What just happened in social media and what it means for hospitality.
Mon, 26 March 2018 – Welcome to the first issue of Hospitality Social Media News, where we cover what just happened in social media and what it means for the hospitality industry. Marketing tactics are ever-changing, but social media is on another level. New features, changes, and updates to the algorithms happen so fast that it's easy to miss them. We don't want you to miss a single thing that could improve your hotel's social performance, so we'll be compiling bi-weekly lists of the most important changes happening on social media and how it will affect the hospitality industry.
Facebook: New Customer Service Tools for Messenger
Facebook recently released Messenger 2.3, which is designed to improve the customer service experience for both brands and the guests talking to them. The upgrade comes packed with new features with simplifying guest interactions in mind.These upgrades include:
- New quick replies for guests, in which Facebook auto-loads the customer's contact information when prompted. Users can choose whether or not to share this with businesses, but it makes it easy for them to do so.
- Simplified set up for businesses that makes it easier to customize their Messenger, including customized greeting text and message color.
- New always-accessible persistent menu, which allows guests to interact with it at any point during a conversation.
- New Insights analytics to assess Messenger performance.
How Hotels Should Use This Feature
Increasing numbers of guests are utilizing Messenger to contact hotels and resorts with inquiries, problems, and for help booking. Any new features designed to improve the experience for customers and brands is good news.Hotels and resorts should use the customization options in order to match their Messenger channel—including the greeting channel—to match their brand. Similarly, setting up a strong persistent menu can improve the guest experience, and the more in-depth analytics will help you assess this.
Facebook: New Dynamic Ad for Travel Brands
Many people know that they want to go on a trip, but aren't exactly sure where they want to travel. Facebook has a new type of dynamic ad for hotels, resorts, and other industries in the hospitality industry so that you can help them decide. Aptly named "dynamic ads for travel," you can use them by using the new feature to "prioritize delivery to people who plan to travel." They're made to help you reach people early in the consideration process across Facebook, the Audience Network, and Instagram.
How Hotels Should Use This Feature These ads' ability to target users who are early in the consideration process is key. If you're a ski resort, after all, it won't do you a lot of good to show an ad to users who aren't sure on a destination but have decided on a beach vacation. This ad format gives you more influence by showing your ads to the exact right people, who would have been harder to connect with exclusively without this new criteria.
Twitter: Cracking Down on Bots and AutomationSocial media marketing and automation don't really go hand-in-hand together, but Twitter is putting its foot down nonetheless. They're now cracking down on tools that let brands post the same content or take the same actions across multiple accounts. They've also eliminated these capabilities from the TweetDeck, and all third party tools are required to meet new qualifications by March 23rd.
What This Means for Hotels & Resorts Some hotels and resorts that are part of a larger chain will sometimes use tools to distribute the same tweet across multiple platforms at once. Think a hotel chain like Marriot using this tool to distribute the same content to Marriot Orlando, Marriot Miami, and Marriot Tallahassee all at once (if they were to have their own unique accounts).
If you're using tools or the TweetDeck to post multiple actions to different accounts all at once, switch it up and adapt to the new policies. Instead, focus on engaging with users on each channel and seek to start conversation instead of filling up your profile with random content just because.
Twitter: Embeddable Tweets Copyright Potential
Until recently, Tweets were considered fair game. Any public and embeddable Tweet could be shared on any website or blog, but that may not be the case for much longer. According to TechCrunch, a federal judge has recently ruled that embedded tweets can represent copyright infringement. This could impact how we share content on our sites moving forward.
What This Means for the Hospitality IndustrySome hotels and resorts use third-party tools that will find relevant user-generated content and share it on their sites. A chunk of these tools will curate the UGC without any permission before embedding it on the site. While it's unlikely that you'd be sued for copyright infringement, it never hurts to play it safe. If you're using one of these tools, make sure they automatically get user permission before embedding it on your site.
Instagram: Permanent Replay Direct Message Option
Instagram's direct message features were copied directly from Snapchat, all the way down to the disappearing images and videos. Within the last few weeks, Instagram has added a new feature to their direct messaging platform that allows the sender of images and videos to disable the disappearing aspect. Now, the image or video that they send can exist permanently in the chat.
How Hotels Should Use This Feature
Though most guests will reach out to hotels and resorts through either Facebook or Twitter, an increasing number of users are reaching out through Instagram messaging. This is predominantly thanks to the engagement stemming off Stories, which can encourage viewers to respond through direct message. Now, if you send users a picture or video in response to a question (like a video around a room they've requested to see), you can choose to make it accessible moving forward. This can make your responses more permanent, and thus, more valuable to guests.
Snapchat: Snap Map Viewable Through Desktop
Snap Map allows users to attach a location to their public Snaps, so that these Snaps will show up on a map not unlike FourSquare. Both Snaps and Stories can be added to the Snap Map, which is now accessible on both desktop and mobile. This opens the door for a large amount of user-generated content that can be leveraged to give your hotel more exposure with new potential guests.
How Hotels Should Use This Feature
Though Snapchat is losing steam as a platform, Snap Map is something hotels and resorts can still take advantage of. Another touch point to reach your audience, after all, is never a bad thing.In your calls for user-generated content around your resort, include instructions for users to add their Snaps to the Snap Map and increase the likelihood that relevant users could see the content and want to learn more about your resort.