This year we’ve all been talking about AI, Chat GPT, a cookie-less future (someday), and traveler insights. Social media has been a bit less buzzy than in times past. A potential ban on TikTok has been making headlines in the U.S., despite being the fastest-growing platform. Facebook still has the biggest user base and is the top social channel for advertisers.
Recently I met with the HSMAI Marketing Advisory Board and shared key statistics and gathered insights on how hoteliers are marketing on the social media landscape today.
- 5 billion people are social media users worldwide.
- Facebook is still the largest online social media network – 3 billion users, 70% of American adults have an account.
- TikTok is the fastest growing platform – 1 billion users worldwide, and about 50% of Americans have accounts.
- YouTube is on the decline but still has over 2.5 billion users globally.
- Pinterest is the second most visited website in the United States.
Is Facebook still effective? What else are marketers using?
While the group agreed that Facebook remains effective for hotel marketing, many have shifted their focus towards targeted advertising. By leveraging Facebook’s extensive user data, hotels can tailor their ads to reach specific demographics, ensuring maximum impact.
TikTok, despite its popularity, presents a unique challenge for hotel marketers. While hotels are present on the platform, platform users aren’t typically those that would pay higher Average Daily Rates (ADRs) so many hotels aren’t pursuing at this time. However, TikTok increasingly serves as a valuable search engine for users seeking localized and educational information. With Gen Z users booking hotels and planning travel activities based on recommendations seen on TikTok, it has become a recommendation platform of its own.
Short-form video content, such as Reels on Instagram and Pinterest videos, has gained significant traction. Hotel marketers are capitalizing on this trend as video performance aids in achieving desirable results. The question arises about incorporating longer-form video content, considering platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which provide opportunities for such content. Understanding the target audience and their attention span, particularly by generation, is crucial in creating impactful video content.
The struggle to create content is real.
Hotel marketers often struggle with creating organic content that keeps pace with the demands of social media, particularly video content. User-generated content poses liability concerns, prompting the need for polished yet timely content creation. Collaborating with creators within social media channels and engaging various stakeholders such as agencies, hotels, and influencers becomes essential in producing high-quality content.
What’s coming next?
Looking to the future, the concept of the metaverse generated mixed opinions. While some find it a non-starter, others pointed out that tech companies continue to invest and push for metaverse experiences. In the hospitality space, virtual reality tours with headsets have gained some traction for group sales, allowing hotels to immerse potential clients in a virtual experience, even from afar.
Continue the conversation with your team:
- What’s hot or not in social media marketing for your hotel these days? Share your perspectives on these trends plus others that may be impacting your hotel marketing strategy.
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