What Just Happened in Social Media – November 13, 2019

We’re getting closer to the holiday season, and as we’re restructuring and mapping out our social media strategies for 2020, it’s crucial for hotels and resorts of all shapes and sizes to consider all the new changes happening on social

Facebook Updates Their Company Brand 

Facebook is giving their company– not the platform itself– a rebrand. They want people to know what products and apps are run and owned by the Facebook company. These products include Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, and Calibra.

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Image source: Facebook 

Every product owned by Facebook will be given a quick adjustment in visual branding, showing “From Facebook” somewhere on the homepage. The Facebook company logo will be changing, while the platform’s logo will stay the same.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

This isn’t going to be affecting your campaigns much, but because there’s a big visual shift, we wanted to mention it. The company logo will be disconnected from the traditional Facebook logo itself, but the companies are still interconnected, and we’re still seeing a movement towards increased integration (at least where messaging is concerned).

Facebook Expands Creator Studio & Access To Brand Collabs Manager 

Facebook has recently been overhauling their Creator Studio, adding incredible new functionality, and now they’ve added expanded yet again.

Facebook just announced the following new features:

●      Expansion of Brand Collabs Manager, which helps advertisers find creators for branded content partnerships. The expansion is going out to more than 40 countries, though you need to apply for access, which means needing 1,000 followers and strong engagement.

●      Enhanced Creator Studio, which is now offering Traffic Source Insights to see how their content is distributed across the platform and new abilities to post content to Instagram from desktop. This includes tagged branded partnership posts.

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Image source: Facebook 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

The Traffic Sources Insights will be most useful to hotels and resorts, giving us more actionable information about how we’re building brand awareness on Facebook than ever before. This knowledge will allow us to optimize for our most effective channels and develop strategies to strengthen weaker referral sources.

For hotels and resorts who aren’t in an area where this was previously accessible, check to see you’re able to apply now. The option to connect with creators and influencers to reach potential guests is a good one to have in your back pocket.

Instagram Shares Tips on Improving Stories 

Instagram just released a new list of tips designed to help brands publish Stories that are more likely to drive results. These tips include the following:

●      Suggestions for content, like testimonials, business stories, tutorials, and behind the scenes content.

●      Recommendations for how to add text that’s effective and easy to read.

●      Reminders to use stickers to make your Stories actionable.

●      Suggestions for how to make your Stories interactive, like an increase of live video and  hosting Q&As.

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Image source: Instagram 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

While these tips are pretty standard, they’re a good refresher to check out to ensure that you’re exhausting every creative option for your Stories. This is what you want to do; Stories only last 24 hours, so you need to create significant amounts of content, and having the right ideas and strategies will be useful. You can see the full infographic here.

LinkedIn Adds New Translation Features to Platform 

LinkedIn’s user base is expanding internationally faster than ever, so they’re making sure they can keep up. As a result, they’ve added two new language translation options to the platform, better facilitating on-platform communication between users who speak different languages.

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Image source: LinkedIn 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Perhaps few other industries understand the importance of being able to communicate with guests who speak different languages as well as the hospitality industry. There’s a high likelihood that you will encounter guests who speak a wide variety of different languages, and the ability to easily engage with them on social platforms like LinkedIn can give you a competitive advantage by starting the relationship building process early.

Pinterest is Testing Emoji-Inspired Reactions for Video 

Pinterest is on a roll lately, and the newest feature that they’re testing is fast emoji-inspired responses for on-platform videos. These emojis are similar to different “React” options on Facebook and LinkedIn, with surprise, heart, and laughing reactions.

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Image source: Jane Manchun Wong 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Pinterest is primarily focused on finding and saving content; you don’t get much feedback from pinners and potential guests other than whether or not they’re saving your pins. Having reactions on videos will help you assess how users are experiencing your content, and it may provide valuable social proof that can help you attract guests from all over the world. We’ll keep you updated and let you know when we know more.

Lodging Interactive Launches RFPAssist

Lodging Interactive Launches RFPAssist – Evolutionary Group Sales System 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 RFPAssist Group Lead Sales System for the hospitality industry. An industry first, RFPAssist combines Facebook Messenger marketing automation with 24/7 customer service agents.  This combination enables hotel sales managers to capture group and event leads 24/7 and to book more group business.

 

“RFPAssist is an evolutionary sales system for the hospitality industry that enables properties to ‘service’ inbound group leads 24/7 and 365,” said DJ Vallauri, Founder & CEO of Lodging Interactive and commingle:engage. “Let’s face it, we are all part of the ‘Want it Now Generation’ and no one wants to wait for anything, especially hotel wedding sales brochures or catering menus.  Now with RFPAssist, group prospects can receive hotel sales kit documents immediately delivered to their mobile devices, on demand and on their time, not the hotel’s time. The results are more group leads and more closed business,” added Vallauri.

 

 

The RFPAssist Group Lead Sales System was developed on the Facebook Messenger platform, which currently has 1.3 Billion active monthly users and growing.  Facebook’s intention of merging Instagram Direct Messaging and its WhatsApp messaging platforms into Messenger in the first quarter 2020, will increase the total Messenger user base to 4 Billion monthly active users. 

 

Statista recently reported there are 4.3 Billion people on the Internet and with Facebook Messenger soon able to reach 4 Billion people, it made sense for us to build RFPAssist on the Facebook Messenger platform,” stated Vallauri. “Nearly everyone on the planet will have access to the RFPAssist Group Lead Sales System and our hotel clients will gain a huge competitive edge and will close more group business.”

 

Integrated into RFPAssist is a customer support messaging center, staffed by live chat agents  ready to assist group prospects 24/7. The RFPAssist customer support agents can share additional group and event planning documents as well as escalate special requirements to the property sales teams.

 

 

For more information and to schedule a demonstration for your property please visit RFPAssist.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, 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.  The Company recently launched the world’s first Facebook Messenger based RFPAssist Group Lead Sales System designed to drive hotel group and event business.

 

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 ext 704

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What’s New in Social Media This Week and What it Mean for Hotels

The social media changes never really stop coming, and while it keeps us on our toes, many of the changes are focused on improving the platforms and tools we use to connect with our guests. Let’s take a look at all the changes that have happened in the past two weeks and how it could impact hotels, resorts, and other guest-facing businesses in the hospitality industry.

Facebook Announces Change to How Impressions Are Calculated 

Facebook has just recently announced that they’re changing the way that Page impressions are calculated on the platform. Simply put, they’re extending the windows of time frame that decides whether a second view from the same user counts as a second impression or only a first one.

This change has started rolling out, and is likely already impacting your Pages.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

If you’ve seen a drop in your impressions in the last two weeks, don’t panic; this is likely the result of the new calculations, which is only changing the perception of how many people are seeing your content instead of impacting the actual impressions themselves. The new calculations are much more accurate, and as long as your engagement is holding steady, your impressions and reach are likely still right on target.

Facebook Discards Gray Verification Badges 

Gray verification badges are going to be removed from Facebook by the 30th of October. Previously, these badges were available to any Page who verified their official details with Facebook by going through an identity confirmation process. Facebook has cited user confusion for the change, saying they didn’t understand the difference between blue and grey check marks.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Unfortunately, gray verification badges were a sign of authenticity that users could understand, even if they didn’t fully understand what they signalled. This helped with trust, so their removal can be a hit on our Pages, even if they’re small. Make sure that all your other information is up to date, and try to wrangle up a few extra new reviews to show that guests love your hotel and resort.

Instagram Rolls Out IGTV “Series” Option 

IGTV has always allowed creators to store past video content on their profiles, but it was difficult for users to find specific content if they were ever trying to find it. IGTV is offering a solution to this, rolling out their “Series” feature, which allows creators to categorize their videos into different dedicated collections. Users can even opt in to get notifications for specific Series, connecting your guests to the content they most want to see.

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What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

While guests like consuming content from brands they love just because they’re interested, there are also times when users on social media are looking for specific information that they may not find on your site. This can increase engagement and views significantly, especially since IGTV is still finding its footing.

For hotels and resorts, this may include extended videos of certain rooms, amenities, or other sites around your resort, or videos of events that you’ve hosted. Some of your guests may also love videos of practical travel tips, or your breakdowns of different things to do in the nearby area.

Instagram Allows Accounts to Remove Third-Party App Connections 

Security has been a big concern for hotels and resorts using Instagram, and the platform has taken one step further to help protect your account. All users will soon have access to a feature that allows them to review and remove any third-party apps currently connected to their account.

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Image source: Instagram 

The feature has already started rolling out, but it may take up to 6 months for all users across the globe to have access to it.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Sometimes we forget what apps and tools we’ve used to improve our marketing, and once we actually see who we’ve granted full access to our account, it can be a little jarring. Take advantage of this feature as soon as you have it to remove any apps from your account that you aren’t actively using or don’t trust. Remember that security isn’t doesn’t just protect you, but it protects your guests, too.

LinkedIn Releases Events Feature On Platform 

LinkedIn is rolling out their new Events feature, which allows users to share event announcements. You can share key information like the event’s description, date, time, and venue, and use filters like location, company, and industry to quickly segment your connects to streamline the invitation process.

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Image source: LinkedIn 

Once posted, you can track attendees, manage the event, and discuss the event if anyone has questions.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Hotels and resorts often forget about LinkedIn, but it’s a potential goldmine to connect with B2B-oriented guests. If you’re hosting an event at your hotel or resort, this is a great place to promote it, especially if it has any sort of business focus. In addition to traditional events like conferences, you can also consider employment fairs, inviting potential job applicants to come attend.

Pinterest Is Releasing An Updated Pin Format 

Over the last few weeks, Pinterest has been rolling out their new updated pin format, which is designed to be more functional. The visual elements of the pin are giving an increased focus, with larger images and other sections of information being segmented for easy skimming.

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Image source: Social Media Today 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

From a practical standpoint, this won’t impact anything that you need to be doing when creating pins to promote your hotel or resort. Now that the pins are a little more functional and easy to scan, however, it could increase the effectiveness of your marketing on Pinterest and help ensure guests are reading the information you’re sharing on the platform.