Social Media Trends Impacting Your Hotel In 2019

By Gaurav Varma Product Marketing Manager, Milestone Inc. | February 10, 2019

Social media is one of the most important channels for marketing a hotel and 2019 is bound to be an exciting year for digital marketers. Change will continue to drive the evolution of consumer behavior and putting the right messages in front of the right consumers at the right time will be pivotal. As you work on your 2019 marketing plan, here are the key social media trends you could leverage to increase your chances of success:

Facebook Has Limited Reach Without Paid Social

Facebook has continuously evolved its algorithm to match the right content with the right audience and machine learning technology will continue to guide the content your guests will see in their news feed. The existing algorithm adapts to user behavior and preferences. For example, if your guests interact with your videos, Facebook will show them more of it to keep them engaged. Facebook's goal is to reward person to person interactions, show meaningful newsfeed content and eventually drive more connections between its users. Facebook has also ramped up its effort to protect user privacy, show more content around friends and family, which means to focus less on content from business pages; not just hotels but from every business leading way for more content for friends and family. The latest update  from Facebook will not eliminate content from business pages but rather prioritize content which is more meaningful to the end user. The prime real estate is now given to user's content with shares and comments seen as "active" interactions and hence more meaningful and relevant for the newsfeed. These changes have already been impacting users; video, referral traffic and organic reach is experiencing a decrease should the content not stir a meaningful person to person interaction. Fewer guests seeing organic posts would mean lower likes, comments, clicks or shares which would eventually lead to lower bookings, RFP's or reservations. On the contrary if your hotels content creates more meaningful interactions you are bound to benefit from these changes.

Increasing Share of Paid Content & Distribution

With over 2.27B monthly active users  on Facebook, the scale of content distribution is massive, the newsfeed is now an even more competitive real estate, of course it's a boon for Facebook, but for advertisers it means more expensive ads. Today, making visibility in the News Feed means to do paid social advertising. Secondly, Facebook wants to show users the content that is most relevant to them after passing it through its very sophisticated algorithm. Your hotel marketing strategy must evolve to these new realities and make sure you spend some money on Facebook advertising if you want to reach your audience.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.