What Just Happened in Social Media and what it Means for Hotels – March 14, 2019

The hospitality industry never sleeps and social media doesn’t, either. This week’s edition of our biweekly newsletter discusses new changes to Facebook groups, expanded Promoted Pin access, clarification of YouTube policies, and some news about what Instagram is working on next.

Facebook Releases New Management Tools 

Facebook has just released a flurry of new formatting updates and management tools for Page and group admins. These new changes include:

●     The expansion of subscription groups, which allow businesses to create paid, subscription-only groups

●     Searching membership requests by name, so you can ensure certain audience members are granted fast access to your group.

●     Page admins can respond to Instagram private messages through their Facebook inboxes

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Improved ease of use for Page and group admins is an asset for hotels and resorts and any of the social media managers that work for them. Groups have become a strong marketing strategy, and having the ability to better manage branded groups that center your hotel or resort can provide a better experience for you and your guests.

And take note of the Instagram messaging showing up in the inboxes of Facebook Pages. There are also rumors that Instagram is testing messaging on the desktop version of their site, and all of this lines up with their grand plan to integrate the messaging apps from Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp by early next year.

Pinterest Expands Ad Access to Four New Countries 

Pinterest has released ad access to four new countries, including business accounts in Austria, Germany, Italy, and Spain, who previously didn’t have this feature available to them yet, even though countries who did have the ads already were able to target audiences in those countries.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: It’s not uncommon for hotels or resorts to have businesses in multiple countries. If this applies to you, and one of your business accounts is located in Germany, Italy, Spain, or Austria, you now have the opportunity to run Promoted Pin campaigns. They can be an effective way to generate site traffic, especially if you target keywords like “dream vacation” or “mountain resort.”

Instagram Releases Follower-Sorting Feature 

Instagram is testing and slowly releasing a new follower-sorting feature on the mobile app. Business profiles can sort their follower list by who has been there the longest, and who was most recent to join.

Image source: Social Media Today 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: While this feature may not seem too impressive at a first glance, it actually has huge potential for hotels and resorts.Your most long-term followers, for example, could be potential brand advocates. Your most recent followers, on the other hand, may benefit from some active relationship-building, like an effort to reach out through a private DM to welcome them to your channel or offer a special coupon code for booking.

YouTube Updates Its Penalty System

YouTube has updated and simplified their penalty system for creators and community members. Now, if users violate a rule, they’ll be given a warning with no immediate penalty on their channel aside from the removal of the offending content. After the warnings, if violations are still made, YouTube will freeze the ability to upload new content twice, before terminating the channel on the third strike.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: All brands on YouTube should be following their guidelines as is, and most hotels and resorts do that well. The majority of guidelines focus on things like language, inappropriate content, and scams or misleading information. As long as your external links are taking users exactly where you say they will, you’ll pretty much be in the clear.

YouTube Confirms Crackdown on Giveaways 

The YouTube community has recently noticed that videos featuring on-platform giveaways have been flagged more often, and YouTube has confirmed that while giveaways and contests aren’t being banned, they’re cracking down more on certain violations. Specifically, giveaways cannot be used to link to external websites that are solely designed to increase engagement metrics.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: If you want to host giveaways or contests on YouTube to promote your hotel or resort, make sure that you’re following all of their community rules. You can still use giveaways to increase brand awareness and generate engagement on-platform with on-platform videos.

How to Get Your Resort & Travel Brochure PDFs To Google’s Position Zero By Lodging Interactive

Plenty of hotels, resorts, and other businesses in the hospitality industry have brochures and guides for guests conveniently packaged into one hyper-valuable PDF. They list everything from resort amenities and pricing to events happening at the hotel to what to do in the area, and so much more.

 

Now, there’s a chance to have those PDFs featured prominently on Google in a way that can help you increase brand awareness and connect with new guests.

 

Google has just announced that they’ll be pulling content from online PDFs to use in their featured snippets section of position zero. This presents an enormous opportunity for hotels and resorts to maximize search visibility, which can directly lead to more traffic and an increase in reservations.

 

Ready to take advantage of this for your business? We’re going to show you exactly how to create and optimize content so it has a shot at snagging that prime placement.

Google’s Position Zero: What It Is And Why It Matters for Hotels & Resorts

Google’s Position Zero is also known as their featured snippet block, where a searcher’s question is answered in a concise way. These answers are featured above the rest of the search results for maximum visibility, and users can click for more information to be taken to the source.

 

 

 

Historically, only HTML links were used as sources for featured snippets, but now content from online PDFs (the key word here being online) will be used, too.

 

 

It’s not uncommon for hotels and resorts to already have a number of PDF resources available for their guests, and now there’s an opportunity for those already-existing resources to be used to increase search visibility. Brands also have the option to create content that is specifically written with featured snippets in mind, providing value to potential guests right from the very first interaction.

How to Rank for Google’s Position Zero with PDFs

You know you want to rank for Position Zero to increase brand awareness and hopefully get plenty of clicks and links back to your site. Here’s how you can do it.

Optimize PDFs for Featured Snippets

You have the best shot of appearing in a featured snippet if content within your PDF is, in fact, optimized for that purpose. Consider what questions your guests ask frequently, because these are questions they’ll likely search for online, too. Then create succinct, concise answers for each. Opt for simple but actionable statements, and use bullet-point lists if needed.

 

For the hospitality industry, examples of content that may do well include addressing questions like what to do in an area or what standard checkout procedures are in a resort.

 

Remember, the better you’re able to directly answer these questions in a search-friendly way, the more likely you are to get a shot at that featured snippet.

 

Consider SEO-Friendliness

As you’re optimizing your content, take careful consideration of SEO into account. I recommend using tools like SEMrush to look for question-based keywords that generate a large number of traffic, and use headlines or subheads in the PDF using these same keywords. Asking the question in the PDF and then immediately answering it can help you get results.

 

Publish that PDF Online

Don’t just feature a landing page with the actual PDF and require users to download it before accessing the content, because this will prevent it from being crawlable. And if Google can’t access the information, they can’t share it.

 

You can have your PDFs available on your own site, giving them their own page, and still offering users the ability to download the content if they choose.

 

PDF aggregators will also likely eventually find their way to you, featuring your content on their site. This increases the number of backlinks to your site (as long as they’re linking to you and giving you permission), which can increase both your domain authority (which gives you a better shot at ranking higher in the SERPs) and site traffic, helping you get closer towards that goal.

Tips to Maximize Guest Contact from Your PDFs

To maximize the amount of site traffic you get from your PDFs, consider the following for best results:

  • Offer valuable information. This is what people are typically looking for and what shows up in featured snippets.
  • Create PDF headlines that relate to the searches you want to appear in.
  • Keep SEO and keywords in mind when creating and organizing your PDF; answer questions immediately instead of dragging out the answers.
  • Add links! This is the most important step. Add links to your site including your homepage and resources like your blog so that readers can end up coming back to you. Without this, you’re leaving a lot of potential on the table.

Conclusion

Many brands have everything from lead magnet ebooks to travel brochures online available to connect with guests and improve their experience along the way. Optimize your content moving forward with the featured snippet potential in mind, because the potential search visibility and resulting traffic could be an opportunity too good to pass up.

 

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 a full suite of 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.