No matter what industry you’re in, today’s consumers are looking for offerings that are more experiential, authentic, and customized. As marketers, how do we implement strategies that achieve this? Here are a few current social media trends that could help your hotel or restaurant stand out.
1. Real-time storytelling
The rise in video over the last few years has resulted in the lure of real-time content. Both Instagram and Facebook are leveraging live streaming capabilities, allowing businesses to connect with their audiences in new ways.
Hospitality marketers should consider these different platforms to optimize live video. Facebook is invested in this new feature, giving businesses that use Facebook Live priority in the newsfeed. When considering implementing live broadcasts, having a strategy that brings value to viewers is key. This could include on-property event coverage, announcements, or interviews with associates or chefs.
The easiest form of real-time content to implement is Instagram Stories and Instagram Live. The short shelf life of this form of content sharing is appealing to businesses because it allows them to share unstaged, behind-the-scenes moments such as renovation progress with less risk and a lower expectation for production quality.
2. Brand ambassadors & user-generated content
Businesses will continue to leverage experiences and perspectives from customers and guests. Influencer marketing will continue to evolve this year, focusing less on celebrity endorsements and bloggers and more on brand ambassadors—customers who have already shown loyalty or love for your business. Identifying and collaborating with these super fans to create content or share experiences in exchange for hosted stays or exclusive access ultimately makes a bigger impact.
The theme of authentic content is also present in the increased use of user-generated content in businesses’ social media strategies. By asking users for permission to share and repurpose their photos, businesses have an opportunity to create personal relationships and also create a consistent stream of quality photos that show diverse angles of hotel, restaurant, and local area experiences.
3. Augmented reality
While Snapchat paved the way for augmented reality with filters and stickers, Pokémon GO made it a sensation in 2016. Augmented reality has created new opportunities for brands to connect with their audience by sharing experiences, rather than just information, on social media. The introduction of Facebook 360 photos and videos has expanded on this concept, and for hotels and restaurants that means giving potential customers the ability to experience a space before setting foot on property.
4. Employee advocacy
Are you looking for a way to expand the reach and impact of your social media efforts? An increasingly popular and powerful way to do this is by empowering employees to share brand messages. Tapping into your biggest assets results in added exposure on personal channels where recommendations and information are more trusted. Implementing an employee advocacy program does not mean forcing team members to share on their own channels, but communicating the opportunity and how to do so on the channels that also align with their audiences. This will be a game changer for smaller boutique hotels and local restaurants in the coming months.
5. Social messaging apps & chat bots
Customer service is the new marketing and Millennials are changing the way this is delivered. Customer service and resolution is expected to be fast, efficient, and brief. Messaging apps give customers the personal touch that one-on-one communication brings, and by providing an improved experience, brands can solve their problems quickly and retain them more easily.
Chat bots, a form of artificial intelligence, have recently entered the social media space and there is room for this technology to grow. Facebook has integrated them within Facebook Messenger, and businesses are now using them to communicate with customers, making always-on customer care more scalable and cost-effective.
How is your hotel or restaurant leveraging these rising trends? What other trends are you seeing in hospitality social media? Continue the conversation with us on our social media channels.
About Jon Moore & Associates: We are a collection of seasoned hospitality leaders specializing in Digital Marketing, Branding, and Sales and Revenue Performance. The team at JMA has a proven track record of building demand through innovative and cutting-edge strategies. For more information, visit our site at jonmooreassociates.com
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