The global pandemic’s restrictions meant that we have all spent a lot of time indoors. During this time social media has been embraced in a new way – to get information about the latest happenings, shopping and hours of mindless entertainment.
Given the current situation, it is hardly surprising that Statistic reports a 21% increase in monthly social media usage. As smart marketers, what do you intend to do with this information?
This surge in social media use makes it a bright spot for brands to engage with customers – to dream, plan and book their next holiday.
Here are a few things you need to know to stay on top of your social game in 2021.
1. Videos are on the rise.
As you’d expect, hours have been spent watching all sorts of Youtube videos while being locked away from the outdoor world. It is the most commonly used type of content and second most engaging content type across social platforms (after photos). As major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Alibaba have amped up their video capabilities, this consumption of this content type will only go up – make sure it is centre stage in your content plan too. Short-form video proved to be more popular last year and this is not expected to change soon.
2. Going live is commonplace.
In 2020, virtual meetings increased use of live streaming. Now users are more aware of it, giving hoteliers another unique way to share the experience of their property. Do live Q&As, interview locals on hidden travel spots in your city … live content can be fun to create.
3. Shopping on social channels is common.
2020 taught brands how to do business online completely. As a result social media channels further embraced their shopping capabilities and brought it into their apps so users can buy without leaving a post. This is not a globally available feature but on its way to becoming one. For the smart hotelier, this means looking for options to bring bookings to life on these platforms. If you haven’t, start setting up your shops on social channels where possible.
4. Focus on content value, less on frequency and production quality.
Empathy should be the flavor of the season. Your posts need to be thoughtful. In fact, before you post, ask yourself if they are even needed at that point in time.
Lockdowns brought out innovative ways of content creation (photos and videos) and distribution from brands. Videos (even entire news stories) were created from home. Production became lo-fi and more human. Despite the quality of output, usage was up. This has proved that content value matters and even if the quality is not as high, an engaged user will get to it.
5. Authenticity will be vital.
This year, consumers and brands faced a global pandemic, uncertain financial times, and a number of major events that paused nations in front of news channels. Now, consumers need more than just great deals to trust, identify with, and invest in a brand. At this point, many brands have taken notice by embracing authenticity and their human side on social media. As we talk about issues such as regenerative tourism, how brands (big and small business) are delivering impact in their local communities is important.
6. Wellness in focus.
As travellers seek to escape the year that was and its lasting effects, recharge and restoration has taken a new meaning. Words such as immersive, mindful travel and sensory are commonly used – and engage. Enrich your social content with what people want – wellness.
7. Omni and Micro-influencers are a powerful voice.
Influencer marketing is important and relevant. If you can, make the budget and time for Omni influencers (influencers with reach across multiple communities) and micro-influencers (influencers with more than 10,000 followers on one channel).
The world around us is in flux – changing constantly. And, although we think we know what to expect with social media marketing, this list of trends is likely not exhaustive of what we’ll see in 2021. As a hotelier looking to harness the power of social media, the best thing you can do is to continue to research trends, online consumer behaviors , and your data to determine which trends or strategies to lean into for better results.
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