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6 Latest Social Media Changes Affecting Hotels and Resorts

The holidays are here, and there are few busier seasons for those of us in the hospitality industry. We know you’re busy, so we’ll get right to our last edition of our newsletter in the 2018 year so you’ll be up to date on all the social media changes that matter to you. 

Facebook Releases New Watch Party Features

The Watch Party feature allows you to play video content at a set time, where everyone will watch it in “real time” together, like seeing a movie with friends. This feature has now been released to all Pages and profiles. They also have new updates to the feature, including threaded comments for improved interaction, and Live Commentating, which allows the host to go live within the watch party and deliver commentary live. 

Image source: Facebook 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

If live videos are a staple part of your marketing and you’re running low on ideas, or if you want to share content in a particularly engaging way, Watch Parties are a great opportunity. Hotels and resorts could showcase a video of what to do near their location and have someone from the team deliver personalized commentary and recommendations based on user questions. Many users aren’t familiar with Watch Parties yet, so promote what you’re doing ahead of time so your followers can make sure to get on board. 

Instagram Says Changes Are Coming 

Instagram just recently announced that “over the next few weeks” users may see interface changes within the app, including new navigation and icons. The actual photos and videos that people have shared will not be affected. 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Hotels and resorts won’t be heavily affected by this, but if you’re seeing a change in how your business profile looks, know that this is to be expected. Make sure that all of your information is displayed correctly and organized well, and you’ll be good to go. 

Instagram Adds Alternative Text Descriptions 

Instagram has just released two new accessibility features designed to make the platform better suited for visually impaired users. Users can create their own text descriptions of their photos, which will be read through screen readers when someone scrolls through or clicks on the photo. There’s also the option to use automatic alternative text, utilizing object recognition technology to provide audio descriptions of your image or video. 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Increased accessibility means more access to your target audience, and ensuring that all potential guests have the best experience possible when interacting with your brand. Add alt text to all images and videos; it just takes a few seconds, but for some of your guests it will make a world of difference. 

You can access “alt text” under the “Advanced Settings” of your post before you publish it. 

Instagram Cracks Down On “Inauthentic” Actions 

Instagram announced last month that they’re doing something about “inauthentic” actions on the platform, including fake likes, followers, and comments. They’ve gotten serious about weeding out bots and third-party services designed to artificially inflate social proof, and they are utilizing machine learning tools to find them. 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Twitter and Facebook have already undergone their own purges for the same purpose, and now it’s Instagram’s turn. If you’re using any third-party service to get more social proof, remove them immediately. We recommend that our clients never use these services to begin with, as they may give you more followers, but typically product spam-like engagement if any that doesn’t do your brand any favors. 

LinkedIn Company Pages Get An Update 

LinkedIn has just announced that the “next generation” of Company Pages have been created. There are new features that are focusing more heavily on community building, and will include content suggestion tools for admins, more advanced analytics, and improved mobile capabilities.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

The goal of the new LinkedIn Company Pages is to improve community building capabilities with your employees and your followers. Share content to keep your staff members engaged and up to date about what’s happening and engage guests and potential followers.

Twitter Is “Rethinking Everything About the Service 

Twitter has made a few big changes this year, and now it looks like they’re considering several more. According to Twitter, they’re “rethinking everything about the service,” so we could see some massive updates to the platform and how it’s used next year.

For now, here’s some of the rumored and in-testing features:

●     Timeline toggle, which is in testing and allows users to switch between the chronological and algorithmic timelines.

●     Eliminating the like button, which Twitter has not confirmed or denied, but may be done in an attempt to improve the quality and authenticity of interactions.

●     Edit buttons for published Tweets, which is being considered but may not be implemented because the platform doesn’t necessarily want people to be able to change tweets “all the way back in time.” 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

If you’re marketing on Twitter, there are no immediate changes to made aware of now, but it’s important to know that there are clearly changes coming. Be prepared, and make sure that your other social channels are built up just in case. 

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