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Mar 15, 2023

5 Social Media Updates Hotel Owners Need to Know to Boost Engagement and Reach

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the social media marketing stats your tourism business needs in 2023

All right, good morning and welcome back to another episode of Virtual GM. I’m Cody Adent, and I’m here with Spencer Halford and today we are gonna talk about the five things that you need to know for social media.

It’s actually six.

I was gonna make that one a bonus, whoop. That’s ok. The count’s out of the bag now, you know, stay till the end so you can get number six. It’s important. You’re gonna want to hear that. So to get started, the number one thing that we want to talk about, I’m gonna let Spencer kick it off for us.

From Reels to Carousels: How Instagram’s Shift is Changing the Game

So there’s been a big shift. Number one, carousels are back. If you don’t know what a carousel is, it’s just a rotating image catalog that happens inside of your profile on your post. The Instagram CEO, I can’t remember what his name is, it’s part of Meta, but Instagram has their own CEO and he came out and said that they overpush their video publication basically as a way to try and compete with TikTok.

So in lieu of just doing static images, people are still in that scroll habit. So they’re pushing carousels. Again, this is a really good opportunity for you just to get away from that video creator mentality. You still want to be publishing reels as frequently as possible. In fact, I was listening to Gary V today, and he’s talking just like crazy numbers, five different pieces of content every day. That’s probably overkill, but you can’t take five pieces of content and put them inside of a carousel and just let people see the property, your staff, the food that’s there, the spa, the amenities, stuff that is going to sell before people get there.

So if you want to get a better organic reach, you definitely want to switch to carousels. There’s still obviously going to be a higher relevance put on video and reels, but definitely start putting images in carousels back into your posting schedule.

Yeah, and one thing that you could do too is have, your first carousel be an image of your property, and then four carousels of your most recent TripAdvisor reviews totally on top of an image that’s about your property, right? So, that’s an easy way to do that. So make sure to incorporate that with your reels. You can also put videos in your carousels too.

Riding the Wave: How Trending Audio Can Boost Your Instagram Videos

Number two is trending audio. So we know that Instagram’s pulling back a little bit on their video push, but it still is a huge component of what they want to do. And if you’re going to do a video, you want to use the trending audio. So you can just go through and scroll, and if you see that little arrow pointing up next to the audio, that’s how you know it’s trending. Ideally, you want to pick one that’s got 10,000 uses or less because that means that you can still catch the upswing, right?

For discovery, any trending audio is good, but if you can get it underneath 10,000 uses, that’s really key, and you can just ride that wave with whatever real you’ve created. So that’s option number two, trending audio. Make sure you use it.

Yeah, just on the trending audio note too. There’s actually a really cool app. I can’t remember what it’s called. I’ll find it and put it in the link, but it lets you, you pay, I think it’s like three or $4 a month, and it tells you the trending audios with the number of usage. Instagram gives that to you as well, but it makes it easier, so you don’t have to hunt for them. And it also gives you a projected impression count. So if you’re looking for high volumes of impressions, you can start filtering by audio and creating your creative around that audio. That’s just one tip. You don’t have to pay for it, of course.

Unlocking Instagram’s Search Potential: The Power of Keywords in Your Post Copy

Number three is that Instagram is still not a big fan of hashtags. They had a big hashtag push about a year and a half, two years ago.

They’re still moving away from that, but now they’re treating their platform basically as if it’s its own search engine, and it really is. So now we’re taking keywords that you would normally use as a hashtag and putting it into the copy of your post. This is also something that you can do when you’re creating your copy. It’ll ask you for your alt image or your metatag image, and you want to put those same keywords inside of that alt attribute.

So, for example, if you have a picture of someone checking into your hotel, you can say “the guest checks into a hotel in Springdale, Utah, near Zion National Park at the front desk.” Those are all things that people are looking for like a boutique hotel, four-star resort, Zion National Park. That, for us, is relevant just because it’s a gateway community that we manage properties in. So you want just to describe actions that also represent your keywords. So tip number three, treat your copy as if you would write a blog for search engine optimization.

From Customers to Creators: How User-Generated Content Can Build Brand Loyalty

Okay? And tip number four UGC, if you don’t know what that stands for, that’s user-generated content. And what that means is they want to see how you experience a property, right? So you’re holding your phone, you’re entering a room, you’re walking around, you’re seeing your food, and the thing that we want to talk about is that you can get people to do this for you, right? So now, and you still want this, you still want an influencer of a big following, but even if someone doesn’t have that big following, but they’re just good at making content, you can have them come out to your property, produce a reel for you, collaborate with you, and then that gives you the ability to have this awesome UGC on your profile that you didn’t have to pay anything more. Maybe you gave them a discount in a room or a free room or a free meal, or a free amenity.

But ultimately, it’s a really great way to get new content. And even they don’t have a huge follower base. It’s still showing it to the people that enjoy their content. That still is a consumer audience for you, but more importantly, it’s just a way for you to get a larger diverse range of content without having to break the bank for it.

So, UGC super easy. You can check out The Vibrant Team. We just did this with and collaboration with our property at Water Canyon. Take a look at that, and you can see an example of how we’ve used UGC to market our own properties.

It’s free online real estate that helps build awareness.

Don’t Repurpose TikTok Content

Tip number five, don’t repurpose content from TikTok. I’m all for recycling content, but Instagram’s making a big push again, as a competition with TikTok.

A lot of people are taking content that they’re making inside of TikTok and then just downloading it from the TikTok app and then publishing it to Instagram. Instagram is smart enough, it’s an app on our phone. They’ve built AI so that at the end of your TikTok, they’re going to put the TikTok card, it makes a little bloop noise, and then it shows your user profile like your handle. It’s smart to detect when videos like that are uploaded, and because it is a direct competitor, they’re limiting the reach of those videos. This isn’t to say don’t publish the TikTok because it really is the wild west of social media again, and we haven’t seen that since basically the inception of Facebook.

So you definitely want to publish there, my recommendation would be one of two things. Find a neutral app where you can make these videos and distribute both videos to those two locations. Also, keep in mind that the way that those search features work on those apps is entirely different. Trending audio on Instagram will not be trending on TikTok.

In fact, original content with original audio and original sounds just goes better on TikTok. It’s a big UGC platform. Instagram is a lot more curated and calculated, and you have to do this type of stuff that we’re talking about. So download Cap Cut or Video Leap, those are two apps. They’re both paid subscriptions. It’s a neutral site where you can edit those videos. You can cut them up, you can put audio over top of it, and you can bring them into either platform without the Instagram tag or without the TikTok tag and upload it without the problem of having your reach limited.

Bonus Tip: Running Instagram Ads Like a Pro

Okay, and bonus tip, tip number six running ads on your social media. So obviously our recommendation is to have an agency with some professionals running ads for you in a more advanced way.

Shameless plug us, right? And right now, in fact, we will run your marketing is it one month free? Yeah, month free, yeah. But up until the end of the month, you can claim a free offer. We will run your digital ads for an entire month, free, no contract, no obligation. You have to pay for the ad spend, but it will cost you nothing on our site.

So that would be obviously our preference and our recommendation. That’s tip number one. But if you don’t have the budget to invest in that, or you feel like you’re too small and you’re not ready for that type of commitment, you can run ads right inside of Instagram. It’s a great way to create engagement.

You can determine what you’re looking for, whether it be profile visits, website visits comments in your, in your section, video views, or so many different things you can choose from. What I will recommend, you can just choose Instagram’s suggested followers based on who your followers are now. But I would suggest you make your own. And if you don’t know how to use your Google Analytics, reach out to Spencer. He can at least walk you through how to find that data. Cause it’s available for free on your website.

But find out who your real demographic is and build out your own demographic. So we just barely did a test on my own Instagram where we ran a week with the same budget, and we’re just doing seven days at $3 a day. So only a $21 ad spend. We tested the exact same content for one week with Instagram suggested consumer base, and we got a thousand views. And on the one where we made our own demographics, we’ve got one day left, and we’re at 3,600 views of the reel.

So it’ll end up being over four times as good as what Instagram provided automatically. I highly recommend you go in there, you set your own demographics, and then I really think that you can get, if you’re going to run four different ads throughout the month, you can do it as little as $3 a day, and then you’ll only be looking at $84 for the month to get quite a bunch of exposure. Certainly, more than you can get organically, depending on the size of the following that you have.

So that is our bonus tip. Tip number six, use the ads on Instagram to create more awareness for your property. And to Cody’s point, that data takes five minutes to find and then five more minutes to execute. If you’re having trouble finding it, just shooting an email, [email protected]. We’ll do a Google meet, a Zoom and I’ll happily help you find it.

Okay, well that wraps it up today, today. Short and easy. But we know it’s important; it’s great information for you and your team. Please put in the comments, share with us what your properties are. We’ll engage with you on social media. That’s one thing that separates us from other companies like a Think Media or a Sean Cannell, is we will engage back with you if you engage with us on social media. We’d love to help support you and your business. So put ’em in the comments, let us know who you are and we’ll hop on there and give you that support that you need, that your comments, likes to shares.

Still shout out to Sean Cannell, we are growing with video. If you’d like to grow with video with us, we will come to you and help you do it.

And also it’s Monday in Utah.

Yes, sir. Thank you for watching Virtual GM. If there’s something that you want to hear about or see us talk about, send me an email [email protected]. If you want to be a guest on our podcast, we’re starting to get a request for that now. Pending that you have valuable information to share, we’d love to have you on our podcast. We’ll set up a Zoom and send it to you. But yeah, thank you so much for watching and enjoy the rest of your day.

Have a great day guys. See ya.