Every November, Blue Magnet Interactive attends Social Media Week where team members discover tips for becoming better marketers in today’s continually developing digital world. This year’s conference did not disappoint and our social media team had the pleasure of learning best practices and emerging trends from founders, senior marketers, and influencers from a variety of verticals. Brianna, Morgan, Phoebe, and Stephanie are discussing their Social Media Week experience and giving hoteliers an inside perspective on how they can apply their takeaways to improve their own campaigns.
Brianna Breshears’ Insights & Takeaways
Earned Impact: An Audience-First Approach to Creating Impactful Programs
Speakers: David Armano (Global Strategy Director, Edelman Digital)
Takeaway: When creating content, you must always take an audience-first approach. You have to tell a story before you can sell a story so it is important to create stories and experiences people want to share and talk about.
Hotel Insights: As a hotel, ask yourself what you are passionate about and let that resonate to your audience. Your guests’ experiences, your staff, and the culture of the surrounding area are all excellent starting points. Other elements could be your brand’s motto or commonly used hashtag. Start with these as a foundation to begin infusing your passion into your content and your audience will follow.
The Speed of Feed with Facebook’s Creative Shop
Speakers: Andrew Meyer (Creative Lead, Facebook / Instagram)
Takeaway: Content moves at a fast pace and it is becoming increasingly hard to keep up. The average person scrolls through about 300 feet of content per day so how can you keep up? With content that’s immediate, interactive, and immersive.
Hotel Insights: How can you incorporate this into your hotel’s content? By providing followers with content that grabs their attention immediately, videos, bright colors, and calls to action. Remember that you only have a few seconds to hook your audience. Make the most of each post.
How to Use Visual Discovery to Inspire Consumers to Act
Speakers: Arthur Sevilla (Vertical Strategy Lead, CPG, Pinterest)
Takeaway: Pinterest, as a discovery platform, turns brands into actions. Since the average person processes images 60 times faster than words, it is no wonder that Pinterest boasts the top spot with users for inspiration of new ideas. It is recorded that 57% of users made a purchase based off of Pinterest.
Hotel Insights: Pinterest engages its users by offering them personal, visual, and actionable content. These three things are effective on other social channels as well. If your hotel focuses on providing content that is both creative and authentic in its message, with links that draw your followers back to your website, you will see incredible growth with followers and engagement.
Morgan Adkins’ Insights & Takeaways
Navigating the Nuances of Facebook’s Bidding Algorithms
Speakers: Molly McCarty (Director of Paid Social, 3Q Digital) and Becca Soderholm (Senior Social Account Manager, 3Q Digital)
Takeaway: The Facebook Bidding algorithm is very trustworthy and 90% of the time it can be relied on for standard advertisement delivery with automatic bid amounts setup. The 10% of the time you want to use manual delivery, which provides more control on bid amount, is for time sensitive advertisements with tighter CPA (cost per action) goals.
Hotel Insights: Facebook advertisements can be daunting for those who aren’t familiar with Facebook Ads Manager. However as the platform guides you through creating a campaign, just know it is very reliable to use its standard delivery and automatic bidding algorithms. Unless the content is time sensitive, let Facebook do the work for you. In instances of time sensitive advertisements, such as flash sales, accelerated delivery, which will shows your ads as quickly as possible, with manual bid amounts is your best bet to drive actions. Keep in mind, to reach your goals it is always best practice to create advertisements with engaging images, and ask engaging questions. These two items will also help get your cost per actions down!
Lurking in the Shadows: Dark Social Media
Speakers: Tina Shakour (Digital Strategist, Cisco)
Takeaway: Dark social media isn’t as mysterious as it sounds. Dark social media refers to traffic to a site, that is referenced as “direct” traffic in Google analytics. So how are these people getting to your landing page with a very long and specific URL? Typically, this is from people copying the link they find on social media and sending it to friends via other communication channels such as SMS, email, and messaging apps.
Hotel Insights: Campaign tracking URL’s are important, however do not rely on them to tell the whole story. Most users who visit a lengthy URL directly, as shown by Google Analytics, haven’t stumbled upon your link by typing it into their web browser, it was shared with them directly via channels not being captured in the analytics platform. 66% of sharing is considered to be dark. Bonus: an advantage of using dark social media is that you can use retargeting campaigns to target the users who visited your site through dark social to get them back and convert.
The State of Social: Best Practices for an Evolving Media Landscape
Speakers: Liz Brock (VP, Social Media, Havas Media Group), Viji Davis (Chief Marketing Officer, Resolution Media), Aaron Goldman (Chief Marketing Officer, 4C Insights), Emily Kramer (Senior Director, Merkle), and Scott Shamberg (U.S. President, Performics)
Takeaway: Social media is instantaneous and the focus needs to always be on the user experience. Organic social media is dying and paid social media is growing and has 3x in the past 5 years. Companies need to shift their budgets from paid traditional media to social where they can better target their audience and create personalized content to their consumers..
Hotel Insights: Organic social media is important to keep a presence online, but paid social media is the way to capture your consumers and drive more conversions. This means you have to adjust your budgets to factor in more spend on paid social media, as it is now an important piece of the marketing mix. It is also crucial to remember that each piece of content created can’t be shared on every media outlet being used. Content needs to be optimized to fit the mold for the platform where it is being posted to make a bigger impact. Consumers want super-personalized content and it’s important to deliver it because as the amount of content grows across social media, you have less time to make an impression.
Phoebe Svoboda’s Insights & Takeaways
What Would Ferris Bueller Do? Aka: “Making Someone Feel Like The Coolest Kid At The Party with Personalisation Marketing”
Speakers: Alex Shebar (Sr Community Director, Yelp)
Takeaway: Businesses that personalize web experiences see an average 19% increase in sales. You should be making everything about the consumer, not your brand. Why does your content matter to them? If what you are posting does not matter and you are not engaging potential guests, then they will not care.
Hotel Insights: Creating a personalized web experience can be as simple as sharing photos that your guests are geotagging at your hotel and calling out their username directly in the post, or sharing a positive review and thanking the guest by name in the post. This is especially useful on a platform like Facebook, where you can share reviews that guests have posted right to your page so they are more likely to see them being shared. Additionally, you can always take personalized experiences offline by keeping an eye on your guest check-ins for special events, like an anniversary or birthday, and leaving something in the guest’s room to celebrate the event.
The Secret to Optimizing Your Facebook Ad ROI: Phone Call Analytics
Speakers: Kelley Schultz (Director of Digital Media & Analytics, DialogTech) and Blair Symes (Director of Content Marketing, DialogTech)
Takeaway: 56% of monthly active users only access Facebook on mobile, and utilizing performance metrics can help you to better reach those users in a significant way. How to use performance metrics? Customize your columns in ads manager to show relevant goals, as opposed to using the default columns. Compare data against time frames from the past day, week, year – how have you improved or declined? Breakdown the data by relevant metrics, like age, location, and time of day to better understand your audience and help drive future ad targeting. Ensure that your top performing ads/audience do not run out of budget by turning off underperforming ad sets or adding more money to your spend if you can afford to do so. Continue to test different ideas and campaigns to keep your content fresh and your audience interested!
Hotel Insights: Use your performance metrics to get a better idea of what your audience wants to see and what they look like. For example, if your ads are resonating with an older audience, you may want to post more about business travel or family travel options. You can even tests out ads to that effect to see how they perform with your audience!
Paid Media for the Socially Awkward: Planning, Producing and Executing with Confidence
Speakers: Linda Johnson (President, SOCIALDEVIANT)
Takeaway: Ads need to have both functional value (education, entertainment, utility, access, community) and emotional value (love, joy, surprise, fear, sadness, anger).
Hotel Insights: Connecting with both the functional and emotional needs of your potential guests can help you to tap into their minds and drive their desire to book. For example, as we near the holidays, families may need a place to stay while they visit family from out of town. Using an image of a family at a hotel or a festive image of the local area to connect with emotions could help drive the functional need for a place to stay.
Stephanie Hilger’s Insights & Takeaways
Building A Magnetic Brand: Attracting the Right People in a Hypersegmented World
Speakers: Marc Landsberg (CEO / Founder, SOCIALDEVIANT)
Takeaway: Stop asking, “What content should I produce?” and start asking, “What value should I create?”
Hotel Insights: Marc expressed, “To become a magnetic brand, you first need to become personally relevant. Stop chasing audiences to every nook and corner; start attracting them.” This is an excellent takeaway for hotels that are constantly trying to chase after a certain niche. Instead of always trying to jump on the latest social trends, focus on what would draw your target audience to you. Share useful, relevant information that will boost engagement naturally versus always looking to push special offers and room night. Your message should be tailored to your audience in a manner that is helpful and relevant to them. Let the users decide what is valuable by seeing what type of content they engage with and build your social media strategy from there.
Give The People What They Didn’t Know They Wanted
Speakers: Jason Wire (Creative Strategist, Pinterest)
Takeaway: On Pinterest, people plan early. People start planning for the holidays as early as June. Show up when they are forming the idea of what they want to get them to convert later.
Hotel Insights: Jason explained how Pinterest is different from other social media channels and what your approach, as a business, should be. Think of Pinterest as a search engine. As a brand, you can help solve the “problems” people come to Pinterest with as long as you share content that adds to the user experience and is not disruptive of it. With that being said, there are two key tactics to keep in mind. 1) Advance planning is the key to success. Pinterest may not be your go-to for last minute promotions but can be an excellent tool to inspire potential guests in the “dreaming” or “planning” stages of travel if you put the effort in early enough. 2) Think of how the content you share on Pinterest can be helpful versus disruptive and what people would come to Pinterest to look for. Instead of sharing photos of room types and using captions such as “Book Now,” try sharing scenic photos of the area and captioning those with ideas of things to do nearby. Lead users to landing pages of attractions or area guides. Help them plan first, don’t just “sell,” and convert them after.
The Inevitable Extinction of Branding
Speakers: Matt Britton (Chief Executive Officer, Crowdtap)
Takeaway: “The status update is the new status symbol.”
Hotel Insights: Matt shared that a great point in that, “Brands used to represent something you couldn’t represent on your own. Now you can represent your values and experiences on Instagram.” It is important for hotels to think about this statement, not only in terms of how they are presenting themselves online, but also in the types of experiencing they are offering their guests. It is important to keep an active, well-kept social media account, but it is equally important to pay attention to what other users are posting while they are on property. “People are the new brands.” Your Page/ account is not the only representation of your hotel online, what your guests are posting/ saying is an important component as well.