed Instagram feed article where we also show some great use cases.
The media displayed on the social wall comes from a live or filtered content feed online. You can link all of your hotel or restaurant brand accounts and display all branded posts in one place. You can also use a social wall to aggregate content created by customers using specific account names, hashtags, and keywords.
Social walls can be set to re-share content in real-time. Most will refresh in as little as one to fifteen minutes depending on your software provider so your social wall is always up to date on the latest posts.
A good social wall tool can filter all the content that’s posted on it for you, which is especially important if you are auto-loading media. But if you’d like more control over your display, social wall tools also offer manual content upload so you can curate the perfect collection of text, photos, and videos for your audience.
Not sure if a social wall is right for you? Consider whether your hotel or restaurant has ever wanted to do the following:
- Host a hybrid or virtual event that gains significant social media exposure
- Provide interesting entertainment for employees, partners, and guests as they wait in your lobby
- Boost conversions through social proof shared directly on your booking site
- Gain more followers from repeat guests who may or may not already know about your brand’s social media presence
- Incentivize new and returning customers to engage with your brand more online
If you’ve said ‘yes’ to any of the above, a social wall may be a great way to differentiate your brand from competitors and achieve your goals.
Why should a hotel or restaurant have a presence on social media?
Unless you have an established brand built on exclusivity, having a social media presence is essential for your hotel or restaurant. In addition to fueling marketing and sales goals through powerful tools such as social walls, having a social media presence makes it easier to find (and keep) customers long term.
According to Forbes, “When you can harness the power of social engagements and deliver the content that makes people want to hit the follow, like, share or add-to-cart button (as is the case with Instagram’s shopping feature), you are actively building a customer experience that has a collective goal as well as the ability to span a variety of digital channels.” This includes everything from your website to your social wall.
Forbes also says: “Over time, this can help build consumer trust and create familiarity and meaningful connections.”
What are the benefits of using social walls for customer engagement?
Besides being fun, social walls serve many purposes for today’s cutting-edge hospitality brands. From making a great first impression to driving sales, the benefits of using a social wall for customer engagement are endless. Here are the advantages that stand out the most:
1) Involve customers in your marketing
Social walls are the perfect way to shout out rave reviews, stunning photos, and informational videos about your business that your customers made themselves. Not only does sharing these high-quality pieces of content on your social wall show appreciation for the people who took the time to create them but it’s also fun for everyone!
2) Generate meaningful buzz
Are you looking for an impressive piece of visual art to add to your interior design? A social wall is a sleek, modern, and technologically advanced showstopper used by many sophisticated properties. Place it center stage behind your check-in counter, in front of your lobby seating, or in your VIP lounge for an instant ‘wow’ factor.
Even if you prefer to have your social wall blend in, there are lots of ways you can use one to get people excited. One popular example is to add a competitive element to the experience. Some brands will organize a raffle around the best posts shared on social media using a specific hashtag during a given period of time. All participants will get to see their very own content on your social wall and potentially win prizes.
3) Highlight best features
You have complete control over what goes on your social wall which also means you can easily align its content with your sales and marketing initiatives. Gearing up to promote a Sweetheart Gallery or an organic farm-to-table cocktail? These items can be featured simultaneously alongside photos of your guests actually enjoying them, making them go from interesting to absolutely crave-worthy.
And if you place your social wall in a strategic location on your website, it can be a powerful force for upselling items such as ski package add-ons, prix fixe menu upgrades—pretty much anything that you consider to be photogenic!
4) Show don’t tell
Why tell your customers you’re the best when you can have others prove it for you? Social walls use real feedback from real people, making them a rock-solid source of truth among new and returning audiences.
Not only does this build credibility and trust but it also makes it easier to build a campaign around a specific offer. For example, some social wall tools offer split-screen video options. That means you can play a marketing video for your pool, cocktail, or lounge side by side with actual customer reviews of those featured items.
How can hotels and restaurants use social media walls?
Now that you know all the reasons why social walls benefit hospitality brands, let’s take a closer look at what you can actually do with them. While the sky really is the limit with this creative marketing tool, we recommend starting with the following most common ways that successful hotels and restaurants use social media walls:
Curate a greatest hits gallery
You have complete control over what content is shown, how it’s displayed, and where it will go so why not put your best foot forward? Highlighting your hotel or restaurant’s best features through a social wall is easy to do, especially if you already have glowing reviews you’d like to use to increase sales.
Add your own branding
Customize your social media wall so that it becomes an extension of your brand story in every aspect. Choose your colors, layout, and theme. And if your team has the bandwidth, look for content that aligns with your brand voice made by customers who match your ideal guest profile.
Reuse and repurpose content
Ever struggled to come up with yet another podcast topic, Instagram caption, or YouTube video outline? Been there! The good news is that social walls can help you save time and money on marketing long after they appear on your display. Simply use them as a source of inspiration for your own content and you’ll never hit marketer writer’s block again.
Reward customer engagement
It’s nice to show appreciation for those who take the time to leave well-written, thoughtful, and passionate support for your brand online. That’s why hotels and restaurants will often use social walls to show them the love right back. If you’ve got a circle of VIP clients, why not showcase them as a group next time they make a reservation? Even if you don’t go that far with it, making sure to include their exceptional content on your social wall will make them feel good about sharing their thoughts in the first place.
Where can hotels and restaurants use their social walls?
You can pretty much share a social wall anywhere you can put a physical or digital display. Here are the most popular and effective locations:
Lobbies offer a variety of social media wall display options including full wall coverage, screensavers for self-check-in kiosks, and gift shop television content.
Whether hosted or organized by your property, a social wall makes a great addition to nearly any area at an event. Think check-in stations, vendor booths, and stage backdrops.
Websites and Landing Pages
Embed social proof directly onto your webpage at strategic locations. Use a website heat mapping tool to fully optimize its placement and drive conversions.
TikTok: the next big thing in social walls
The clock app, as it is sometimes called, is arguably the king of all video-sharing social media apps at the moment—and it doesn’t seem to be retiring any time soon. Thanks to recent events, the app has seen an unprecedented surge in new users and average monthly members.
According to Business of Apps, “TikTok had 1.2 billion monthly active users in Q4 2021 and is expected to reach 1.5 billion by the end of 2022”. Those numbers represent an astronomical amount of user-generated content your hotel or restaurant can easily capture and share using your social wall.
As you can see, if your social wall tool doesn’t already offer a TikTok integration then you’ll need to upgrade soon.
Not sure which platform to go with? Here are some example features from Juicer’s own TikTok integration that we think hotels and restaurants absolutely need in order to get the most out of their social walls:
- Blend TikTok content with related content from 16 other platforms all into one cohesive feed.
- Choose to moderate the TikTok posts your social wall aggregates by listing specific words, usernames, and hashtags your display will or will not collect.
- Opt to make your social wall TikTok or video only for a truly attention-grabbing feed.
You can also check out this guide to embed TikTok video feed on your website with just a few clicks.
Ready to give social walls a try? Get started on creating a beautiful, on-brand feed instantly with Juicer’s free signup.