Read The Latest Hospitality Related Social Media Marketing News – June 1, 2019

Social media evolves so quickly that so much has already happened since our last edition of our biweekly newsletter. Facebook is shaking up the algorithm again, Twitter has rolled out new retweeting features, and Instagram Stories just got even more impressive reach. We’ll go over all of this and more in this newsletter, and explain what exactly it means for you.

Facebook’s New Algorithm Prioritizes “Worthwhile” Content

Facebook announced two algorithm updates recently. The first prioritizes content from friends that an individual might want to hear from most. The second prioritizes links that a person might consider “most worthwhile.”

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: The second algorithm update that focuses on “worthwhile” links is something that hotels and resorts should pay attention to. Offer links that your audience will find value from– like links to travel information they may need or fun things to do around your resort– instead of just spamming links to your site. This will not only help you get more clicks, but rank higher in the algorithm.

Facebook Clears Up that Clear History Tool

Facebook plans to release its “Clear History” tool in the coming months, which will allow users to manage and even disconnect their off-Facebook activity from their user profile. This is designed to be an improvement in transparency. They’ve acknowledged that it may impact targeting, but it will not impact analytics.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: We’ve all been worried about what exactly the “Clear History” tool will mean, because many of us use Facebook’s advanced marketing to show relevant ads to niche audiences. Some of Facebook’s most powerful tools– including the pixel– may not be effective moving forward. Retargeting is going to look a lot different on platform, which may mean that we’ll need to rely more on other platforms like Google Display Ads to make up for it.

Facebook Launched Automated Ads Builder

Facebook has released several new automation ad tools designed to help businesses improve and streamline their Facebook advertising.

New tools include:

●     The ability to create up to six different versions of your ads automatically with suggestions from Facebook on CTAs, text, and other creatives based on your Page. Once active, they’ll show you the best-performing option.

●     Tailored audience suggestions based on data from your Page.

●     Recommended budgets based on your goal.

●     Fast notifications regarding your ads, including ad performance and suggestions to improve them.

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What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: For hotels and resorts just breaking into Facebook Ads, automated ads can help you get used to the system and yield some early insights into creatives that may be effective. These ads are not, however, typically going to be a true replacement for custom-written copy that contain intentional messaging and offers to drive action. This is a useful feature, but shouldn’t be used as a substitute for manual ad creation for the most part.

Facebook Updates Video Ranking

In addition to updating the big algorithm, Facebook is also changing how videos are prioritized in the feed.

Video will now be prioritized based on the following criteria:

●     Loyalty and intent, which includes repeat viewership

●     Viewing duration, with more weight on videos keeping users engaged for at least one minute

●     Originality, so videos that are “unoriginal” or that are involved insharing schemes will be demoted

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Image source: Facebook 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Video has been a crucial part of social media marketing, and as long as hotels and resorts are creating quality content that their audience wants to see, this algorithm update could help. Try incorporating more live video into the mix, and have videos like “Ten Things to Do in Santa Monica” or “Rental Car or Uber: What’s Right for Your Vacation?” that will give guests information they’ll need when visiting you.

Twitter Retweets Now Support GIFs, Videos, and Images

Previously, when users on Twitter retweeted a status, they could only comment with text. Now Twitter is allowing users to include images, GIFs, and videos in their retweet responses.

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What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Twitter has been working to find ways that encourage users to have more meaningful conversations on the platform. Hotels and resorts can use this to their advantage. Not only will visual components add a level of originality to a retweet and help it stand out, but the right images and videos can help you to promote your location too.

Share images or videos pertaining to your resort when appropriate, and use GIFs and images to contribute to the conversation in a branded way.

Instagram Adds to Explore Tab

Instagram is shaking up their Explore tab. There will now be a navigation bar that features pinned shortcuts to Shopping and IGTV, which will then be followed with topics tailored to each user’s interests like “travel” or “food.”

The explore grid will also now feature Stories, giving them even more visibility.

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Image source: Instagram 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Instagram’s Explore section is used by more than 50% of its audience every month, and this is one of the top ways users discover new brands and accounts. The ability to more easily connect with users interested in “Travel” is a great opportunity, so try to increase the likelihood of appearing here by using plenty of travel-related hashtags like #wanderlust and #tuesdaytravels.

Compliant logo

Lodging Interactive Launches AI Powered Website ADA Compliance Service for Hotels

Lodging Interactive, an award-winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced the launch of its AI-powered ADA compliance service for hotel websites which remediates website ADA compliance issues in real-time.

“There is so much confusion and noise in the marketplace regarding ADA compliance for hotel websites and hoteliers are confused by the numerous approaches (and cost models) towards meeting website compliance. We have developed a service that combines the latest in ADA compliance machine learning technologies with human oversight and management specifically to address the unique needs of the hospitality industry,” stated DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & CEO.

Hotel website ADA accessibility refers to a set of rules, behaviors, code standards and design guidelines that are meant to allow people with disabilities to effectively navigate through websites. To achieve this, the W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium) has created the “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines” 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) which are meant to explain and guide developers on how to make websites accessible. These guidelines have been adopted by governments around the world and are now a part of various legislations, such as the ADA, Section 508, EN 301549, and others.

Lodging Interactive’s solution utilizes two components that, together, achieve website compliance. The first is a foreground application, the accessibility interface, which is responsible for 30% of the requirements, mostly UI and design-related. The second is a background application (AI, Machine Learning powered), which is responsible for the remaining 70% of requirements, mostly related to blind people’s screen-reader adjustments, and keyboard navigation optimizations for people with motor impairments.

“The AI technology is session based and ADA compliance is triggered in real-time. This means the website’s design and navigation structure are not compromised for non-disabled browsers. The AI runs in the background and optimizes the accessibility level of the website every 24 hours. The AI engine remediates the website’s HTML accessibility issues as well as functionality and behavior, for people using screen readers and those with motor impairments using a keyboard,” added Mr, Vallauri.

Lodging Interactive’s AI Powered ADA Accessibility Compliance Service includes:

  • Initial website review and code compatibility audit.
  • Complete AI code implementation on your website.
  • Multi-browser testing.
  • Hotel website becomes ADA compliant within 48 hours.
  • Website scans every 24 hours to ensure any new content, images or pages are also rendered compliant with the WCAG 2.1 and ADA standards.
  • Accessibility Statement and certification of performance.
  • Fully GDPR compliant.
  • Monthly website review and internal audit to ensure ongoing ADA compliance.

The service is included at no additional charge for all new hotel websites developed by Lodging Interactive and can be purchased for an existing website. For more information, please visit https://lodginginteractive.com/products-services/hotel-ada-compliance/ or call us at
877-291-4411 ext. 704.

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, the Company’s social media and reputation management division, has established itself as the largest provider of reputation management services for the hospitality industry, handling over 200,000 guest review responses annually.

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.

Contact
DJ Vallauri
President & Founder
Phone: 877-291-4411
Fax: 877-833-7375

May 17, 2019 Issue: What’s New in Social Media This Week and What it Means for Hotels

In the last few weeks, the Facebook empire has made some big developments to their platforms that are directly relevant to hotels, resorts, and other businesses in the hospitality industry. In this week’s social media updates, we’ll look at each one and how you can expect for it to impact you.

Facebook’s New Interface Prioritizes New Features 

Facebook has recently released a new mobile app that is a little more user-friendly and runs a little quicker. It also puts emphasis on Stories, Groups, and Events, drawing users’ attention to these popular features.

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Image source: BusinessInsider 

The mobile app is already rolling out, and the matching desktop interface will likely soon follow.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: This is good news, because Facebook is prioritizing interactivity and community-building features that users are drawn to. For hotels and resorts who are creating communities on the social media network in the form of groups, using events to generate interest, and leveraging Stories to extend your reach, you’ll be ahead of your competition and able to stay relevant in your audience’s feed.

Messenger’s Interface Gets an Update 

Just like Facebook, their Messenger app has been updated with a simplified, faster version that’s been a little decluttered. Facebook has been working on rebuilding the platform “from the ground up” so that it’s more functional and a lot faster for users. The new version has a heavy focus on chat, but also offers video co-watching capabilities to keep people interacting within the app.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Facebook announced earlier this year that they’re planning on integrating their messaging apps– including Messenger, Instagram direct, and WhatsApp– for a seamless user experience, and this may be part of it. A new and improved messenger could mean that more of your guests will use this messaging platform to get in touch, so make sure you’re paying close attention to these channels.

Messenger Offers New Lead Generation Tools 

Facebook’s Messenger is gaining a few new features designed to make it easier for businesses to drive meaningful results through the platform. This includes appointment-booking, lead generation templates, and clickable CTAs that can drive actions. These features are currently being beta tested, and will roll out to those who don’t have them later this year.

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What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Increasing numbers of guests are using Messenger to get in touch with hotels and resorts, and this trend will likely continue with the new and improved mobile app. These features can be used to encourage users to take actions like heading your site to book rooms, and booking reservations for your in-resort restaurant or spa.

Instagram Releases Stories’ Quiz Stickers 

Instagram’s new Quiz Stickers allow users and brands to ask their followers a multiple-choice question. You can choose the correct answer, and you can see which answers your followers are choosing.

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What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: This is a versatile sticker when it comes to connecting with guests. One great use may be to offer users who answer a question about your location or your resort correctly a chance to win a prize, like a free extra night or a discounted spa service. This will generate a lot of hype and engagement, which is always great for bookings.

Even if you aren’t using it as part of a giveaway opportunity, guests love interactive Story features, and this is one that will be sure to catch their attention and help you build brand awareness– especially if they want to know whether or not they answered right. Follow up the quiz sticker with a short video explaining the correct answer if possible.