Though we do love the holiday season, at RezStream, we’re always looking forward which is why we’re already marking down our 2016 resolutions where it concerns social media marketing.
See what six trends we’re watching closely for our clients going into the New Year and what opportunities you may want to add to your social media efforts:
- Using Google+ as a local listing: The days of marketers talking about Google+ being a real competitor for Facebook are like whispers lost in the wind. We’ve seen continually poor performance in engagement and the network’s ability to refer visitors to websites in the past few months. That’s not to say that Google+ is a bad place to have a presence on, it’s just that we may be treating this network more like a local listing instead of a social media channel. Meaning you should still encourage reviews on this network and that it’s important to have current and correct contact information on Google+, but with the network’s paired down capabilities, we think we’ve seen the end of this network trying to play with the big kids like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
- Sharing more videos: Did you know that YouTube has 60% growth year-over-year in the amount of time people spend watching videos online? And, it’s not just YouTube that’s caught on to the popularity of using video to capture an audience’s attention. Facebook prefers its users to use its video upload service versus sharing a link from YouTube. Why? Because it keeps the other users on the network and doesn’t take them away from Facebook. The more videos you share, the more engagement you’ll have, which translates into increased reach. Which brings us to:
- Adding advertising: The social landscape is rapidly evolving in its acceptance of advertising and sponsored posts. Not only has Facebook decreased the reach of organic posts when compared to paid posts, but other networks like Instagram and Pinterest are opening their doors to a wider audience of advertisers. Just like you pay to show up in Google Search or on Bing, why wouldn’t you at least try Facebook advertising? Promote a holiday package or winter special, or wait until the spring and share your amazing spring break package to entice family travelers.
- Being smarter about advertising: With advertising comes great responsibility to engage your audience while keeping the integrity of your brand. Not only do your images and ad copy need to be fresh and exciting, but you need to be targeting audiences that are going to convert. Using tools like Facebook’s advertising pixel to track visitors or uploading your contacts list to target previous guests are great starts to better ads. You may also want to try remarketing on social media. Remarketing through Google AdWords is a great way to target people familiar with your brand, but you can add code to your website that will begin to match website visitors with Facebook IDs and show those ads to those users to encourage them to finish their booking.
- Connecting with influencers (without an agenda!): We’ll often see others on social media reach out to and try to establish relationships with influencers when they have a piece of content they want the influencer to share. Well not this year. This year, we’re focusing on finding influencers and building authentic relationships where we both get a benefit from it instead of just hoping they’ll share something we wrote and then never hear from them again.
- Coding our websites for social: This is where our friends in our website design department come in handy! There are a variety of tags or social media markup that you can add to your site that speaks directly to different social media networks so that when pages from your site are shared, the best information and graphics are pulled. Whether it’s adding Open Graph tags for better sharing on Facebook or adding Twitter Card markup so tweets include rich media from your website when shared on Twitter, there is a variety of code that will help your website perform better on social.
One connecting theme these six social media trends have in common is the willingness to take risks. Don’t be afraid to try new things on social media as you never know what your audience may make viral for you and what could take your online marketing to the next level.
What trends are you planning ahead for in 2016 with your hotel’s marketing? Tell us in the comments section below!