This Week in Hospitality Social Media Marketing News- November 13, 2018

We’re nearing the end of the year and are getting ready for the big holiday rush, but now is no time to let your social media marketing slide. There have been a lot of new updates that have rolled out in the past week that are directly relevant to hotels and resorts, so let’s dive in and look at each one.

Facebook Caught Inflating Video Metrics 

Facebook has recently come under fire with the accusations that they’ve been inflating video metrics, making it look like people were watching more video than they were. Facebook has admitted to this in the past, but a current lawsuit is suggesting that the inflation was much higher than acknowledged. Instead of being inflated by 60-80%, research has shown that it was likely closer to 150-900%.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Be careful when using video metrics to make big marketing or advertising decisions on Facebook. Until things are truly resolved, you may be getting false positives. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use video advertising, because even with inflated metrics it presents a great opportunity as an advertising format. That being said, watch other key metrics on these campaigns, too.

Facebook Releases “Instant Forms” For More Objectives 

Facebook’s instant forms– previously known as “lead forms” — have been restricted to the lead generation objective. Moving forward, advertisers will be able to attach instant forms to the brand awareness, traffic, and reach objectives in newsfeed and Story ads on both Instagram and Facebook.

This update will also give us “platform reporting,” which shows advertisers whether an instant form was submitted through Facebook or Instagram so you can better determine which channel is more effective.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Instant forms open up within Facebook, fill out as much of a user’s information as possible automatically, and provide advertisers with that data. They’re most often used to collect contact information like email addresses. Use them to your advantage, capturing guest information so that you can reach out to them with special, relevant offers at a later date.

Facebook Releases New Video Options 

Facebook has just released two new video ad buying options on Facebook: In-Stream Reserve and ThruPlay.

In-Stream Reserve allows advertisers to choose placements in video that come from “the most engaging, highest quality” publishers on Facebook, increasing the likelihood that your ad will be watched fully by an engaged audience. These ads are purchased in advance.

ThruPlay gives advertisers more control over what they’re paying for, allowing them to optimize and pay for ads only if they’re watched either through to completion or for a minimum of 15 seconds.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

More control for advertisers is always a plus, especially with video ad metrics being inflated. Hotels and resorts can use this feature to increase the likelihood that they’re only paying for views of a substantial length. It can also help advertisers get those views by offering high-engaging, high-view placements.

Facebook Cracks Down on “Low Quality” Ads 

Facebook has put a lot of effort into reducing “low quality” ads from appearing in the feed, and they’re taking further steps to do so. They’re now looking for certain triggers like misleading information or sensationalized language when approving ads.

Ads that are deemed “low quality” will either struggle to get the number of placements they should or may even be rejected all together.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Most hotels and resorts won’t be hugely affected by this, as our industry isn’t known for bait-and-switches or misleading information like other industries. That being said, make sure that your ad campaigns are straight forward. You can still capture the excitement and luxury of staying at your resort without going over-the-top with hyperbolic language.

Instagram Announced “Promote” for Stories

Instagram has just announced their new “Promote” option for stories, which works exactly like Facebook’s and Instagram’s “boost post” options. Advertisers will be able to pay to have their already-running Stories appear in users’ feeds, like other Story ads that you’d run. This feature has not been released yet, but it’s being tested globally, so keep an eye out.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Instagram Story Ads can take a little while to create, so this will be a great asset to hotels and resorts using Stories to connect with their guests. If you choose to use the feature, make sure to use an instant form in the Story so that you’re able to drive real results if viewers are interested.

Pinterest Releases “Promoted Carousel” 

Pinterest has just rolled out a new “Promoted Carousel” ad format, which works similarly to Facebook’s carousel ads. Advertisers can add multiple cards to their ads, with each card featuring a unique image, title, description, and (if you choose) landing page.

Image source: Pinterest 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Carousel ads have higher-than-average performance (including CTR) than other ad formats on Facebook, so the same could be true for Pinterest. Use carousel ads to showcase different locations, or different features, rooms, or amenities in a single hotel or resort to show everything you have to offer.

Hospitality Social Media News is brought to you by Lodging Interactive, a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement and reputation management agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. Through its web design and search optimization division as well as its CoMMingle Social Media Division, Lodging Interactive provides effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants and spas. For more information:

Telephone: 877-291-4411

Email: info@lodginginteractive.com

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Facebook, Instagram, YouTube: Announcements & New Features Impacting Hotels and Resorts

Hospitality Social Media News

 

As we ramp up for the holiday season, multiple social media sites have proved that they’re not slowing down just because it’s near the end of the year. In the past two weeks we’ve seen big announcements and new features from platforms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, all of which can impact hotels and resorts.

Instagram Rolls Out Quick Replies & GIFs in Messaging 

Instagram has rolled out new direct messaging features, including quick replies for business accounts and GIF sharing. Quick replies allow business accounts to save messages that answer commonly-asked questions such as resort checkout hours, pricing, or amenities available.

Both new features are available in the latest versions of Android and iOS.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

The ability to share GIFs will allow hotels and resorts to showcase their personality when interacting with guests if they see fit, but the true shining star here is the quick replies feature.

Hotels and resorts can save canned responses to everything from “Hi, we’ll respond to your message shortly!” to “Thanks for asking. Our in-resort restaurant does take reservations but they’re not necessary.” This can save you a lot of time without needing to rely on chatbots while still answering guest questions promptly.

Instagram Stories Accepts Longer Videos

Instagram Stories is now letting users post videos longer than fifteen seconds… sort of. They’ll now accept videos for uploading that are longer, but they’ll then break them down into multiple sections. The different sections will be played one after another.

This feature is currently only available on Android devices. It’s not known if or when it will come to iOS.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Many hotels and resorts are already using multiple short Stories to tell a longer story arch and keep users engaged. Now, however, you won’t have to manually break them down with another tool before you upload them, which will save you a significant amount of time.

If you do use this tool, make sure to check and see how the video is broken down; in some cases, it may be more beneficial to do it yourself manually to ensure that different sections of videos begin and end at the exact right times. If you’re featuring videos of your hotel, for example, each individual Story could show your lobby, your waterfront views, and a suite in individual Stories; you’d want to ensure that these were broken down into distinct sections for maximum impact.

New YouTube Ad Extensions & Reporting Announced

YouTube will soon be rolling out new types of actionable ad extensions. Soon, you’ll be able to add extensions to your TrueView in-stream ads that allow users to take actions like downloading an app or book a trip to you.

Image source: Google

YouTube will also be releasing new metrics to show the overall impact of your ad campaigns, including a groundbreaking “lifted users” metric that will tell you how many users were influenced by the ad even if they don’t convert immediately.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

The ability to make YouTube video ads more effective and to better understand how they’re working will make YouTube video ads more valuable. If you’re utilizing video ads for your hotel and your guest demographics are on YouTube, check out the new “book a trip” extensions to see how they work for you.

Instagram Is Testing Hashtag-Free Posts

According to The Next Web, Instagram is testing a type of format that would allow users to publish posts that have hashtags attached, but not included in the captions. It looks like instead of being placed in captions, the hashtags may appear in blocks underneath posts. This hasn’t been officially confirmed by Instagram, but Twitter user Jane Manchun Wong was able to snag a few screenshots.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Right now this feature is still in testing, but it could mean a big change in Instagram best practices if it gets approved. Hashtags will still be just as important, giving you the powerful reach potential they do now, though you’ll need to be careful to make sure your branded hashtag is placed in a way that guests will see it like on your profile or in the caption itself if possible. We’ll keep an eye on this one and update you as more information comes out.

Facebook Announces Premieres & Video Polls 

Facebook has just announced a globe launch of their new Premieres, which is new video format that’s more interactive. Creators can record a video for fans ahead of time, release it at the time of their choosing, and then allow users to engage with it in real viewing time.

Image source: TechCrunch

Facebook is also releasing Facebook Live video polls, which can be used to increase engagement and make the videos more dynamic in real time.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Premieres have all the advantages of Facebook Lives, but they come with the added bonus of no unpleasant surprises. You won’t have to worry about technical glitches, someone swearing loudly in the background, or getting stumped by a difficult guest question. These videos will be created ahead of time and can be edited, but you can still engage with users as they watch your video in real time, making them more engaging than typical non-live videos and thus more impactful.

Video marketing is only going to continue to be an important part of marketing moving into 2019, so use all the tools at your disposal– including Premiers and video polls– in order to help your content stand out and build relationships with your fans.

Latest Social Media Changes Affecting Hotels and Resorts

Hospitality Social Media News

 

The last two weeks had some big news in the social media world, with everything from access to new APIs being rolled out to features that give users new ways to shop on platform. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive in to look at all the social media changes affecting hotels and resorts happening now.

Instagram Announces New Nametag Feature 

Instagram has just announced a new feature called “Nametag,” which makes it easier for users to follow and request to follow people in person. It works similarly to QR codes, and users will scan your Nametag in-app in order to see the option to follow you.

Image: Instagram 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

The easier it is to get your guests to follow you, the more likely it is that they will. A quick test revealed that users can scan Nametags that are on printed paper, computer screens, and more. Print yours out according to scale on any signage that you have asking guests to follow you or share UGC, or consider adding it to certain emails like what guests receive right after they make a booking.

LinkedIn Rolls Out Dynamic Ads to All Advertisers

LinkedIn has officially rolled out its own version of dynamic ads through the campaign manager. These ads are personalized based on the information publicly available in users’ profiles and utilize templates of information to create highly relevant ad campaigns to each individual user seeing the ad.

Image source: LinkedIn 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

LinkedIn is often overlooked by hotels and resorts, but if you’re targeting B2B employees who need lodging while they travel for work, events looking for conference rooms, or even businesses looking to book rooms for their employees, it’s a great option to keep in mind. The personalization of dynamic ads will let you scale your campaigns to massive levels very quickly, potentially maximizing success on platform.

Twitter Prioritizes Live Video 

Live video streams are now prioritized by Twitter and the platform has stated that live broadcasts are going to be featured at the top of your timeline.

Image source: Twitter 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

If you’re on Twitter and want to get more visibility for your Tweets, find new ways to go Live. Broadcast events you’re hosting at your resort, news about any specials that you have, or have a Q&A live about what to do on your next visit with viewers (and always with a few questions ready to go).

Twitter Offers Audio-Only Broadcast Feature 

If you’re feeling stumped for more ways to go live, note that Twitter has just launched audio-only broadcasts on both Periscope and Twitter for iOS. There’s a good chance that these live audio broadcasts could be given priority in the timeline, too.

Image source: Twitter

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

More live content is always a plus, but there’s a good chance that video will still be prioritized by both Twitter and the guests that you’re trying to reach. Especially for hotels and resorts, utilizing the beautiful backdrop of your actual location (be it the lobby or a waterfront view) is a good strategy whenever possible. Use audio sparingly as appropriate, and focus more on live video.

Shoppable Snap Ads Roll Out to Everyone 

Snapchat has just expanded their shoppable snap ads accessible to all advertisers through the self-serve ad platform. All advertisers can now create, upload, and advertise product catalogues that work similarly to Instagram’s shoppable posts. They also improved their tracking pixel so that advertisers can target users based on more specific on-site actions.

Image source: Snapchat 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

If your hotel or resort sells any type of physical goods– including small items you want to push like novelty picture frames or clothing– this new ad format could be something to test out. Based on the user demographics, many businesses will likely benefit more from using Shoppabe Instagram posts, however, so I’d recommend testing those out before moving to Snapchat ads.

Pinterest Expands Marketing API 

Pinterest just announced that they’re opening their content marketing API to third-party influencer marketing platforms. Businesses using these apps will now be able to see how influencer campaigns are performing in terms of key metrics like impressions, click-throughs, followers, and more.

Eight influencer marketing platforms are currently participating in this launch, including: AspireIQ, HYPR, Influence.co, IZEA, Klear, Mavrck, Obvious.ly and Open Influence.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

If your hotel or resort is utilizing influencer marketing to increase reach and build trust on Pinterest, this is great news. The apps you’re using will be able to give you more information about how those campaigns are really performing, creating more transparency and insight so you can make well-informed decisions moving forward.

Latest Facebook & Instagram Updates Hotels Can’t Afford to Miss

Hospitality Social Media News

 

The past two weeks have been particularly busy in the social media world, and this week’s newsletter can prove it. Ready to find out about the latest updates and how they’ll affect your hotels and resorts?

Let’s dive in.

Facebook’s Creator Studio Rolled Out Globally 

Facebook’s Creator Studio is a central hub for Pages, allowing them to manage their content libraries for all their Pages in one place, including uploading new images and videos, scheduling posts, and evaluating insights. It just recently rolled out globally, reaching Page admins all over the world.

What This Means for Hotels:

Many hotels and resorts often run more than one Page; they may have affiliate resorts, multiple locations, or even specific Pages dedicated to their restaurants or spas. Being able to manage all content for all Pages on one easy-to-use dashboard can save you a lot of time and hassle. You can access your Creator Studio under the Business Manager.

Facebook Releases New Tracking Events 

Facebook’s tracking events are snippets of code added to the tracking pixel which you can use to determine if certain actions are taken on your site, like checkouts or clicks on a key product page. Facebook is enhancing the pixel even further by rolling out eight new events in the coming weeks.

The new tracking events are:

●     Contact

●     Customize Product

●     Find Location

●     Schedule

●     Donate

●     Start Trial

●     Submit Application

●     Subscribe

What This Means for Hotels:

The “Schedule,” “contact,” and “find location” tracking events will likely prove exceptionally valuable for hotels and resorts. Scheduling bookings, spa reservations, and dinners could all be tracked with the new pixel, and every time someone contacts one of your hotels or searches for a location, you’ll know. This will allow you to retarget to an interested audience and help close the booking.

Facebook Provides More Information for Certain Ad Placements 

If you run Facebook Ads in in-stream video placements, Instant Articles, and the Audience Network, you’re about to get a lot more information about where your ads could potentially be shown. If you don’t have access to the new feature already, you’ll soon be able to see a full list of specific potential placements where your ads could appear in these placements. After your campaign is over, you’ll also be able to see which placements your ad actually landed.

What This Means for Hotels:

More visibility is always an advantage, especially when you’ve got a lot of ad spend on the table. As advertisers, we can already block our content from appearing on content in certain categories or from certain publishers, but getting a full list might give us a reminder of a few more names to block or more targeting to narrow down. More transparency and more information can mean better ad performance, and there’s a good chance this be the case for the new placement update.

Facebook Reinvents Canvas Ads 

Canvas Ads have been rebranded as “Instant Experiences.” These fullscreen, interactive mobile experiences will now offer a new “Instant Form” template and component. This component will allow marketers to add lead generation forms in their Instant Experiences.

Image source: Facebook 

Instant Experiences can now be tracked with the pixel, allowing advertisers to get a better understanding of how their campaigns are really performing.

What This Means for Hotels:

Instant Experiences have always had a lot of potential for hotels and resorts, even though they were underused. They’re a great way to showcase your properties and amenities in exciting, dynamic ways your guests could respond to. Now, you can use the lead form to capture the information of interested potential guests and follow up to schedule a booking.

New Facebook Stories Updates 

There are some new features being tested for Facebook’s Stories, and while they likely won’t be rolling out on a wide scale for a little while, we still want to mention them.

The first is the ability to share links in Stories. Facebook recently confirmed that they’re testing this ability, which Instagram already has. There is no news about when this would move beyond beta testing.

The second will be Stories Ads, which is currently rolling out to Facebook marketing partners. According to TechCrunch, early tests in Mexico, Brazil, and the US gave access to the feature to a few big name brands, which are pretty much identical to Instagram’s Stories Ads.

What This Means for Hotels:

We’ve already seen that Instagram Stories can be an incredible powerhouse for the hospitality industry, especially once Ads and links are included to drive actionable (and off-platform) results. Having this ability come to Facebook too will be a huge benefit, giving us additional mediums to connect with potential guests. Facebook users are already watching Stories, after all, and this will allow us to drive site traffic and bookings as a result.

Instagram Expands Security Features 

Instagram has finally rolled out expanded verification and security features for business profiles. The first will seek to protect users by evaluating the authenticity of accounts with a large number of followers, much like Facebook has recently done. Users will be able to see the account’s history, any name changes, and all ads the profile is currently running.

The second change is coming soon, and will allow use of third-party authentication apps to be used to log into Instagram. This will be a more safe and secure way for businesses to log into Instagram.

What This Means for Hotels:

Instagram wants to make the platform safer for everyone, which means more transparency and more security. Most hotels and resorts have nothing to hide, so the transparency will only help you to build trust, and the added security features can help you protect your accounts and your guests at the same time.

Instagram Releases Polls to Direct Messages 

Polls are a great way to drive engagement through Stories, and now users are able to send polls to their friends through direct messaging. Add a small group to a chat, and then use the poll sticker to ask a question. All that’s left to do is wait for the responses to come pouring in.

What This Means for Hotels:

Stories broadcast your polls to your entire audience, but using them in direct messaging can have its benefits, too. Reach out to small groups of your followers, and use the text features to let them know they’re in an exclusive group of loyal guests and you want their opinion. They’ll be notified, and it could increase the likelihood that they answer. You could also use this feature to run contests or sweepstakes, too.

Hotel Social Media News Platforms Shifting to ‘Authentic’ Usage to Encourage Community Building

There is an apparent trend showing social media platforms are shifting more towards “authentic” usage of the platforms that encourage community building, and we’re seeing more features and changes coming as a result. Staying on track with these changes will be important for the long-term success of your campaigns.

Twitter Cuts Access to Third Party Apps 

Twitter has shut down API access to a number of third-party apps and ended support for Twitter for Apple Watch and Twitter for Mac. This includes popular tools like Tweetbot, which are not officially run by the social media site. Official mobile apps and those run by Twitter, like TweetDeck and Periscope, are still fully functional and will remain so.

What This Means for Hotels

Twitter has made a lot of changes this year in order to try to reduce clutter and make room for more meaningful engagement. We saw this with their restrictions on automated or cross-promoted retweets, and this is just another step down that path.

If you’re using any software to enhance your Twitter marketing with features like scheduling or content creation, keep an eye on your profile to make sure things are working as expected. If not, you’ll need to cut the app loose and see if you can find Twitter-run alternatives, like TweetDeck.

LinkedIn Relaunches Groups 

LinkedIn groups have been around for a while, but they’re now being relaunched. According to TechCrunch, LinkedIn will be adding groups to their main app. They’ll also be focused on reducing spam and making the groups more efficient. They’re doing this with temporary removal of features like sending posts as emails to the entire group.

Image source: TechCrunch 

What This Means for Hotels

LinkedIn groups have always had enormous potential but fell a little short. They become too self-promotional, but with new developments, that could change. If groups pick up on LinkedIn, this could be a great asset for hotels and resorts. You can network with and learn from other industry experts, find potential employees, and even occasionally mention your conference or lodging services to professionals looking to make bookings.

Facebook Allows Admins to Link Pixel with Groups 

Group admins can now link Facebook’s tracking pixel to their group, allowing admins to better track user growth and engagement on their actual websites off-platform. This information will be anonymous, and it will only be available to groups that have at least 250 members.

Image source: Facebook 

What This Means for Hotels

Facebook Groups are a powerful community-building tool, but the ability to anonymously track group member’s relationship to your hotel or resort as a whole outside of the actual group is a huge advantage. Now you can more accurately assess whether the group is driving more leads or bookings, or building stronger relationships with your guests.

Facebook Group Admins Can Pin Comments 

Matt Navarra found a feature Facebook is testing that will allow group admins to pin comments in discussion threads. This will push that comment to the top of the comments section in the conversation thread, ensuring that it’s the first thing people see.

Image source: Matt Navara

What This Means for Hotels

If you have groups for your hotel or resort, you have likely already seen how conversations can spiral amongst members. People veer off course with the discussion, or you (or someone else) ends up clarifying the same thing many times over. The ability to pin comments will give you additional moderation control so that you can keep things on track and hopefully framing the group and your hotel in a positive light.

Forget Loyalty Programs: Customer Service Matters Most to Travelers

Most hotels and resorts offer some sort of loyalty program, allowing guests to accrue points based on stays and purchases that they can later use for free or discounted bookings. Publix’s BOGOs are great, after all; why not set up something similar for hotels?

 

While many guests are avid users of your hotel’s rewards program, they’re likely avid users of your competitors’ rewards programs, too. It’s almost a guarantee, after all, that almost all of your competitors will have their own similar programs in place.

 

Think with Google recently conducted a study  to find what matters most to high value travelers and see which factors will affect where they choose to stay. Loyalty programs were a factor, but not a major one, ranking fourth on the list of considerations that high value travelers focused on.

 

So what was the number one factor that guests took into consideration when choosing where to stay?

 

Customer service.

 

Why Customer Service Comes in First

Many hotels may automatically assume that if their loyalty program is superior to their competitors, that’s all it will take to create true loyalty, but we already know that isn’t the case. So why is customer service so important?

 

Image source: Think with Google

 

There’s several answers to this. The most obvious is that the market is now saturated with loyalty programs that are all so similar that they’re no longer unique; they’re almost expected in many cases. Customer service has become the true differentiator.

 

Excellent customer service will also directly impact a guest’s entire experience with you, from the pre-booking research all the way to the checkout and beyond. It will be the difference between whether they struggle (or fail) to book a reservation with you, get the accommodations they need, and have a positive experience, or whether they walk away dissatisfied (or worse).

 

How quickly and personably you can resolve any concerns will be what sways them, because when it comes to where they’re staying, they need to know they’re in good hands. Strong customer service builds trust, and trust can begin to foster true brand loyalty.

 

Meanwhile, loyalty programs don’t actually impact a guest’s experience at all; it just affects their wallet. And since only 21% of most high value travelers— the kind you really want to get on board– will sacrifice comfort for a lower cost, those savings only amount to so much when they can find something similar elsewhere.

How You Can Offer Exceptional Customer Service to Every Guest

While it goes without saying that being warm and accommodating in person is an important part of customer service, true customer excellence needs to start long before they show up at the check-in desk with their bags in hand.

 

Every guest– and every potential guest– not only expects but demandstop of the line customer service at every turn, and if they don’t see it from the get-go then you’ve already lost their booking. And in today’s world, that means focusing on your website’s online communication with guests.

 

More and more guests prefer to find questions about a potential booking online, whether that’s through your site’s information or through a live chat service. They want the information fast, and they want it without a big hassle or having to wait on hold or go through an automated phone system.

 

It’s no surprise, therefore, that while customer service was the first priority for guests when considering where to book, an easy-to-use website came in at second place. The two now go hand-in-hand for many guests, so in order to deliver outstanding customer care, you need to do so in the communication of their choosing. That means improving your live chat services immediately if you haven’t already.

 

Live Chat for Hotels & Resorts: No Longer Optional

The writing is on the wall here, and with websites and customer service both valued so highly by high-value, high-spending travelers, you can’t afford to skimp out on live chat for your site.

 

And when we say live chat, we’re not talking about robotic, badly-programmed chatbots. We’re not even talking about chatbots that have been programmed really well, because customers don’t want to go through anykind of automated process; they want to be put in touch with an actual human representative who they feel cares about them and can help them immediately. No chatbot can offer the kind of personalized help and attention that high value guests have come to expect, so they’ll let you down in the long run.

 

Instead, human-to-human live chat through your site is the only way to go. While it may sound like a lot to tackle, it doesn’t have to be.

 

CoMMingle Live Chat, for example, offers full, 24/7 live chat management for hotels and resorts so we can pick up the slack while you focus on the guests who are actively staying with you. Potential guests will receive immediate responses from real, highly trained representatives who all have experience in the hospitality industry and will learn the in’s and out’s of your specific hotel to deliver personalized customer service just like you would.

 

Whether you invest in a service like CoMMingle or take on the process yourself, immediate-response live chat isn’t so much a great option as it is a necessary one. It will only become more important moving forward, so stay ahead of your competition and adapt now if you haven’t already. Your loyalty programs, after all, can apparently only help you so much, so it’s best to make investments where they’ll matter post: the actual experience of the guests themselves.

6 Big Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest Changes Affecting Hotels & Resorts

Hospitality Social Media News

 

Are you up to date with all six of the big changes that happened in social media in the last two weeks? Know how they’ll directly affect your hotel or resort?

If you aren’t sure, don’t worry; we know it’s a lot to keep up with.

Let’s take a look at the most recent social media changes that are relevant to the hospitality industry and how they’ll affect you.

New Look & Features for Pages on Mobile 

Facebook Pages are getting a new look, with recommendations taking center stage and being featured more prominently. There will also be new features that will make it easier for your guests to view menus, book reservations, or take other actions more easily than they can now.

There will also be new local browsing options, which allow users to look for local businesses and events near them. Facebook will include recommendations based on users’ preferences and histories, and ratings from other viewers will likely impact these recommendations heavily.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Reviews are now called Recommendations. They are no longer a Star-Rated scale (1-5 Stars). The visitor can either Recommend or Not Recommend, with or without a comment. Recommendations are even more important than ever before because of their heightened visibility, so do what you can to get more reviews on Facebook directly. Consider prioritizing Facebook when asking users to leave reviews, placing it above Google or TripAdvisor if you’re lacking them on Facebook.

As the new booking features roll out, make sure that your Pages are optimized and utilizing them. The ability for guests to book reservations through your site or view your resort’s menu can make everything a little more convenient for them, resulting in increased bookings.

Facebook Releases Image-to-Video Ads 

Facebook’s Creative Shop has released a new tool called “Create to Convert,” which allows advertisers to add motion and animation to two still images. You can make your logo, product, use cases, and benefits come to life by just uploading two still images, no animation experience required.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

If you’re on a budget and don’t want to shell out the big bucks to a video agency, or looking for a way to make your ads more compelling in a scalable way, this is a tool you’ll want to utilize. Use these image-to-video ads to showcase your gorgeous resort and everything you can do there, and watch the bookings come rolling in.

Facebook Starts Rolling Out Stories Ads 

Facebook started testing Facebook Story Ads in May for select advertisers in the U.S., Mexico, and Brazil. These Ads are now slowly rolling out to more advertisers and will appear in the Ads Manager once you have access. These ads will consist of 5 to 15 second videos that resemble Instagram Story Ads, with “Click to Learn More” CTAs now available.

Image source: Ana G.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Plenty of hotels and resorts have had great luck using Instagram Story Ads, and it will be interesting to see if Facebook’s counterpart works just as well. If more of your guests are on Facebook than on Instagram, this could open more doors for you.

Instagram Testing Recommended Posts  

Instagram is currently testing recommended posts in users’ feeds. These posts will appear at the bottom of a user’s feed. The content will come from accounts that the user doesn’t already follow, but which Instagram thinks they’d like based on the accounts and content they interact with most frequently.

Image source: Instagram 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

This feature is only in testing, but this could be a great new way to get more reach on Instagram. At this point, there’s no way to influence whether or not you appear in a recommendation aside from having strong engagement rates, but you can diversify the types of content you post (mixing it up with videos, unique topics, multi-image posts, and more) to increase the likelihood of creating content different guests like to see.

Pinterest Releases Maximum Width in Promoted Video 

In May, Pinterest started testing maximum width for their Promoted Video Pins, and it’s now available for all advertisers. These new pins are 4x wider than the standard pin, taking up the full range of space in Pinterest’s mobile two-column feed and practically demanding user attention. This feature can be found in the Pinterest Ads manager.

Image source: Pinterest 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Promoted Video Pins are already a great way to stand out on mobile, and this new maximum width feature is a big opportunity. Videos of your gorgeous hotel and all the activities that can be done there will be even more powerful at a larger size. Several case studies from Pinterest’s initial tests have found that these specific video pins have higher rates of engagement and ad awareness than even other types of promoted pins.

Not sure where to start? You can always run retargeting campaigns based on website traffic, and utilize those extra-big videos to increase bookings with potential guests.

Latest Social Media Updates: Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram

We’re nearing the end of summer vacation season, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to take your foot off the marketing breaks! Instead, take a look at all the new changes happening on social media that can directly affect the hospitality industry and see how to incorporate them to better serve and understand your guests.

Facebook Updates Video Ad Metrics to Remove Redundancies 

Facebook recently updated its video ad metrics to better match actual viewer behavior. The changes include:

●     Video play metrics, which tell advertisers how often video ads are played instead of just seen (impressions)

●     The measuring of unrepeated seconds, which changes how Facebook evaluates watch time on video ads

●     Removal of redundant metrics like video watched percentage and 30-second video views

Image source: Facebook

What This Means for Hotels

Many hotels and resorts use video ads on Facebook and Instagram to connect with their audience, build brand awareness, and increase reservation bookings. Be on the lookout for these changes. The new video play metric will be particularly helpful, because when compared against impressions, you’ll be able to gauge initial interest. If necessary, this can help you make changes to your video campaigns to get more interest early on, getting more results.

Facebook Releases New Mobile Ad Creation Tools 

Facebook’s Ads Manager app now has a whole suite of new creative tools that allow you to create more dynamic ad campaigns right on your mobile device.

New features include abilities to:

●     Add logos or text overlay to your ad images

●     Check to make sure there’s no more than 20% text on your ads

●     Crop images

●     Add stickers

●     Apply color filters

●     Use ad templates to improve appearance

Image source: Facebook

What This Means for Hotels

The ability for hotels and resorts to better create more visually appealing ads on the go is always an advantage. We no longer need to rely on third-party apps or designers to add text overlay, logos, or adjust the color on our ad images, saving us a few steps along the way.

Facebook Restricts Cross-Posts from Twitter

As of August 1st, Facebook restricted posting access to the platform. Tweets and Retweets are no longer automatically cross-posted on Facebook, even if you had that feature enabled. This is due to the new API restrictions Facebook has been putting in place.

Image source: TechCrunch 

What This Means for Hotels

Best practices have already dictated not to cross-post tweets to your hotel’s professional pages on Facebook, so not many hotels and resorts will see a lot of change here. That being said, if you use any kind of software to automatically post your Tweets to your Page, shut it down immediately.

Facebook Updates Workplace 

Facebook has been aggressively updating their Workplace over the past few months, and they just rolled out a few more features. The new additions focus on improving team collaboration and improving personalization capabilities to boost relationship building. They include:

●     One-click connection to facilitate chat

●     Highlight team members’ birthdays

●     Directory search, which makes it easier to find team members

●     Workplace profiles to share personal information

●     Admin control over what’s shared in Workplace profiles

Image source: Facebook 

Facebook’s Workplace has also required an email startup, messaging, and calendar app called Redkix, and there are rumors that this will be used to improve communication abilities in Workplace further.

What This Means for Hotels

Facebook’s Workplace seems to be positioning itself to attempt to replace Slack, and larger hotels and resorts with larger teams (either internal or external) typically need software like this for communication, project management, and distribution of important messages. If you’re in need of software like this for your hotel, keep an eye on Workplace and all the new features– it may be the right fit for you.

WhatsApp Releases Business API 

WhatsApp’s launch of the Business API is an expansion of their business tools, and it allows larger businesses to send non-promotional messages to customers like reservation reminders or shipping information. You can do this for a fixed rate. The new API is currently only available for 90 specific companies, but it will be rolled out on a more widespread basis soon.

What This Means for Hotels

The ability for hotels and resorts to be able to send reservation reminders or arrival instructions is another great way to engage guests before they even set foot on your property. This is also a great way to jumpstart conversations; guests can respond with any questions they have, and you can address them right away, providing top-notch customer service.

Instagram Tests Emoji Reactions to Stories 

Thanks to marketing sleuth Matt Navarra, we know that Instagram is testing new Facebook-style emoji response options for Instagram Stories. The Facebook counterpart just rolled out last month, so there’s a good chance we’ll see this soon.

(no image source picture tag because it’s a tweet)

What This Means for Hotels

More reaction options means that hotels and resorts can get more potential engagement when using Stories. You can increase the number of responses you get by asking users outright how they feel, or to share their opinions by selecting certain emojis.

Restaurant Reputation Management Services

Lodging Interactive Launches Reputation Management for Restaurants

. Fully managed service for restaurants.

PARSIPPANY, NJ, August 1, 2018 – Lodging Interactive, an award-winning digital and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced it has expanded its CoMMingle reputation management services into the restaurant industry. During the last 10 years CoMMingle has established itself as the hospitality industry’s leading provider of guest review management services and has partnered with hundreds of hotels worldwide.

 

 

“Providing our CoMMingle reputation management services to restaurants is a natural extension of our very mature and proven hospitality services,” stated DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder and CEO. “As Google, Yelp and TripAdvisor restaurant review volumes continue to grow, it is critical for restaurant owners to provide timely management responses.”

 

According to ReviewTrackers, 63.6 percent of consumers say they are likely to check reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site.

 

 

Additionally, according to Illumen’s Top 50 Digital Marketing Stats for The Restaurant Business:

 

  1. Over 1 billion restaurant visits by consumers are influenced by online marketing (Monetate).
  2. Out of all industries, consumers read restaurant reviews more than any other industry (Bright Local).
  3. Since 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations for dining decisions, it’s key you have a bunch of positive reviews (Bright Local).
  4. A half-star difference on a Yelp review rating can swing restaurant business by a whopping 27% (Foodbeast).
  5. Restaurants who respond to customers on social media will win as 71% say they’re more likely to recommend a company that responds quickly to them on social media (Forbes).

 

Please click for more information or contact us on 877-291-4411 extension 704 or email info@lodginginteractive.com.

 

 

About Lodging Interactive

 

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement and reputation management agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. Through its web design and search optimization division as well as its CoMMingle Social Media Division, Lodging Interactive provides cost-effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants and spas.

 

CoMMingle 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 also offers fully managed Live Chat agents for hotel websites through its LiveChatForHotels.com division.

 

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.

 

For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

 

Contact: DJ Vallauri

 

pressreleases@lodginginteractive.com / 877-291-4411

 

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Latest Hotel Social Media Changes

We’re in the middle of summer’s busy season, but that means it’s more important than ever to stay up to date on all the latest social changes. This month we’ve got new updates that will allow us to continue making more engaging content with a little less hassle. Let’s take a look.

Facebook Adds a Stories Archive Feature

Facebook has been testing and slowly rolling out an Archive feature for their Stories, and it works differently than Instagram’s Stories Highlights. Users who have this feature can now save their Facebook Stories once they expire so they can repost them again later if they choose.

What This Means for Hotels

The expiration of Stories after 24 hours has always been a setback of the feature, because it can be difficult to create content that has such a short shelf life. The ability to save the content and reuse it is a huge advantage if it’s evergreen.

Want to simplify things further? It would also work to just download stories after you create them on Instagram, add them to your Instagram highlights, and then upload it to Facebook, too.

Facebook Rolls Out Crossposting Ability with Instagram 

We’ve had the ability to share Instagram posts directly onto Facebook for a very long time, but now we have a new feature that lets us do the reverse, too. Pages can now crosspost to Instagram as long as their Facebook post contains a single image. Multi-image and video posts are not currently supported.

What This Means for Hotels

Being able to easily distribute content to two platforms at once can save you time, especially if you aren’t already using social scheduling software. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that Instagram best practices don’t always line up with Facebook’s. You’ll want to add hashtags, for example, to your Instagram posts so that potential guests have a better chance of finding you.

It will be better to post individually in most cases, but if you ever have something you need to distribute quickly, this feature will work for that.

Instagram Launched Question Stickers 

Instagram has just released a Questions Sticker to its Stories. This is another interactive sticker that allows users to ask their followers questions. The replies their followers submit will be shown to you privately, but they can be shared within the Stories feed. It is now available for both iOS and Android users with the latest update of the app.

Image source: Instagram 

What This Means for Hotels

This new sticker is another way to get engagement through Stories, but it also gives you a way to build and leverage social proof. Ask your guest questions about their stays or their dream vacations, or even what types of events they’d like to attend or host at your resort. Share some of the best answers to your Stories in order to demonstrate social proof and build relationships with your guests and followers.

Instagram Tests In-App Verification 

In-App verification has been available on Instagram for a while for high-profile brands and users, a coveted blue checkmark you’ve also seen on Facebook and Twitter. However, the company has approved an incredibly low amount of accounts for verification. Instagram is currently testing a new in-app verification option, where public figures, celebrities, and brands can submit a form to apply, which requires usernames, full names, and photo identification. Currently, the in-app form for verification is only available to iOS users in a selected test group, but will soon be coming to Android.

Image source: Mashable 

What This Means for Hotels

The blue checkmark automatically signals that your hotel or resort is established enough to be recognized on social media, and you risk losing credibility if you’re the only one without it. Users may be more likely to go to a website and book reservations through Instagram profiles with that blue checkmark, so keep an eye out and do what you can to apply as soon as possible.

LinkedIn Announces In-Feed Translations 

LinkedIn is slowly releasing a new translations feature similar to Facebooks. This feature will allow users to see a “See Translation” button on posts that are written in languages different than what they speak. There will be more than 60 languages included in the translation feature, including German and Japanese. More languages will follow.

What This Means for Hotels

If your hotel or resort hosts professional events or has a large number of traveling professionals, LinkedIn could be a valuable marketing channel. Even if you don’t, most hotels and resorts may benefit from using the platform to find new employees or vendors. The ability for your posts to have more reach just with a click of a button on the user’s part is a huge advantage, no matter what specific goal you’re using LinkedIn to accomplish.