When asked how much time they spend on social media, 64% of marketers answered six hours or more on social media, according to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner.

However, not every hotel business has the funds to employ a full-time social media executive within their marketing department. Yet, they know how important social media is in today's age of the "always on" customer.

That puts them in something of a quandary...Or does it? We believe that hotels can have the best of both worlds: a comprehensive social media strategy which stays within budget.

The key is to save time where you can. Here's how:

1. Use automation software

When we first started using social media, the regularity and timing of posts was largely dependent on workload. However, with the tools that are available today, you don't need to be at your desk, or even have a device in hand, in order to publish a new post.

Buffer and Hootsuite are two of our favourites. Not only do they allow you share your content at the best possible times throughout the day, they automatically generate insights which can then be applied in future marketing endeavours.

2. Become a curator

The travel and hospitality sector benefits from having a tonne of user-generated content at its disposal. Don't waste the opportunity – freely post content produced by others, just make sure it's in keeping of your brand.

Curating content not only ensures a nice bit of variation and saves time, it shows your audience that you value their input, thus encouraging a more personal bond between you and your customers.

3. Work to a strict schedule

Social media is full of distractions. It's almost impossible not to load the latest tweets on your timeline when they arrive. Therefore, it might be a good idea to set a timer and restrict your time on social media to ensure productivity is maximised. Deadlines might sound daunting, but they exist for a reason.

4. Drop underperforming networks

Not all the social platforms will be well-aligned to your hotel business. Pinterest, for example, might not produce the results you were expecting as it relies on tangible products – while the hospitality industry is a service-driven sector. Don't be fooled into thinking that you need to be on every network for social media marketing to be a worthwhile undertaking.

5. Consider outsourcing

None of the tips above save as much time as outsourcing your social media marketing strategy entirely. Letting the experts take care of your social accounts for you makes sense on a number of levels: it puts your social media marketing in the hands of the people who know the platform best (thus ensuring you are getting the most value for your money), while giving you more time to work on the things you are best at.

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