This year we will see the evolution of some already existing trends, as well as the introduction of some brand new changes that are taking the social space by storm.
With this post we will explore five key trends to expect in 2018 and how your hotel can use these trends to be successful.
Live Streaming and Video Will Continue to Rise
Attention spans are getting smaller and smaller. After about eight seconds, the average person will move on to the next image or article. Facebook is now filled with videos for that very reason. A static image does not cut it anymore. What can your hotel do to keep up with the barrage of images out there? Stand out. Below are a few tips on how to make sure your content is resonating with, and being digested by, your audience.
People are more likely to click on a video than a static image. In fact, videos on social generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined. That is why it is vital for your hotel to begin posting video content to your channels. There has also been a palpable shift toward live streaming, particularly on Facebook. People are more concerned with what is happening now, in the moment. Stats show that 82% of consumers prefer watching live videos to reading social media updates. If there is an event taking place at your hotel or you are having a grand opening, live stream it on Facebook! We recently completed a live stream on Facebook for a hotel’s grand opening event, and the results were staggering. During the event, their Page likes grew organically by 151% and engagement by 214%. This proves the power of live stream is definitely something your hotel should be incorporating, when appropriate.
Obviously, your content cannot just be videos. You should have variety, but in order to compete with the constant stream of video, we recommend taking your static images up a notch by using the following tactics.
Incorporating bold pops of color throughout your feed is an excellent way to be diversive among video-saturated newsfeeds. Studies show particular colors elicit different emotions in people. Red, for example, is a powerful color that not only stands out, but holds the viewer’s attention. Play with color whenever possible either when creating graphics or finding user generated content.
Call to Action
Followers are more likely to respond to your content if you give them a call to action. Even something as subtle as asking them a question on a post or inviting them to share photos will bring much more engagement.
Storytelling and Personal Experiences Will Dominate
I recently booked a vacation to Cancun to escape the winter onslaught of Chicago for a weekend. Before I made my final decision on a resort, however, I did a bit of research. I visited the resort’s social media channels to get a better feel for the property and the area, as well as the overall vibe of the staff. I also perused several travel sites such as TripAdvisor to view guest photos and overall feedback. Many people follow this same pattern. Stories and personal experiences shared on social media play a huge role in booking a vacation. Statistics show 87% of users look to Facebook for travel inspiration with 76% saying their friends were a deciding factor. Showcase positive guest experiences at your hotel by posting user generated content, reviews by happy guests, and bloggers who have written about their stays.
Instagram Stories Will Rise in Popularity
Instagram Stories was first rolled out a little over a year ago, but had about 200 million daily users as of the end of 2017. In 2018, that number is expected to rise. It is becoming one of the most popular platforms on which to share in-the-moment life stories since SnapChat. If your hotel has an Instagram account, it is an excellent way to share events or give followers a preview of what they can expect when they stay with you. We will discuss Instagram Stories later, but for now, you can learn more about them here.
Generation Z Will Be a Focus
Generation Z is all the buzz right now and for good reason. Their generation consists of people born between the mid 1990s and mid 2000s, which means they are now of purchasing age and have become the new consumers to target. Unlike Millenials, Generation Z is the first generation to have widespread access to the Internet from an early age. Therefore they value a variety of social channels, as well as quick, reliable information that is instantly accessible. We will discuss this generation and the impact they will have on the hospitality industry in a future blog, but for now it is important to note that they will be the driving force behind social media trends and marketing efforts.
Twitter Will Change
Twitter has been plateauing in its growth over the past few years and its creators will be looking at new ways to revitalize the platform in 2018.
Reasons for Twitter’s slow decline are many, but the rampant harassment of users that cannot be controlled and the company’s inability to decide upon a clear plan of action and overall vision are the primary factors. Despite these problems, Twitter does add value to the social space and that is why we may end up seeing some bigger changes than a longer character limit. Does this mean your hotel should not bother with Twitter? No. Twitter still boasts around 330 million active users and has acquired a loyal and highly engaged user base. While it is not growing at the moment, it is certainly not unwinding. How do you know if Twitter is a good platform for your hotel? It depends on your location, your hotel’s specific needs, and the time you have to dedicate to a frequent posting schedule (Twitter is very fast-paced). Our social media experts are easily able to decipher if Twitter is a good fit for your hotel and how best to utilize it to grow your brand.
New Year, New Social
Each year brings new and exciting evolutions for social media, and it is crucial that you stay on top of new trends and be aware of growing challenges so your hotel can be at the head of the pack. Sign up for our email list to receive updates and guidance in the digital marketing space!