9 Facebook and Instagram Updates of 2019 & How They Affect Hotels
Social media updates occur frequently and with vigor, but they’re not all worth paying attention to. Based on what lasted longest, yielded the most enduring changes, or that were quite incendiary, we determined which ones were the most relevant ones to share with you. From our years of marketing businesses on social media, we’ve developed somewhat of a radar for changes that aren’t likely to stay or have significant user-felt effects. Now we want to share the ones that are likely to, here, with you.
Read them, enjoy them, share them.
- New Focus on Privacy
What is it? Since the start of Facebook-gate, the social giant’s been on a determined path to get back in the good graces of the billions who use their site. Their biggest collective concern? Privacy. They’re hard set on putting everyone’s concerns to rest, keeping their advertisers, and maintaining their astronomically huge user base. To do so, Facebook’s been implementing more secure connections on all their services and encouraging more private communication and smaller community building.
How does it affect my hotel? It may affect your engagement and reach, so be sure to be prepared. Prepare by update your website’s security and privacy information (as users will often go through Facebook), be transparent about how you utilize your users’ information and photos. More than anything, grow your small community. This cannot be stressed enough. Facebook’s bad spotlight may have been the catalyst, but social media in general is undoubtedly heading for more private and intimate experiences. Take these changes from Facebook as a new way of life, and think smaller. Think closer, more personal, more truly social.
- Facebook Prioritizes Stories
What is it? Among their many changes, Facebook has also made Stories a predominant view in their messaging app, and the corporation continues to invest in Stories. They also now offer augmented reality in Story ads. They’re pushing people to use and interact on Stories like they do on Instagram.
How does it affect my hotel? It’s a big red instruction sign to put more effort and focus on your Stories. Even if the crowd isn’t as fast to move to Stories as they were on Instagram, Facebook users usually behave according to the whims of the creators of the site. The amount of time, money, and focus that site owners put into their Stories, plays an important role in their success.
Meet your audience in Facebook Stories for better engagement.
- Video Creation Kit
What is it? Similar to countless easy-to-create video apps, Facebook’s Video Creation Kit allows users to create videos / slideshows from their photos, as well as add text and other features. The templates are fun and easy to use, and they keep you on Facebook’s planet.
How does it affect my hotel? Hopefully well! No need to expand content budgets; no need to pay for the usage of, or creation of, professionally made videos. Now you have a free and easy path to creating video content – which performs better on Facebook – with existing photos that you know already performed well!
- More Ad Control
What is it? In the world of Facebook Ads, the features and tracking tools are quite extensive, and the nuanced features are usually only truly appreciated by the PPC manager or the geeks that write for them. BUT… this one’s a pretty cool step.
Facebook now allows advertisers to set their lowest acceptable return on an ad spend, on top of value optimization. This means the advertiser has yet more control over how much is spent, according to whom, and what kind of return they can expect to see.
How does it affect my business? It’s another indication of the value in Facebook paid advertising. No other platform’s PPC can compare to the ROI of Facebook’s.
- Create own Instastory filter
What is it? Instastory filters are fun to play with, and that’s evident in the quantity of users taking advantage them on Instagram and Snapchat, too. People enjoy using them, so businesses should take advantage too, and now, they can, better than ever before.
Until recently, only select developers and advertisers could create their own filters for IG, but at Facebook’s F8 conference, they announced making their software for creation available to a much wider variety of developers and advertisers!
How does it affect my hotel? Stories garner significantly more engagement than feed posts on Instagram. By making Stories as unique and personalized as possible, you encourage your audience to engage more, more frequently, and with more consistency.
- Hiding Like Count, Potentially
What is it? This was pretty explosive news when it aired. It would be surprising if you’d not heard about it yet, but if you haven’t, take note. It’s a big one.
Instagram, tuned into the world’s complaints that social media is destroying it’s users’ mental health, especially that of teens. The platform managers want to start testing a new layout that wouldn’t include displaying the amount of likes a post has. It hasn’t yet happened, but it’s a prominent discussion with a lot of public support.
How does it affect my hotel? With something like this on the horizon, prioritizing higher levels of engagement – like comments and messages – has never been more critical. The time to engage your audience with more interest is NOW. The time to encourage more comments and discussion is NOW. The time to create more reaction-inducing content is NOW.
- Away Mode
What is it? For many influencers, social media is a full time job. When they’re going through a personally difficult time, for any reason at all, they want to avoid being in the limelight for a bit. They now have the option to set their profiles as “away”. It keeps their profile’s content and activity, but makes it hidden for a bit so they can have a break from the incessant harassment from their followers.
How does it affect my hotel? An argument can be made for the feature to be used AND not used, as a business. The deciding factor would be the business’s goals and desires.
On the one hand, it’s a great feature for when the business doesn’t yet have content to post, but doesn’t want to lose followers due to inactivity. It can also help a startup that is building its presence and pages, but hasn’t launched its product yet.
On the other hand, content is relatively cheap and incredibly easy to create these days, so a business shouldn’t be hiding for lack of content. It should be using organic or UGC content if it can’t be creating anything.
For this one, the decision will be yours (unless you hire us and we help you decide).
- Boost Collaborations
What is it? Businesses collaborate with influencers to create content and have it shared to the influencer’s audience. In the good old days (before 2019), a business would get a piece of content from an influencer and be able to promote it. Now, though, if her page has a very low presence to begin with, she’ll have to spend a lot more on the ads to get the kind of engagement the influencer got on her own (influencing) page.
More recently, Instagram created more tools as bridges for the creators and brands on their platform. It included a feature that allows the influencer to grant access to her own post directly to the brand in question, so she can boost it from there. This gives the business the advantage of having the existing engagement accrued from the influencer plus the added engagement as a result of PPC traffic.
How does it affect my hotel? If your influencer program or Instagram PPC feels like it’s falling short, re-examine your path from collaboration to ROI. Take advantage of these tools to amplify your results.
- IGTV Revamp
What is it? For most Instagram users, IGTV is often a mere nuisance and, rarely, a tool they actually engage with. IGTV is Instagram’s version of Snapchat’s discovery page or a loose translation of YouTube’s homepage. It is supposed to give every user the ability to build, control, and grow their own TV channel – online, and within the app of Instagram. It didn’t catch on as strongly as Instagram had hoped, but it does continue to gain interest and daily users. More importantly, it can be effective in growing a strong following, if leveraged correctly.
Instagram agrees because they just revamped it, putting more energy into it, and taking into consideration what’s working across the social media world.
How does it affect my hotel? Your hotel is likely not using the feature of IGTV yet. Now’s the time to jump right in, create interest, and create unique views. It can all be done with your existing properties and services: with the device in your pocket and staff that’s already there and willing.
To see 2019 Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube updates affecting hotels, click here.