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

###

 

 

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.

What Just Happened in Social Media and What it Means for Hotels – October 15, 2019

A lot has happened in the last two weeks in the social media world, and there are some big changes happening that will directly impact hotels, resorts, and other businesses in the hospitality industry. Let’s take a look at each one and discuss what it means for you.

Facebook Offers New Stories Templates & Instagram Direct Features for Businesses 

Facebook has just launched a new customizable Stories template that can be used for Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. This template will help businesses create more high quality Stories content quickly.

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They’re also offering a new integration for direct messaging, allowing businesses to respond to Messenger and Instagram direct messages all from their Facebook inbox. This new functionality comes alongside brand new options to set up saved replies and away messages through Messenger.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

Any features that allow us to market more quickly and at a larger scale can benefit busy hotels and resorts. The Stories template will help create dynamic Stories faster, and since this is a major feature on both Instagram and Facebook, this will be something to use if you’re struggling to create content as it is.

The messaging features are also a great asset. If you’re going to be unavailable for a few hours, you can let guests know when they can reach you. Saved replies can be created for commonly-asked questions like “What’s your checkout time?” or “Are there gluten-free dishes on the in-resort menu?” Create canned responses that can be used to speed up your team’s response time, which is a win-win for everyone involved.

YouTube Testing Ability to Reserve Ad Space

According to Social Media Today, YouTube is testing a new feature that would allow advertisers to reserve ad spaces up to 120 days in advance. This is slightly different than scheduled campaigns, which don’t guarantee placement.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

This feature is still brand new and we don’t have a ton of information about it just yet. That being said, the option to reserve ad space months in advance will potentially make it much easier for any hotels or resorts that want to tie in to major events, or run campaigns during times of peak activity. If you know there would be a big event near you– like the Super Bowl, or a major conference– you can plan accordingly.

Instagram Rolls out Branded Content Tags for IGTV 

Instagram’s branded content tags aren’t available for all users just yet, but they’re getting another functionality while still on their limited-release. They’re now available for select users in IGTV, which will flag any paid partnerships directly on the content.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

Establishing transparency and trust is important to win over the trust of your guests, and sponsored tags will help with that. If you’re working with any influencers, for example, to show off your hotel or resort, make sure they’re using those branded content tags if available to you.

Instagram Releases a “Restrict” Tool to Limit Trolls 

Every platform has problems with trolls and cyberbullies, and Instagram is working to put a stop to it– at least on their platform. They’re rolling out a “restrict” feature, which allows you to essentially automatically hide comments from certain individuals. After you “restrict” them, they’ll be the only person able to see the comments they’re leaving.

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What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

As a first line of defense, blocking users who are causing problems for your hotel or resort can work, but the restrict option has its benefits, too. Sometimes, certain users need to believe they’re reaching you and your audience, so blocking them might encourage them to take their negativity elsewhere; allowing them to think they’re commenting publicly can keep them content without impacting you or your guests.

LinkedIn Rolls Out All-in-One Insights  

LinkedIn has just announced a new Insights and Research tool, which is essentially an all-in-one hub that will help marketers use actionable LinkedIn data to improve their performance.

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This new Insights tool will include the following information:

●     People Insights, including your audience’s location, the topics that resonate with them most, what content they’re engaging with, the influencers they follow, and their skills.

●     Industry Insights, including trends and research for vertical-specific data in terms of marketing, including high-level B2B marketing trends and ideas to set you apart.

●     Advertising Insights, including analytics on branding techniques and advice on aligning your sales and marketing departments for a cohesive LinkedIn strategy.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

LinkedIn has enormous potential when it comes to helping you reach guests who may need an event venue or lodging for business-related travel. These insights offer new levels of detail about how to better engage with your target audience across the platform and make these campaigns more successful.

Lodging Interactive Becomes Sprout Social Agency Partner

Lodging Interactive, an award-winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced it has become a Sprout Social Agency Partner. Through its commingle:engage Social Media Marketing division, the Company continues to expand its client base which includes hundreds of hotels, resorts, restaurants and spas around the globe.

“We continue to invest heavily in ‘best-in-class’ technology platforms and partners that enable our clients and team members to remain at the forefront of social media marketing and engagement,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & CEO. “After a lengthy evaluation and consideration process, our team decided Sprout Social offered an exceptional social media engagement, publishing, analytics, listening and reporting solution to provide our clients with the competitive edge they require.”

 

The Sprout Social platform enables the Company to efficiently create content, schedule posts, size images, and engage with followers.  The platform is equipped to accommodate every large social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. 

 

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.

Lodging Interactive Launches Social Media Marketing News Apple Podcast

Lodging Interactive, an award-winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced the rollout of its commingle:engage bi-weekly podcast. The podcast episodes cover the latest changes and updates announced on social media and what they mean for hotels and resorts.

 

“The world of social media continues to evolve and as it does it presents many opportunities and implications for hotels and resorts,” stated DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & CEO. “We wanted to create a new way to keep hoteliers informed and educated on the latest social media marketing news, and do so in short 3-5 minute audio clips.” 

 

The podcast is recorded via Anchor every two weeks and is published on all major Podcast networks including Spotify and Apple’s Podcast network. The podcast summarizes the major points from the Company’s bi-weekly social media newsletter What Just Happened in Social Media and What it Means for Your HotelClick here to listen and to subscribe to the commingle:engage bi-weekly podcast to ensure you receive notifications when new episodes are published.

 

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 ext 704

 

Conversational Marketing Should Be Part of Every Hotel’s Marketing Plan in 2020

 

Lodging Interactive’s Founder and CEO, DJ Vallauri, discusses the importance of conversational marketing and why every hotel should prepare to leverage the new Facebook social media messaging platform in 2020.

Much has been said and written about “conversational marketing” and how future marketers will be required to master this consumer engagement technique in order to be successful. Clearly, the hospitality industry is well-positioned to leverage the loyalty-building power of conversational marketing through personal engagement with its guests, pre-arrival, during guest stays and post-checkout. Let’s take a deep dive into how your property can use conversational marketing, beat the competition every time and capture more market share.

Business-2-Consumer (B2C) communications continue to evolve and spread globally. Today’s “always-on” generation expects near-instantaneous communications with businesses and long gone are the days where businesses require consumers to fill out an online email form only to receive a reply in 24-48 hours. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter continue to invest heavily in building out their consumer messaging platforms and capabilities. Mark Zuckerberg announced at Facebook’s recent F8 developer’s conference that they intend to launch a re-imagined Facebook platform in Q1 of 2020. The new Facebook platform will become more of a “town hall” for open and public communications while it plans to further its development of a private and fully encrypted messaging platform for consumers. Facebook will let users chat across Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp in a completely interoperable manner. Dubbed as a “SuperApp” the Messenger platform will enable over 4 billion consumers to communicate freely and privately with each other as well as businesses, such as hotels.

Messenger and it’s privacy-focused vision for social media must be embraced by every hotelier and is where conversational marketing can provide the marketing edge to win.

Here’s the good news. As an industry-focused around being hospitable and being service-oriented, the hospitality industry already has the right mindset. The industry, after all, is built on creating memorable guest experiences and achieving service levels that encourage guests to write positive reviews regarding their stays. Hoteliers are wired to “be of service” to their guests.

Now for the bad news. Super Apps such as Messenger will force hoteliers to go beyond the status quo and to allocate internal resources to efficiently engage with a very demanding new generation of consumers, the “I want it now” generation. Direct messages sent to a hotel’s Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp account will need to be responded too in near real-time and at any time, 24/7/365. But it’s not just about responding to inquiring consumers who want your engagement on their time, this all presents a conversational marketing opportunity for hotels.

One-on-one Messenger conversations should not only be considered as a new way to deliver customer service and to differentiate properties from their competitive sets, but rather as a way to deploy conversational marketing. Building relationships, one-on-one with the ultimate goal of building customer loyalty and growing future business.

Through conversational marketing, specific customer engagement and messaging should be captured, in real-time, and databased into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system enabling future marketing opportunities. Future Messenger marketing programs, SMS/Text and, yes, email marketing all present the basis for conversational marketing and new revenue generation opportunities for hoteliers. Conversational marketing leverages the human engagement elements, through Messenger, new and traditional marketing automation platforms resulting in loyalty-building opportunities. And as all marketers know, loyalty equates to future business on the books.

Questions every hotelier should begin to ask:

  • Is my hotel ready to handle the increasing amount of direct messaging?
  • Will my hotel have a budget to hire staff we will need for after-hours and weekend coverage?
  • Will we have in-house skills to deploy Messenger and SMS/Text marketing programs?
  • How will we track the ROI of our conversational marketing efforts?
  • Will my competitors have the resources to leverage conversational marketing and steal my market share?

At Lodging Interactive, we’ve created commingle:engage our highly-focused social media and engagement division specifically addressing the needs of the hospitality industry. We understand the changes in consumer engagement behaviors and the hospitality industry. For nearly 20 years, we have helped over 650 hotels maximize the opportunities of digital marketing.

Facebook’s Clear History Tool is Officially Here

As we all start the month of September off strong, it’s important to remember that keeping up with all the new social media updates will help us keep the momentum going. And this month, we definitely got some big updates. Let’s take a look at all the new changes that impact hotels and resorts and what they mean for businesses in the hospitality industry.

Facebook’s Clear History Tool is Here 

Facebook’s Clear History Tool is officially here, rolling out to audiences quickly. Users will now be able to clear their off-Facebook activity from being stored in the platform’s database, which includes what Facebook’s conversion pixel is tracking on your site. The release is starting with those in Ireland, Spain, and South Korea, but it will likely expand to more locations very quickly.

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Image source: Facebook 

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

If users start removing their off-Facebook activity from the databases, it will impact our ability to retarget to them accurately. You won’t be able to reach the full number of guests who visit a certain landing page or those who abandon a reservation before finalizing it. Instead, on-platform activity will become more important, so take advantage of video retargeting, engagement retargeting, and lead form retargeting to show relevant ads to potential guests.

Facebook Switches Up Group Privacy Terms 

In an attempt to clarify the language they’re using to explain the privacy of groups, Facebook has changed group classifications. The following options are now available:

●     Groups that were previously “secret” are now “private and hidden” meaning that no one can see the content unless they’re in the group and they can’t find the group unless added to it by a member or admin.

●     Groups that were previously “closed” are now private, so users outside of the group can’t see content, but they’re “visible,” meaning that they can be found through search.

●     Groups that were “public” will remain “public” and “visible,” meaning anyone can find the group and view its activity. Image source: Facebook 

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

Facebook groups centered around your hotel or resort are a great way to engage your guests. It’s a popular marketing strategy, and while these new terms don’t change the way your group functions, it’s a good idea to double check that your privacy and visibility settings are where you want them to be.

Facebook Announces New Messenger Interactions for Businesses 

It’s a Facebook-heavy month so far, and the last update for this platform we need to look at is the new Messenger interactions that have recently been announced for businesses and will be rolling out soon.

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Image source: Facebook 

These are the new updates we’ll see rolling out in the following months:

●     New lead generation tools. Pages can integrate Messenger with their CRM to move guests through the sales funnel, all while setting up more automated processes in the messaging platform to better engage and qualify guests.

●     Integrated appointment booking in Messenger, which will allow guests to pick dates and times for appointments without ever leaving the chat-oriented app.

●     Businesses will soon need to respond to users within 24 hours with standard messaging. This puts an emphasis on the requirement for faster customer service.

The discover app will also be removed from the Messenger app, which previously helped brands connect with users.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

Both Messenger features are opening up stronger opportunities to better communicate with potential and existing guests to offer them better service faster. More guests want nearly-instant access to the hotels and resorts they want to book with, and this can help streamline that.

The 24-hour requirement can feel overwhelming, but it’s a good one to follow even if Facebook didn’t set up this rule, as it will keep your guests happy and your inbox clear. If you’re overwhelmed with such tight deadlines, remember that our CoMMingle live 24/7 Messenger and Crisis Management Service can tackle your messaging with lightning-fast responses so you don’t have to.

Twitter Tests Ability for Users to Follow Interest Topics 

Twitter is working on a small test that will allow users to follow “interest topics,” the same way that they can currently follow accounts. It will be similar to the ability to follow hashtags on Instagram, allowing users to see content they’re interested in even if it’s coming from accounts they don’t follow yet. It’s starting with Sports, but will eventually expand to other areas of interest.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

Right now, the test won’t immediately be relevant for hotels and resorts, but as long as they keep rolling out potential interests it could be. Travel is an interest many people share, and if so, this could be a valuable opportunity to connect with more guests by sharing great content even if they aren’t following you yet. We’ll let you know when we know more.

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.

Hospitality Social Media Marketing News July 16, 2019

In two short weeks, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have all either announced updates or made updates to their platforms that will impact social media accounts for businesses in the hospitality industry. Keep reading to see all the changes and what they mean for hotels and resorts.

Facebook Ads Organic “Top Fans” Targeting Option 

According to Social Media Today, Facebook is rolling out a new feature that allows Pages to target their “top fans” with organic posts, showing the content only to them. This could be used to thank them, share exclusive content, or even try to increase the likelihood that big Page supporters see specific updates.

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Image source: Social Media Today 

In order to use this feature, you need to have the “Top Fans” badge enabled for your Page. This can be done under your Settings under the “Facebook Badges” section.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: This new feature is a good opportunity to foster a community that you may already have on Facebook while leveraging an exclusivity that can bring people closer together. Consider offering exclusive discounts or first-access to amenities around your hotel, or run specials specifically for your top fans. This will keep people engaging consistently.

Facebook Released Information on Comment Ranking 

Facebook recently released information regarding what signals they use to rank the quality of comments on public posts, determining what shows up when someone is scrolling past a post in their feed. They look for the following:

●     Integrity signals, like whether or not the Community Standards are violated

●     What users want according to surveys, which is a signal Facebook has left vague and described as “the types of comments people want to see”

●     How users are interacting with the comment, including whether they’re commenting or what type of reaction they use

●     Poster actions, like hiding, deleting, or engaging comments

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: The recent update was designed to reduce clickbait tactics that some users and Pages utilize to try to get more attention on the platform. Hotels and resorts can use this update to their favor in attempt to get strong comments that benefit you more visibility. If someone comments about how their stay with you was the best part of their whole vacation, give it as much engagement as possible, using a “love” reaction and leaving a comment designed to generate more conversation. More visible positive social proof is always good.

Facebook Is Removing Fields in Page Descriptions 

Starting on August 1st of this year, Facebook will be removing certain fields in the Page description area. We know that the fields that will be removed definitely include (but may not be limited to) the following:

●     Company Overview

●     Affiliation

●     Mission

●     Biography

●     Personal Interests

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Head over to your Facebook Page now and take a look to see what– if any– information you currently have in these sections. If there is anything of value there that could impact how potential guests perceive your brand or interact with it, try to add it into other sections of the Page description. This information would most likely be in the “Company Overview” and “Mission” sections of your Page.

Instagram Brings Ads to Explore Section 

Instagram has announced that they’ll be bringing ads to their Explore Feed. When users click on an image or video in their Explore feed, they’re then able to scroll through similar content that Instagram has compiled for them. This is where the ads will show up, looking just like Instagram’s current newsfeed ads.

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What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: According to Instagram, more than 50% of all accounts visit the Explore section of the app at least once per month, so this is a good opportunity for more ad placements on the platform. More ad placements can help stabilize the existing demand in the marketplace, which could be good for ad costs.

We don’t know yet exactly how these ads will perform in terms of reach, engagement, brand lift, and conversions, but Instagram Ads typically yield high results across the board.

Twitter Tests Direct Message Prompts 

Twitter is currently testing direct message prompts, which allow you to instantly share links through direct messages to those who you talk to regularly. It’s designed to help users share tweets and connect a little easier. This is similar to Facebook’s “Share” option, which allows users to share a post in a direct message instead of sharing it on the user’s or Page’s wall.

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What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: It’s possible that this could be used to engage with top influencers and brand ambassadors in the hospitality industry, engaging them with content that’s genuinely relevant to them. If your resort Tweeted about a new expansion publicly, you could send a DM to a key few industry influencers that you have some sort of relationship and even ask if they want a first glimpse.