What Just Happened in Social Media and What it Means for Hotels

Social media never stops, and neither do the updates that shape the platforms our guests are frequently engaging with. In the past two weeks, we’ve seen exciting new developments from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Reddit that are all working to change the game just a bit. Let’s take a look at all these updates and how they’ll affect hotels and resorts.

Facebook Releases “Unsend” Feature for Messenger

Facebook has rolled out a new “unsend” feature in Messenger, allowing you to remove a message within ten minutes after it was first sent. To delete specific blocks of text, tap on it and select the option “remove for everyone.” It will be replaced with an alert showing that a message was removed. This works for group conversations as well as one-on-one convos in Messenger, and it’s being released to a global audience.

What This Means for Hotels

We’ve all likely made use of Gmail’s “unsend” feature at some point, and now we have this functionality for Facebook, too. If you accidentally send incorrect information or need to revise a statement, you can use this feature when working with guests, but note that you should be careful of how you do it. Have a clear amendment and an explanation of what the deleted content was and why it was deleted so that guests won’t feel like you’re trying to cover up mistakes or pull one over on them.

Twitter Bans Follow-Unfollow Services

Twitter has announced that they’re suspending follow-unfollow services, cutting off API access to this software. Follow-unfollow software goes against Twitter’s terms of service, and is often used in attempt to quickly inflate someone’s follower count. Apps being suspended include Crowdfire, ManageFlitter, and Statusbrew.

What This Means for Hotels

This announcement closely aligns with the changes Twitter has been making recently to improve authenticity on the platform and the user experience along with it. Since follow-unfollow is more like an attempt at cheating the system instead of engaging with it, taking away from the user experience. If you’re using this software, go ahead and remove it now and focus on other strategies to connect with new followers.

Instagram Now Features IGTV Previews in Feed

Instagram has announced that previews of videos from IGTV accounts users follow will now appear in their main Instagram feeds. Creators will be able to share up to a minute-long preview to Instagram, and users simply have to tap on the preview to watch the full-length content on IGTV.

What This Means for Hotels

IGTV is a standalone app that integrates with Instagram, and now it will be much easier to usher users from one to the other to see your long-form content. Consider using IGTV to share longer videos showcasing your resort, highlighting events, and even highlighting amenities or doing Q&As and use your built-in Instagram audience to get more viewers.

LinkedIn Releases New Tools for Company Pages

LinkedIn has rolled out a lot of new updates this month, the first of which includes new features for their Company Pages.

The new changes include:

●     More in-depth analytics that include more audience demographic information

●     A Pages Toolkit that feature short, actionable guides about how to optimize advertising on-platform

●     Content Suggestions, which provide information on what your audience may be interested in seeing

What This Means for Hotels

Company Pages historically haven’t been as useful as business profiles on other platforms just because there weren’t as many useful, actionable features for companies to use. LinkedIn is really trying to change that, and the new resources available for Pages could make them significantly more prominent for hotels and resorts looking to connect with B2B professionals.

LinkedIn Rolls Out New Recruiting & Job Searching Features

LinkedIn has rolled out more recruiting and job hunting features in attempt to streamline the process for both parties involved. Job searchers will be able to learn more about the companies they’re interested in working with, and even track them for future job openings. There are more developments in the works here, and hopefully we’ll have more news soon.

What This Means for Hotels

Social media isn’t just for connecting with guests; it can help you find great employees for your hotels and resorts, too. If you’re hiring, take a close look at LinkedIn. You could find some outstanding candidates and quickly review their job history and even testimonials from past colleagues or employers.

LinkedIn Announced “LinkedIn Live”

Live broadcasting is everywhere, and now LinkedIn has announced their own version. After partnering with a few third-party streaming services, they’ve created a native live feature. Right now it’s in testing with a small group of users in the US, but this will likely roll out to wider audiences soon, allowing users to share broadcasts with select groups or to all of their followers.

Image source: Social Media Today 

What This Means for Hotels

LinkedIn is unique in that it’s a business-oriented professional network, so your guests will be using it differently than Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Make sure that the live content you share is created with that in mind. You can focus on information sharing and value-based lives to appeal to your guests. Consider starting with videos that offer information about how to choose a resort for your conference, or places to visit in their off-time when guests are near your resort for work.

Reddit Offers Advanced Features for Advertisers

Reddit Ads have been around for a while, but they’re now releasing a few new features to make the platform more appealing for advertisers. They’ve just rolled out App Install campaigns, which will be shown to users of Reddit’s mobile app for the highest chance of users taking action. They’ve also improved their ad tracking and reporting capabilities with a conversion pixel, giving advertisers more concrete data about how their campaigns are performing.

What This Means for Hotels

First, if your hotel or resort has a mobile app, consider testing out Reddit’s App Install campaigns to connect with new guests. And if you’ve used Reddit before but ended up unhappy with the lack of detailed reporting, consider taking another look. Reddit Ads has less competition than other social PPC platforms like Facebook and Instagram, so that could work in your favor.

All-In-One Facebook Messaging & What It Means for the Hospitality Industry

Last week, Facebook announced it is reportedly working to develop a single, unified messaging infrastructure and increasing the connection between several of their apps.

 

The integration will allow users to communicate cross-platform even while using the individual apps of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram’s messaging, combining the world’s 3 largest messaging platforms. Thousands of Facebook employees are supposedly hard at work, with the goal being to make the integration complete by the end of 2019 or early 2020, though Zuckerberg has said that the functionality likely wouldn’t be possible until sometime in 2020 at the latest.

 

This is happening in the midst of questions about too much connectivity and user privacy concerns, which has garnered mixed reactions to the news at hand even though Facebook first started laying the groundwork for this as early as 2016.

 

Right now, while users are deciding how they feel about this, businesses and marketers have gone straight into what it might mean for them and how it will impact their guest relationships. Some have argued that it will “strengthen Facebook’s grip” on users, with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg taking charge of platforms he’d previously said he wouldn’t be heavily involved with.

 

After a great deal of research, I believe this will be a powerful and very positive change for businesses in the hospitality industry, opening the door to the future of live chat.

 

We already know that live chat is essential for businesses in the hospitality industry, where guests frequently have questions to be answered or special accommodations to be requested that an FAQ section just won’t solve. One study even found that 79% of customers prefer live chat to other options because it was both immediate and convenient, which is a winning combination in our on-the-go world.

 

We’ve already seen an increase in guests reaching out to hotels and resorts through social media direct messaging because it’s easy and it’s fast for them, but it’s still convenient. They’re able to send a message to a resort through Facebook Messenger, put down their phone, run their errands, and then come back later to see what was said. There’s the immediacy of live chat without the inherent urgency; they won’t be dropped from the chat if they don’t reply quickly enough, so it’s well-suited to busy consumers.

 

I believe that this Facebook messaging integration, as a result, will become a live chat replacement, giving consumers the ultimate control in how and when they’re getting in touch with hotels. Since there are more than 2.6 million users on the messaging apps combined as it is, this is a valuable opportunity for businesses in the hospitality industry to connect with their guests in a place they’ll be happy to engage.

 

Consumer control is almost always a good thing for any business that’s willing to rise and meet the challenge, and I know we’re getting our clients ready for the shift ahead. Are you getting ready?

 

Lodging Interactive is an award-winning, full-service Hotel Marketing and Social Media Engagement Agency exclusively servicing the hospitality, spa and restaurant industries. Since 2001, we have provided hundreds of hotels and resorts with proven, ROI driven online marketing services.  For more information please visit call 877-291-4411 or visit https://lodginginteractive.com.

 

About Lodging Interactive

 

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing, social media engagement and reputation management agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. The Company provides cost-effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants, and spas.

commingle:engage has established itself as the largest provider of reputation management services for the hospitality industry, handling over 200,000 guest review responses annually. The Company also offers fully managed Live Chat services for hotel websites through its LiveChatForHotels.com operation and comprehensive social media marketing services.

Lodging Interactive is an HSMAI Adrian Award winner and has won awards from the International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association, Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader.

The Company’s Founder & CEO, DJ Vallauri, formerly served on the Board of Directors of HSMAI’s New York Chapter and is a Forbes.com Agency Council contributor. For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

Facebook Announces Plans to Merge Messaging Apps

In the past year, there’s been a lot of discussion and scandal around data breaches and platform manipulation from third parties. This newsletter, which is covering the last few weeks of news, shows that this is still front and center in the minds of many, including the platforms themselves. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at what’s new on social media and how it will impact hotels and resorts.

Facebook Announces Plans to Merge Messaging Apps 

The New York Times has just announced that Facebook is reportedly planning on integrating the private message features from Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger into one single technical infrastructure. According to Facebook, the services will each remain in stand-alone apps, it would just change from a technical point of view.

What This Means for Hotels 

We think this is a game changer in social media and, even more importantly, in the worlds of customer service and live chat.

Here’s what we know so far:

●     Users will be able to connect across multiple messaging platforms

●     All apps will incorporate end-to-end encryption

●     The goal is to increase utility (and we think it will)

●     It will change the game for live chat, and we’re already underway working on what’s next.

Facebook Offers New Additional Transparency Features 

Facebook is rolling out new transparency features to hopefully restore more trust in the Pages marketing on platform. One of these features is their new Quality tab, which tells users if a Page has had any content revoked due to false information, hate speech, or other violations of community guidelines. It will also show Pages the content that was removed to hopefully better help them understand how they were in violation of the rules.

Image source: Facebook  

They’re also cracking down on the creation of new Pages or profiles that are similar to those removed for violating standards.

What This Means for Hotels

Trust is a big thing for Facebook users right now, and the platform is doing everything they can to at least help users trust the brands advertising on it right now. Ensure that your content is adhering to the community regulations and you’ll be in good standing with Facebook and your audience. There’s no need to hide skeletons, after all, if there aren’t any skeletons in the first place.

Twitter Rolls Out Two New Features

Last week, Twitter released a new tool on desktop that allows users to edit images in-app before publishing. The tool isn’t anything too advanced, but it does allow you to resize or crop the image to hopefully make it more appealing to your followers.

Image source: Matt Navarra 

They also released new social functions for events, including the ability to see how many people are engaging with an event in real time.

What This Means for Hotels

Most hotels and resorts are likely having their images edited before they make it to Twitter, but if you aren’t and you’re looking for an easy solution, this is it.

The social context for events, on the other hand, could have a huge impact on hotels. If you’re hosting a big conference at your hotel and want to create a Twitter Event to generate buzz, this feature could help you leverage social proof to do exactly that.

Periscope Adds Guests to Live Streams

Periscope– Twitter’s sister company focusing on live videos– has just updated their platform so that users hosting a broadcast can invite up to three guests to participate. This feature previously wasn’t available on Periscope, but there is a catch: the invited users won’t appear on the screen, and it will only be their audio that’s shared.

What This Means for Hotels

More options for live video are always a good thing considering its value in today’s social media marketing climate. If your audience is particularly active on Twitter, you can take advantage of this and interview guests, staff, or other industry experts. Keep in mind, however, that it’s easier on Facebook and Instagram to host lives where guests can be seen during the broadcast, so it may be a good idea to start there.

LinkedIn Ads Roll Out Interest Targeting

LinkedIn Ads has just introduced interest targeting to their ad platform, allowing advertisers to target users based on topics they’ve expressed interest in. And one of those interests are “business travel,” opening the door for hotels and resorts to connect with potential guests who may be looking to book reservations.

What This Means for Hotels

LinkedIn Ads can yield great results, and if you’re using them for marketing to either gain new employees or connect with new guests, interest targeting may open up options to better connect with the right people. You could create an ad targeting that “business travel” interest, for example, or even target users who are interested in biology if you’ve got a science convention happening in your hotel and want to increase attendance and hotel reservations.

While you don’t want to use targeting that you don’t need or that isolates too much of your audience, this feature will be good to have when it’s relevant to the campaigns you’re creating.

Latest Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube Changes Affecting Hotels and Resorts

The new year always brings new changes, and this month we’ve had an onslaught of social media updates as each platform readies themselves for success in 2019. We’ve got new features designed to improve the users’ and marketers’ experience, so let’s take a look at the ones that will affect hotels, resorts, and other businesses in the hospitality industry.

Facebook Releases Multi-Language Dynamic Ads

Facebook has just rolled out a new type of Dynamic Ads that enables businesses to create ads in multiple languages. When creating your ad campaigns, just add in different language variations of the text you’re using, along with the URL of the landing page you’re sending users to.

Image source: Social Media Today 

What This Means for Hotels

Previously, advertisers were having to create multiple ads that were targeted by language and/or location, and then creating distinct ads for each individual language. This speeds up the process, and is a game changer for hotels and resorts, especially those with bilingual or international audiences.

Facebook Alters Group Invitation System

Previously, any time someone added a new user to their group, the person was automatically added as a member. While this did help to inflate group size, it was a superficial growth and many people would mute notifications and never engage. To prevent this from happening, Facebook users who are now added will have an “invited” status until they choose to actually join themselves.

What This Means for Hotels

Facebook Groups are an excellent community-building opportunity, but superficial growth won’t do you a lot of good. This new change will ensure that your group will only have engaged members within it, making your analytics more valuable and your community more close-knit.

Facebook Rolls Out Call-to-Action Stickers for Page Stories

Facebook Stories now have a new CTA sticker, which allows Pages to create clickable links encouraging users to “Shop Now,” “Book Now,” “Call Now,” or “Get Directions” directly within the Story.

Image source: Matt Navara 

What This Means for Hotels

Stories are a popular feature and have previously been most useful for brand awareness. This allows Pages to turn their Stores into clickable marketing content that users will happily engage with. The Book Now, Call Now, and Get Directions stickers will all be incredibly valuable to hotels and resorts, allowing them to easily drive actions and communication with potential guests.

Facebook Testing Stories Event Stickers

A new Facebook Story sticker is currently being tested that allows Pages to feature events in their Stories. It appears as though the events must be created as a Facebook event to be able to use this feature, and it’s currently only available in testing in the US, Mexico, and Brazil.

Image source: Engadget 

What This Means for Hotels

Many hotels and resorts regularly hold events ranging from mega conferences to a small movie night for guests by the pool. Creating official Facebook events and then being able to promote them in Stories– which don’t have the issue of declining organic reach– in an engaging, interactive way can mean good news for the attendance of your events (and thus your bottom line).

Big Changes Announced at Twitter

Twitter has announced a number of big changes happening on the platform in 2019. Most haven’t happened just yet, but the sneak peek is still valuable.

Here’s what’s changing:

●     A redesign of the site, which will be less cluttered with a two-column layout, and come with new features like improved search and emoji shortcuts.

●     Beta testing for new “conversational” features, including algorithmically-sorted replies.

●      New event, content, and audience analytics tools to improve marketers’ and businesses’ understanding of what’s happening and why.

Image source: Twitter

What This Means for Hotels

It’s no secret that Twitter has been looking at a revamp for awhile; they were losing followers and they knew they had to adapt. These changes are all shifts towards making Twitter into something new and more appealing for both users and marketers. Hotels and resorts should keep an eye on the changes and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly. We’ll keep you updated on this as they roll out.

TweetDeck Offers New Scheduling Abilities

TweetDeck is owned by Twitter and is their recommended tool for scheduling content. Now, the TweetDeck is capable of scheduling tweets that contain videos or multiple images. Previously, hotels and resorts were relying on third-party software for this feature.

Image source: Twitter 

What This Means for Hotels

While many hotels and resorts already rely on either agencies to take over their marketing for them or third-party software which offers similar features across multiple platforms, this is still a good thing for those who don’t have access (or the budget) for either.

Instagram Releases Ability to Post to Multiple Accounts

If you have several linked accounts on Instagram, you can now share a single post to multiple accounts at the same time when uploading new content. This feature is exclusive to newsfeed content (not Stories), and currently only available for iOS devices, and there’s no information yet about when it will be released to Android users.

Image source: TechCrunch 

What This Means for Hotels

Most hotels and resorts, again, are already using third-party software to handle this task, and it’s most often used to share the same post to other branded accounts like a sister hotel or the resort’s restaurant’s profile. If this software isn’t in the budget, however, this is a good option to speed up the process.

YouTube Eliminates Activity-Sharing to Twitter

Beginning on February 1st, YouTube will be removing the ability to automatically post your YouTube activity to Twitter. You can still share videos from YouTube with the Share button, but this will have to be done manually.

What This Means for Hotels

If YouTube marketing is a part of your strategy, take note of this. Instead of relying on auto-sharing, use scheduling software to distribute the link to the video on other sites if you choose and customize the messaging accompanying it for each individual platform. You can also choose to upload the video natively, which can help it get more traction on each platform.