Hospitality Social Media Marketing News Issue June 16, 2019

Dying to know what’s new in social media and how it could affect your hotel or resort? This month we’ve got changes from Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, along with a few issues of note on Facebook. Let’s take a look at each and what it means for you.

Advertisers Report Continual Issues with Facebook’s Ads Manager

Issues have been ongoing with Facebook’s Ads Manager that have dated all the way back to last November when there was an outage only a few days before Thanksgiving. Advertisers have continued to report problems with performance of the platform, including major inconsistencies and results, and struggling to publish or turn off ad campaigns.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: A large number of hotels and resorts depend heavily on Facebook Ads for their advertising strategies, so this isn’t great news. As a note, not all advertisers have been affected with these issues, but they’re something to watch for just in case you are.

The best thing you can do right now is monitor your campaigns particularly closely. If you can’t seem to turn off a campaign, drain its budget immediately after sending a Facebook help ticket, and watch out for unreliable campaign performance. Until the issues are resolved, this is the best we can do to be proactive.

Horizontal Video Comes to IGTV

Landscape-styled videos are now supported on Instagram’s long-form video sister app, IGTV. They’ll be formatted similar to a YouTube video, which can take up a small portion of the screen when viewed vertically but will take up the full screen when the phone is rotated horizontally.

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Image source: Instagram 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: If you’re using IGTV and have videos that will look better with a vertical layout, this is your chance. For hotels and resorts in particularly picturesque locations, this option can help better capture more of the beauty in the background to entice guests to come stay with you.

Twitter Releases Live Streaming with Guests

Twitter has just rolled out a new feature allowing mobile users to host a live broadcast and inviting up to three guests to join them. The guests will join on an audio-only basis, so they’ll be able to be heard but not seen.

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Image source: Twitter 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Live video is a strong social strategy for hotels and resorts, and having new ways to make these videos even more engaging for potential guests is great news. Consider using this feature to allow guests to ask questions or to interview influencers about their experiences.

YouTube Announces Image-Only Discovery Ads

YouTube Ads have, until now, been a video-only platform, but this is changing soon. YouTube has just announced new image-only discovery ads, which will show up in the YouTube home feed and discover sections. Users can click to head straight to an advertiser’s site, shop, and more.

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Image source: Google 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Video ads have proven to be incredibly effective on YouTube, but not every hotel and resort wants to continually invest large sums into creating new video campaigns for advertising purposes. This new images-only option can make YouTube Ads more accessible on the platform, allowing you to reach guests at a slightly lower time and financial cost. Consider testing these new ad placements out and see if they work for you.

YouTube Is Altering Public Subscriber Counts

YouTube has announced an update that will impact how viewers see subscriber counts on the channels they’re viewing. Channels with fewer than 1,000 subscribers will have their exact number of scribers displayed, but those with more than 1,000 subscribers will have their follower counts rounded. An account with 5,005,000 followers, for example, would show an estimated count of 5,000,000.

Creators will still have access to the exact numbers in their analytics, found in their Creator Studio.

This update is set to roll out in August of 2019.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Social proof is an important part of all social media marketing, so this update could have minor impacts on hotels and resorts marketing on YouTube. If the rounding doesn’t work in your favor, lowering your subscriber count slightly, that might affect how users perceive your videos, but as long as the content is good that’s what matters most. To ensure best results on the platform, create videos that your audience wants to see and use keyword-heavy titles and descriptions to increase their visibility.

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.

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.

Hospitality Social Media News – April 1, 2019 Edition

A lot has happened in the past two weeks in the social media marketing world, and as hotels and resorts tackle the Spring Break rush and prepare for the upcoming summer busy season, now is as good a time as ever to make sure you’re up to date with all the new changes.

Twitter Releases New Video Analytics Tool 

Twitter is rolling out new analytics in their Media Studio that revolve around video metrics, including data that will help brands find the best time to publish their videos on platform. You’ll be able to see peak activity levels for each day of the week and review specific time periods if you choose.

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What This Means for Hotels and Resorts: While most social media platforms don’t post content strictly in a linear timeline, posting at the right time can still ensure that you get a boost of visibility and engagement as soon as your video goes live, helping it get more traction and momentum. Knowing the right times to post for your specific audience can help you get your message to more of your guests and followers.

Facebook Divides Ad Relevance Score Into Three Metrics  

Facebook’s ad relevance score is being divided up into three “more granular ad relevance diagnostics metrics.” These will be Quality Ranking, Engagement Rate Ranking, and Conversion Rate ranking, some of which are predicted or comparative metrics based on Facebook’s algorithms.

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What This Means for Hotels and Resorts: Facebook’s ad relevance score–which was calculated on a score from one to ten– is an important metric for advertisers, and has historically correlated with ad performance. Ads with high relevance scores were also more likely to get priority in the ad system and be charged lower CPCs, so while it was a “black box” metric, it definitely wasn’t a vanity metric.

These three new metrics will give more specific feedback to advertisers, showing them where the weak spots in the campaigns may be from Facebook’s perspective, and making it easier for hotels and resorts to better optimize their campaigns. We’ll have to see how exactly they influence things like CPC as they roll out on a wider basis and we have time for split testing.

Twitter Updates In-App Camera to Prioritize Live Content

Twitter is updating their in-app camera, making it easier to access and use. The options to capture images, videos, and go live are now front and center, encouraging users to take part in real-time sharing through the native app.

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What This Means for Hotels and Resorts: Twitter has made a lot of changes this year to improve authenticity on the platform, and they’re also encouraging the creation and sharing of live content. These changes are subtle, but show the direction of the platform. Hotels and resorts should consider investing in live videos on Periscope (Twitter’s live broadcasting company) in addition to hosting lives on Facebook and Instagram for a well-rounded social strategy. Consider lives featuring your property or events you are hosting.

Twitter Tests New Comment Moderation Tools

We typically don’t cover in-testing features in our newsletter, but this is a big one for Twitter so we wanted to flag it early. Twitter is currently testing new native comment moderation tools, including a feature that will let you hide replies from other users on your tweets.

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What This Means For Hotels and Resorts: Twitter is focusing on that transparency and authenticity, but they still know that sometimes you need to be able to have some control on what’s happening on your tweets and your profile. This feature will allow you to shut down some conversations in a more transparent way, hiding replies without having to block users all together.

If someone replies to one of your comments with hate speech, spam, or other language or sentiments you don’t want your guests to read and associate with your hotel and resort, go ahead and hide them. It seems like you may have the option to allow users to read hidden replies.

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.

What Just Happened in Social Media and What it Means for Hotels

Social media never stops, and neither do the updates that shape the platforms our guests are frequently engaging with. In the past two weeks, we’ve seen exciting new developments from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Reddit that are all working to change the game just a bit. Let’s take a look at all these updates and how they’ll affect hotels and resorts.

Facebook Releases “Unsend” Feature for Messenger

Facebook has rolled out a new “unsend” feature in Messenger, allowing you to remove a message within ten minutes after it was first sent. To delete specific blocks of text, tap on it and select the option “remove for everyone.” It will be replaced with an alert showing that a message was removed. This works for group conversations as well as one-on-one convos in Messenger, and it’s being released to a global audience.

What This Means for Hotels

We’ve all likely made use of Gmail’s “unsend” feature at some point, and now we have this functionality for Facebook, too. If you accidentally send incorrect information or need to revise a statement, you can use this feature when working with guests, but note that you should be careful of how you do it. Have a clear amendment and an explanation of what the deleted content was and why it was deleted so that guests won’t feel like you’re trying to cover up mistakes or pull one over on them.

Twitter Bans Follow-Unfollow Services

Twitter has announced that they’re suspending follow-unfollow services, cutting off API access to this software. Follow-unfollow software goes against Twitter’s terms of service, and is often used in attempt to quickly inflate someone’s follower count. Apps being suspended include Crowdfire, ManageFlitter, and Statusbrew.

What This Means for Hotels

This announcement closely aligns with the changes Twitter has been making recently to improve authenticity on the platform and the user experience along with it. Since follow-unfollow is more like an attempt at cheating the system instead of engaging with it, taking away from the user experience. If you’re using this software, go ahead and remove it now and focus on other strategies to connect with new followers.

Instagram Now Features IGTV Previews in Feed

Instagram has announced that previews of videos from IGTV accounts users follow will now appear in their main Instagram feeds. Creators will be able to share up to a minute-long preview to Instagram, and users simply have to tap on the preview to watch the full-length content on IGTV.

What This Means for Hotels

IGTV is a standalone app that integrates with Instagram, and now it will be much easier to usher users from one to the other to see your long-form content. Consider using IGTV to share longer videos showcasing your resort, highlighting events, and even highlighting amenities or doing Q&As and use your built-in Instagram audience to get more viewers.

LinkedIn Releases New Tools for Company Pages

LinkedIn has rolled out a lot of new updates this month, the first of which includes new features for their Company Pages.

The new changes include:

●     More in-depth analytics that include more audience demographic information

●     A Pages Toolkit that feature short, actionable guides about how to optimize advertising on-platform

●     Content Suggestions, which provide information on what your audience may be interested in seeing

What This Means for Hotels

Company Pages historically haven’t been as useful as business profiles on other platforms just because there weren’t as many useful, actionable features for companies to use. LinkedIn is really trying to change that, and the new resources available for Pages could make them significantly more prominent for hotels and resorts looking to connect with B2B professionals.

LinkedIn Rolls Out New Recruiting & Job Searching Features

LinkedIn has rolled out more recruiting and job hunting features in attempt to streamline the process for both parties involved. Job searchers will be able to learn more about the companies they’re interested in working with, and even track them for future job openings. There are more developments in the works here, and hopefully we’ll have more news soon.

What This Means for Hotels

Social media isn’t just for connecting with guests; it can help you find great employees for your hotels and resorts, too. If you’re hiring, take a close look at LinkedIn. You could find some outstanding candidates and quickly review their job history and even testimonials from past colleagues or employers.

LinkedIn Announced “LinkedIn Live”

Live broadcasting is everywhere, and now LinkedIn has announced their own version. After partnering with a few third-party streaming services, they’ve created a native live feature. Right now it’s in testing with a small group of users in the US, but this will likely roll out to wider audiences soon, allowing users to share broadcasts with select groups or to all of their followers.

Image source: Social Media Today 

What This Means for Hotels

LinkedIn is unique in that it’s a business-oriented professional network, so your guests will be using it differently than Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Make sure that the live content you share is created with that in mind. You can focus on information sharing and value-based lives to appeal to your guests. Consider starting with videos that offer information about how to choose a resort for your conference, or places to visit in their off-time when guests are near your resort for work.

Reddit Offers Advanced Features for Advertisers

Reddit Ads have been around for a while, but they’re now releasing a few new features to make the platform more appealing for advertisers. They’ve just rolled out App Install campaigns, which will be shown to users of Reddit’s mobile app for the highest chance of users taking action. They’ve also improved their ad tracking and reporting capabilities with a conversion pixel, giving advertisers more concrete data about how their campaigns are performing.

What This Means for Hotels

First, if your hotel or resort has a mobile app, consider testing out Reddit’s App Install campaigns to connect with new guests. And if you’ve used Reddit before but ended up unhappy with the lack of detailed reporting, consider taking another look. Reddit Ads has less competition than other social PPC platforms like Facebook and Instagram, so that could work in your favor.

Facebook Announces Plans to Merge Messaging Apps

In the past year, there’s been a lot of discussion and scandal around data breaches and platform manipulation from third parties. This newsletter, which is covering the last few weeks of news, shows that this is still front and center in the minds of many, including the platforms themselves. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at what’s new on social media and how it will impact hotels and resorts.

Facebook Announces Plans to Merge Messaging Apps 

The New York Times has just announced that Facebook is reportedly planning on integrating the private message features from Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger into one single technical infrastructure. According to Facebook, the services will each remain in stand-alone apps, it would just change from a technical point of view.

What This Means for Hotels 

We think this is a game changer in social media and, even more importantly, in the worlds of customer service and live chat.

Here’s what we know so far:

●     Users will be able to connect across multiple messaging platforms

●     All apps will incorporate end-to-end encryption

●     The goal is to increase utility (and we think it will)

●     It will change the game for live chat, and we’re already underway working on what’s next.

Facebook Offers New Additional Transparency Features 

Facebook is rolling out new transparency features to hopefully restore more trust in the Pages marketing on platform. One of these features is their new Quality tab, which tells users if a Page has had any content revoked due to false information, hate speech, or other violations of community guidelines. It will also show Pages the content that was removed to hopefully better help them understand how they were in violation of the rules.

Image source: Facebook  

They’re also cracking down on the creation of new Pages or profiles that are similar to those removed for violating standards.

What This Means for Hotels

Trust is a big thing for Facebook users right now, and the platform is doing everything they can to at least help users trust the brands advertising on it right now. Ensure that your content is adhering to the community regulations and you’ll be in good standing with Facebook and your audience. There’s no need to hide skeletons, after all, if there aren’t any skeletons in the first place.

Twitter Rolls Out Two New Features

Last week, Twitter released a new tool on desktop that allows users to edit images in-app before publishing. The tool isn’t anything too advanced, but it does allow you to resize or crop the image to hopefully make it more appealing to your followers.

Image source: Matt Navarra 

They also released new social functions for events, including the ability to see how many people are engaging with an event in real time.

What This Means for Hotels

Most hotels and resorts are likely having their images edited before they make it to Twitter, but if you aren’t and you’re looking for an easy solution, this is it.

The social context for events, on the other hand, could have a huge impact on hotels. If you’re hosting a big conference at your hotel and want to create a Twitter Event to generate buzz, this feature could help you leverage social proof to do exactly that.

Periscope Adds Guests to Live Streams

Periscope– Twitter’s sister company focusing on live videos– has just updated their platform so that users hosting a broadcast can invite up to three guests to participate. This feature previously wasn’t available on Periscope, but there is a catch: the invited users won’t appear on the screen, and it will only be their audio that’s shared.

What This Means for Hotels

More options for live video are always a good thing considering its value in today’s social media marketing climate. If your audience is particularly active on Twitter, you can take advantage of this and interview guests, staff, or other industry experts. Keep in mind, however, that it’s easier on Facebook and Instagram to host lives where guests can be seen during the broadcast, so it may be a good idea to start there.

LinkedIn Ads Roll Out Interest Targeting

LinkedIn Ads has just introduced interest targeting to their ad platform, allowing advertisers to target users based on topics they’ve expressed interest in. And one of those interests are “business travel,” opening the door for hotels and resorts to connect with potential guests who may be looking to book reservations.

What This Means for Hotels

LinkedIn Ads can yield great results, and if you’re using them for marketing to either gain new employees or connect with new guests, interest targeting may open up options to better connect with the right people. You could create an ad targeting that “business travel” interest, for example, or even target users who are interested in biology if you’ve got a science convention happening in your hotel and want to increase attendance and hotel reservations.

While you don’t want to use targeting that you don’t need or that isolates too much of your audience, this feature will be good to have when it’s relevant to the campaigns you’re creating.

Latest Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube Changes Affecting Hotels and Resorts

The new year always brings new changes, and this month we’ve had an onslaught of social media updates as each platform readies themselves for success in 2019. We’ve got new features designed to improve the users’ and marketers’ experience, so let’s take a look at the ones that will affect hotels, resorts, and other businesses in the hospitality industry.

Facebook Releases Multi-Language Dynamic Ads

Facebook has just rolled out a new type of Dynamic Ads that enables businesses to create ads in multiple languages. When creating your ad campaigns, just add in different language variations of the text you’re using, along with the URL of the landing page you’re sending users to.

Image source: Social Media Today 

What This Means for Hotels

Previously, advertisers were having to create multiple ads that were targeted by language and/or location, and then creating distinct ads for each individual language. This speeds up the process, and is a game changer for hotels and resorts, especially those with bilingual or international audiences.

Facebook Alters Group Invitation System

Previously, any time someone added a new user to their group, the person was automatically added as a member. While this did help to inflate group size, it was a superficial growth and many people would mute notifications and never engage. To prevent this from happening, Facebook users who are now added will have an “invited” status until they choose to actually join themselves.

What This Means for Hotels

Facebook Groups are an excellent community-building opportunity, but superficial growth won’t do you a lot of good. This new change will ensure that your group will only have engaged members within it, making your analytics more valuable and your community more close-knit.

Facebook Rolls Out Call-to-Action Stickers for Page Stories

Facebook Stories now have a new CTA sticker, which allows Pages to create clickable links encouraging users to “Shop Now,” “Book Now,” “Call Now,” or “Get Directions” directly within the Story.

Image source: Matt Navara 

What This Means for Hotels

Stories are a popular feature and have previously been most useful for brand awareness. This allows Pages to turn their Stores into clickable marketing content that users will happily engage with. The Book Now, Call Now, and Get Directions stickers will all be incredibly valuable to hotels and resorts, allowing them to easily drive actions and communication with potential guests.

Facebook Testing Stories Event Stickers

A new Facebook Story sticker is currently being tested that allows Pages to feature events in their Stories. It appears as though the events must be created as a Facebook event to be able to use this feature, and it’s currently only available in testing in the US, Mexico, and Brazil.

Image source: Engadget 

What This Means for Hotels

Many hotels and resorts regularly hold events ranging from mega conferences to a small movie night for guests by the pool. Creating official Facebook events and then being able to promote them in Stories– which don’t have the issue of declining organic reach– in an engaging, interactive way can mean good news for the attendance of your events (and thus your bottom line).

Big Changes Announced at Twitter

Twitter has announced a number of big changes happening on the platform in 2019. Most haven’t happened just yet, but the sneak peek is still valuable.

Here’s what’s changing:

●     A redesign of the site, which will be less cluttered with a two-column layout, and come with new features like improved search and emoji shortcuts.

●     Beta testing for new “conversational” features, including algorithmically-sorted replies.

●      New event, content, and audience analytics tools to improve marketers’ and businesses’ understanding of what’s happening and why.

Image source: Twitter

What This Means for Hotels

It’s no secret that Twitter has been looking at a revamp for awhile; they were losing followers and they knew they had to adapt. These changes are all shifts towards making Twitter into something new and more appealing for both users and marketers. Hotels and resorts should keep an eye on the changes and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly. We’ll keep you updated on this as they roll out.

TweetDeck Offers New Scheduling Abilities

TweetDeck is owned by Twitter and is their recommended tool for scheduling content. Now, the TweetDeck is capable of scheduling tweets that contain videos or multiple images. Previously, hotels and resorts were relying on third-party software for this feature.

Image source: Twitter 

What This Means for Hotels

While many hotels and resorts already rely on either agencies to take over their marketing for them or third-party software which offers similar features across multiple platforms, this is still a good thing for those who don’t have access (or the budget) for either.

Instagram Releases Ability to Post to Multiple Accounts

If you have several linked accounts on Instagram, you can now share a single post to multiple accounts at the same time when uploading new content. This feature is exclusive to newsfeed content (not Stories), and currently only available for iOS devices, and there’s no information yet about when it will be released to Android users.

Image source: TechCrunch 

What This Means for Hotels

Most hotels and resorts, again, are already using third-party software to handle this task, and it’s most often used to share the same post to other branded accounts like a sister hotel or the resort’s restaurant’s profile. If this software isn’t in the budget, however, this is a good option to speed up the process.

YouTube Eliminates Activity-Sharing to Twitter

Beginning on February 1st, YouTube will be removing the ability to automatically post your YouTube activity to Twitter. You can still share videos from YouTube with the Share button, but this will have to be done manually.

What This Means for Hotels

If YouTube marketing is a part of your strategy, take note of this. Instead of relying on auto-sharing, use scheduling software to distribute the link to the video on other sites if you choose and customize the messaging accompanying it for each individual platform. You can also choose to upload the video natively, which can help it get more traction on each platform.

Latest Social Media Changes Affecting Hotels and Resorts

Happy 2019, everyone! As we move into the new year, it’s time to take a look at our social media strategies to assess what’s working and how we can better connect with our guests. This includes assessing all the new social media that impact hotels and resorts, so take a look at everything that’s happened over the holiday break so you can get your campaigns up to speed.

Two New Features Arrive in Facebook’s Business Manager 

Image source: Matt Navara 

What This Means for Hotels

This isn’t a huge change, but if you find yourself regularly adding new team members or third party partners to your Facebook accounts, this could make it a little easier and give you more control. It doesn’t seem to have rolled out to everyone at this point, so if you don’t have it yet, you hopefully will soon.

Facebook Group Admins Can Share Feedback on Removed Posts 

Facebook Groups have offered a new moderating tool for admins, allowing them to offer private feedback to the author of a removed post. The member will be notified that their post was deleted, and they’ll be given information from an anonymous admin (not a specific one) about why that was the case.

What This Means for Hotels

Facebook Groups are an excellent community-building tool, and when it comes to Groups that are centered around your hotel or resort, it’s important to stay on top of its moderation. Using the feedback tool to keep your members following group rules without running the risk of accidentally publicly shaming someone can keep your community growing and moving in a positive direction.

Instagram Rolls Out Video Scheduling

Post scheduling through third-party software has been available for a while, but it was only available for images. Instagram updated its API towards the end of last year to allow the scheduling of videos on Instagram, too. Social media scheduling software is starting to catch up and offer this feature to subscribers, so keep an eye out for this one.

What This Means for Hotels

The ability to schedule video content to Instagram will be a game changer, especially considering that video has proven to yield high engagement rates on the platform. Now, you won’t have to worry about taking time away from your guests to ensure that your Instagram videos go live at peak posting times. Keep an eye on your social media scheduling software, as they’ll likely be releasing this feature soon if they haven’t already.

YouTube Ads Updated in Response to Changing User Patterns

User video consumption and behavior continually evolves, and YouTube ensures that they’re adapting frequently. Their ad system is being updated as a result of changing viewing patterns. These changes include:

●     The testing of two back-to-back stacked ads, which reduces the frequency of ad breaks for viewers watching long-form videos.

●     The rollout of the ability for advertisers to target TV screens with their ad campaigns, which accounts for the increased number of ad views happening on television sets.

●     More ad placements on the home feed, which allow users to see ads for video recommendations targeting them and encourages self-directed discovery.

Image source: Google 

What This Means for Hotels

YouTube’s dedication to change its ad offerings alongside evolving user behavior is a huge advantage for advertisers. By stacking ads, for example, users will have fewer ad breaks and are therefore more likely to watch the full video– and all of its ads. This is good for both the content creator and all the advertisers trying to bid on those competitive placements.

Hotels and resorts should carefully consider whether or not they want to exclusively target TV viewers for their campaigns, as the inability for users to click on a link while watching could potentially decrease the effectiveness of ads meant to drive conversions. Ad campaigns that are focused on brand recall, however, could see great results from this.

YouTube Creates Their Own Version of Stories

It feels like 2018 was the year of Stories, and now YouTube is catching up to Facebook and Instagram to offer their own unique take. Their short-form video format– titled “Reels”– has been rebranded into YouTube Stories and recently released with a new set of creator tools to accounts with more than 10,000 subscribers.

Image source: Google 

Unlike on other platforms, these Stories will be available for a full seven days before they disappear to maximize views. They can show up in the home feeds of both subscribers and non-subscribers.

What This Means for Hotels

The Stories feature has been hugely popular on both Instagram and Facebook, and it may see the same engagement from YouTube followers, too. If you have those 10,000 subscribers, test them out to connect with past, present, and future guests. The community-building features that are focusing on engaging with your audience could be a huge asset for this, giving you the ability to publicly respond to comments with photos or videos to keep the conversation going.

6 Latest Social Media Changes Affecting Hotels and Resorts

The holidays are here, and there are few busier seasons for those of us in the hospitality industry. We know you’re busy, so we’ll get right to our last edition of our newsletter in the 2018 year so you’ll be up to date on all the social media changes that matter to you.

Facebook Releases New Watch Party Features

The Watch Party feature allows you to play video content at a set time, where everyone will watch it in “real time” together, like seeing a movie with friends. This feature has now been released to all Pages and profiles. They also have new updates to the feature, including threaded comments for improved interaction, and Live Commentating, which allows the host to go live within the watch party and deliver commentary live.

Image source: Facebook 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

If live videos are a staple part of your marketing and you’re running low on ideas, or if you want to share content in a particularly engaging way, Watch Parties are a great opportunity. Hotels and resorts could showcase a video of what to do near their location and have someone from the team deliver personalized commentary and recommendations based on user questions. Many users aren’t familiar with Watch Parties yet, so promote what you’re doing ahead of time so your followers can make sure to get on board.

Instagram Says Changes Are Coming 

Instagram just recently announced that “over the next few weeks” users may see interface changes within the app, including new navigation and icons. The actual photos and videos that people have shared will not be affected.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Hotels and resorts won’t be heavily affected by this, but if you’re seeing a change in how your business profile looks, know that this is to be expected. Make sure that all of your information is displayed correctly and organized well, and you’ll be good to go.

Instagram Adds Alternative Text Descriptions 

Instagram has just released two new accessibility features designed to make the platform better suited for visually impaired users. Users can create their own text descriptions of their photos, which will be read through screen readers when someone scrolls through or clicks on the photo. There’s also the option to use automatic alternative text, utilizing object recognition technology to provide audio descriptions of your image or video.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Increased accessibility means more access to your target audience, and ensuring that all potential guests have the best experience possible when interacting with your brand. Add alt text to all images and videos; it just takes a few seconds, but for some of your guests it will make a world of difference.

You can access “alt text” under the “Advanced Settings” of your post before you publish it.

Instagram Cracks Down On “Inauthentic” Actions 

Instagram announced last month that they’re doing something about “inauthentic” actions on the platform, including fake likes, followers, and comments. They’ve gotten serious about weeding out bots and third-party services designed to artificially inflate social proof, and they are utilizing machine learning tools to find them.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Twitter and Facebook have already undergone their own purges for the same purpose, and now it’s Instagram’s turn. If you’re using any third-party service to get more social proof, remove them immediately. We recommend that our clients never use these services to begin with, as they may give you more followers, but typically product spam-like engagement if any that doesn’t do your brand any favors.

LinkedIn Company Pages Get An Update 

LinkedIn has just announced that the “next generation” of Company Pages have been created. There are new features that are focusing more heavily on community building, and will include content suggestion tools for admins, more advanced analytics, and improved mobile capabilities.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

The goal of the new LinkedIn Company Pages is to improve community building capabilities with your employees and your followers. Share content to keep your staff members engaged and up to date about what’s happening and engage guests and potential followers.

Twitter Is “Rethinking Everything About the Service 

Twitter has made a few big changes this year, and now it looks like they’re considering several more. According to Twitter, they’re “rethinking everything about the service,” so we could see some massive updates to the platform and how it’s used next year.

For now, here’s some of the rumored and in-testing features:

●     Timeline toggle, which is in testing and allows users to switch between the chronological and algorithmic timelines.

●     Eliminating the like button, which Twitter has not confirmed or denied, but may be done in an attempt to improve the quality and authenticity of interactions.

●     Edit buttons for published Tweets, which is being considered but may not be implemented because the platform doesn’t necessarily want people to be able to change tweets “all the way back in time.”

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

If you’re marketing on Twitter, there are no immediate changes to made aware of now, but it’s important to know that there are clearly changes coming. Be prepared, and make sure that your other social channels are built up just in case.