3 Social Media Trends You Need To Know (And Practice!) Now
- Posted by Arielle Rubenstein
- On June 4, 2019
From the introduction of shoppable Instagram posts to “Alexa, play Despacito”, 2018 social media was a whirlwind of new features and memes.
This year is expected to bring even more social activity, as the number of social media users is predicted to increase by 12%, to 2.77 billion people. That’s a whopping 36% of the world’s population. These numbers will directly affect the hospitality industry as a recent study found that 73% of millennials check a hotel’s social media feed before booking.
This year, hotels will have to go above and beyond to prove their so-called “Instagramability” and attract millennial travelers. So what do hospitality brands need to be aware of to stay relevant in 2019?
These are three key trends that the social media team at Screen Pilot HQ will be keeping an eye on, and hopefully implementing for our social clients as soon as possible.
Rise of Social Television via IGTV
If you’ve been on any social platform in recent years, then chances are that you’ve seen some form of vertical video, be it a Facebook Story, Snapchat video, or “Instant Experience” ad. According to Statista, more than 50% of digital videos are now viewed in a vertical format, and that number is expected to go up. A few years ago, consumers may have been averse to watching a 15-minute television show on social media, but now it’s viewed as a natural progression of the platform.
One of the most exciting ways to capitalize on this trend is IGTV by Instagram. IGTV is a standalone app (whose videos can be previewed on Instagram) that is meant for narrative-driven videos which can be up to an hour long. IGTV now supports horizontal format videos in addition to vertical, so we recommend revisiting your brand’s videos to see if there are any that can be repurposed. While we suggest thinking of IGTV as an extension of your Instagram strategy instead of a replacement, this app is the perfect place for your creative and production teams to showcase your hotel in new ways. Maybe it’s a monthly interview with the F&B director that highlights food and specials guests can look forward to, or maybe a serialized behind-the-scenes show that depicts all the teamwork that goes into creating an amazing guest experience – the options are limitless.
Evolution of Customer Support Chatbots
Hospitality brands are often looking for ways to surprise and delight their guests, and support chatbots are the perfect way to do that before a guest steps foot inside your hotel.
Chatbots are now seen as essential from a customer service standpoint. Research has found that 42% of consumers who have reached out to a brand on social media expect a response within 60 minutes. If you’re unable (or unwilling) to be on call 24/7, it’s time to set up a chat-bot to respond to potential guests around the clock.
The simplest option is to set up an auto-response bot that sends the user a pre-set message containing basic contact information. The 2019 upgraded version is a multi-stage, personalized chat-bot that guides the user through information relevant to their original query.
For hotels, this could include details on topics like Reservations, Concierge, Dining, and Spa. The more information you can supply to the potential guest, the better. This will help set the expectation of timely, helpful service for your guests before they even arrive.
Vacation Planning Goes Graphic On Pinterest
When hospitality marketers think of social platforms, the big three first come to mind: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In 2019, however, we expect more hotels and resorts to turn their attention (and marketing budgets) towards Pinterest. The platform is a force to be reckoned with, as it boasts 250 million monthly active users, of which 40% have a household income in excess of $100k. This audience loves to look at beautiful imagery and is e-commerce savvy: the ideal target for advertising luxury and boutique properties. In early January of this year, Pinterest unveiled “Travel Personas” for marketers, solidifying its prominence in the trip planning industry. With persona keyword terms like “weekend getaway ideas” and “girls trip ideas”, marketing teams should craft content that reflects what travelers are searching for.
Reach the 69% of users that use Pinterest to research travel services by pinning (and promoting) your best imagery and videos. When it comes to the creative, you’ll catch more eyeballs with custom-designed templates that highlight special offers or amenities. Pinterest is also an ideal platform for content marketing campaigns that add value to your target audience’s trip planning experience. For example, a boutique hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter may want to create an infographic showing the Top 10 Foods You Have To Try in New Orleans to attract potential guests. Visual, informative Pinterest travel content will succeed in 2019 and will drive serious traffic to hotel websites.
If you’re interested in learning more how to integrate these trends in your hotel’s social marketing strategy, reach out to the team at Screen Pilot!
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