Why Storytelling Will Lift Boutique Hotels Above the Giants

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Storytelling is more relevant than it’s ever been due to the impact of the pandemic. Hospitality companies are facing a much more competitive landscape, and great storytelling can help you stand out.

For example, highlighting employees that have worked hard to keep the business running through COVID. People can relate to that story, because most of us have been impacted in some way, shape or form financially by the pandemic. And a common misconception is that social media should be just like your website, and many hotels are just putting pictures up there of the room, the rooftop, F&B – it’s very stale and static.

The power of social media and storytelling is the authentic connections that you can build. This is an opportunity for businesses to show their personal side and really engage with their followers and guests. Too many miss the boat, there. No matter the size of your property, you can create an engaged audience by highlighting what makes your property, your team and your location special. People are forgetting that hospitality is all about the human connection.

As an industry, I think we’ve gone way too far away from that. Storytelling on social is a great way to build connections with people, engage with them about their anniversaries, birthdays or why they’re traveling. You can go back and forth and comment and really dig in to who your guest is, and you have that ability on social media.

A big storytelling win for me is the Il Salviatino in Florence, I stayed there a couple of years ago, because we were going to Florence, and I was happy to be working with a company that got me a good rate there. But, after having stayed there, I found out that it’s a converted 15th century villa that was owned by Italian bankers. If you know anything about Florence, you know that banking really started this whole concept, and the original building, this hotel, this home has now been converted to a hotel – the original library from the 15th century is still there, as well as art by Dali in the walls and the hallways.

The current owners have had this passed down for a few generations. So the same family has owned this for a few generations, now. And if you knew all of this as a guest, wouldn’t you choose this hotel over the run-of-the-mill hotel over a hotel that doesn’t have anything behind it?

Tell that story that is going to really resonate. To be able to do that is going to set you apart.

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