This Week’s Latest Social Media News and What it Means for Hotels – August 21, 2019

The end of August is fast approaching, and new social media changes are coming alongside the rapidly-ending summer season! Let’s take a look at all the updates that have happened within the past two weeks that will impact hospitality businesses everywhere.

Instagram and WhatsApp Are Getting a Rebrand

Facebook is making its ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp more visible, “rebranding” the apps as “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook.” The “From Facebook” part is already showing up on Instagram, but it reads a little like fine print on the login page. There aren’t any other structural changes aside from this small branding update for both apps.

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What This Means for Hotels and Resorts

This may not seem like a big update, but this is likely laying the groundwork for the seamless direct message and chat integration that Facebook wants to set up between the three apps. Most people know, after all, that WhatsApp and Instagram are already owned by the company, so while some legal matters may have something to do with this amidst all the privacy concerns, it could also indicate a bigger integration moving forward.

Facebook Is Expanding Search Ad Placements 

Search Ads are being tested in the United States and Canada, allowing advertisers to show ad campaigns in relevant searches that users make on-platform. This placement has been testing since late last year, and it’s slowly rolling out to more advertisers in an expanded test.

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Image source: Jon Loomer Digital 

Note that search ads must also appear in the newsfeed as sponsored posts. They can appear as a static image or a carousel ad. Right now, it doesn’t seem like advertisers can bid on select keywords, but instead you’ll appear based on keywords on your business’s Page.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts

Facebook search ads could be a great way to show up in relevant searches, increasing more traffic from users who are seeking out accommodations like what you offer your guests. Facebook hasn’t had something like this before, so it could be a great opportunity. Since you can’t bid on keywords, however, make sure that the search terms your guests are most likely to use are somewhere on your Page.

Instagram and IGTV Desktop Publishing Now Available 

Jenn’s Trends spotted a new Instagram feature: Facebook Page admins can upload and publish Instagram and IGTV posts from desktop by using Facebook’s Creator Studio. This also gives users the ability to manage Instagram direct messages through desktop, too. Previously, this was only available through third-party apps or the mobile app. Note that your Instagram account must be linked to your Facebook to take advantage of this.

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What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

If you aren’t using a third-party scheduling tool for Instagram and IGTV, you can now use the Creator Studio for free to manage content for these platforms from a desktop. This is much easier for many hotels and resorts to use than a mobile app, and will streamline the process significantly.

Pinterest Rolls Out New Video Features 

Pinterest is increasing video capability on the platform by rolling out new features that are designed to help creators better reach their audiences.

New updates include the following:

●     An improved, easier-to-use video uploader

●     A video tab on platform so users can find video content all in one place

●     Lifetime video analytics

●     Video pin scheduling

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These new features are currently available in France, Germany, and all English-speaking countries. They’ll be rolling out worldwide soon.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts

Video is a high-engaging medium on all other social networks, and the ability to leverage it well on Pinterest can be a huge asset for hotels and resorts. It will be easy to repurpose the gorgeous video you have of your location, resort, or on-site amenities into a video pin that potential guests will swoon over. If you have these features available to you, take advantage of them now.

Pinterest Releases Story Pins 

Pinterest is catching up on some social trends, slowly rolling out Story Pins. The feature is intended to be “immersive,” and will hold multiple media options including images, videos, text, and destination links to the site of your choice. Story pins all need to contain a title cover, and must have a minimum of 2 slides but can have a maximum of 20.

Right now, only select iOS users and brands have access.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts

Story content is wildly popular across multiple platforms, regularly capturing user interest on Facebook and Instagram. YouTube is rolling out their own version, and now Pinterest is, too. A great use of this feature for hotels and resorts will be to feature different parts of their property like a walk-through, or to tell a story by showcasing the progress of events happening on-property, too.

WHAT’S NEW IN SOCIAL MEDIA THIS WEEK AND WHAT IT MEAN FOR HOTELS – AUGUST 7, 2019

As we’ve been moving into August, social platforms have really been maintaining their always-fast pace when it comes to releasing new updates to improve the experience. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a few key updates that could impact how hotels, resorts, and other hospitality businesses are marketing on social.

We’re going to look at each one, but first let’s take a look at some key statistics that you need to know about social in 2019.

Infographic From Oberlo Demonstrates The Value of Social 

Oberlo recently created an infographic that detailed the 10 most important social media statistics marketers need to know in 2019. This, of course, includes marketers who work in the hospitality industry, too.

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These 10 statistics are:

●     There are 3.2 billion daily active social media users, making up around 42% of the population

●     68% of adults report that they’re Facebook users, keeping Facebook as the market leader

●     Millennials are the heaviest social media users (90.4%), followed by Gen X (77.5%) and then Baby Boomers (48.2%)

●     Each user spends an average of two hours and twenty two minutes per day on the various networks

●     73% of marketers believe that social marketing has been “somewhat effective” or “very effective”

●     54% of social media users are researching products on the various platforms

●     71% of consumers who had a positive social experience are likely to recommend the brand to friends and family

●     49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations to make purchase decisions

●     Daily Active Stories users increased to 500 million in early 2019.

●     91% of social media users are accessing the platforms on mobile, and almost 80% of all social time happens on mobile devices.

Facebook Changes Mobile Aspect Ratios 

Starting on August 19th, mobile Page posts and ad campaigns are going to look a little different. The new content will be much more condensed, showing only three lines of text instead of seven before displaying a “see more” prompt, and the aspect ratios for visuals will shift to 4:5 from their previous 2:3. Any media taller than the 4:5 aspect ratio will be hidden on mobile.

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What This Means for Hotels and Resorts: It’s more important than ever to adapt to this new, condensed look. If not, key portions of your post text may be hidden underneath the “see more” prompt and your media could be hidden all together. Adapt quickly, and remember to always grab users’ attention and let them know what’s in it for them right off the bat.

If you have any ad campaigns currently running with media outside of this aspect ratio, change it now.

Facebook Announces Cryptocurrency Plans 

About a month ago, Facebook announced that they had plans to release their own cryptocurrency (sort of), called “Libra.” The cryptocurrency will actually be coming from the Libra Association, which Facebook founded along with several other massive companies like Master Card and PayPal, and it’s supposedly about making it easier for people to send money to each other online.

Right now, we don’t know much more about Facebook Libra, including Facebook’s long-term plans with the digital currency, but you can read a great breakdown on the topic here.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts: For the time being, we’re not sure exactly what this will mean for hotels and resorts. There’s a good chance that eventually, this cryptocurrency could be used on-platform when users are trying to book reservations or services directly on social. Right now, we just don’t know more, but this is big news, so we’ll update you with new information as it comes out.

Twitter Rolls Out Broadcast Scheduling Feature 

Twitter has just released a new broadcast scheduling feature in their Media Studio, which allows soon-to-be broadcasters to get everything synced up before they go live. When using this new feature, you can also give users a wider time frame to discover your content, sharing a link to what will become the live broadcast at the designated start time.

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What This Means for Hotels and Resorts: Live video is becoming increasingly popular on Twitter, offering a valuable opportunity for brands in the hospitality industry to connect with more guests. The scheduling feature will make it much easier for your team so that no one is left scrambling at the last minute, but its ability to give you more visibility is the biggest advantage. If you’re going live on Twitter, try to make sure you schedule it moving forward.

YouTube Automates Comment Moderation 

YouTube has recently made a few updates to streamline the comment moderation process, automatically flagging inappropriate comments and instantly holding them for your review. This is all done based on the platform’s algorithm, and according to YouTube, has resulted in a 75% drop in comment flags for the channels using the feature during its testing phase.

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This moderation feature is available globally, but only works on comments written in the following languages:

●     English

●     Spanish

●     Russian

●     Portuguese

●     Korean

●     French

●     Arabic

●     German

●     Japanese

●     Turkish

●     Vietnamese

●     Thai

●     Indonesian

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts: Hotels and resorts utilizing YouTube to connect with potential guests will almost certainly appreciate this news. We’d all much rather have YouTube flagging the bulk of inappropriate comments instead of trying to catch them all ourselves or risking potential guests being turned off if they spot the comments first. This is easy to turn on, and keep in mind that if a flagged comment turns out to be fine, you can always approve it right away.