Video has become the driving force of social media engagement and smart hoteliers are already sharing relevant videos of their properties across a variety of channels. Relatively new and innovative platforms, such as Facebook Live and Instagram Stories, are now available providing live video possibilities for hotel social media marketing. The concept of live streaming video is a great fit for hotels and other travel related brands. It leverages the visual nature of travel, while having a natural relevancy by being dynamically active.
With nearly two billion users worldwide, Facebook brings an enormous potential audience for hoteliers to present their messages. The social networking giant has a well established reputation as a favorite for travelers to begin trip planning. Powerfully visual tools such as 360 degree videos and photos can give potential guests the feeling of actually being on a hotel property or in its location. Facebook is completely committed to video and the format is quickly becoming more popular than photos among both brands and followers, generating significantly higher levels of engagement.
Since the introduction of Facebook Live in the first half of 2016, the platform has become even more useful to hotel marketers through a number of enhancements. Facebook now ensures that live broadcasts receive priority in user’s feeds. Also, after the live event is finished, the video will be archived and appear in the feeds of the followers that may have missed the broadcast in real time. Followers of brands are alerted with push notifications of live events as well.
Instagram is growing at an astronomical rate. So much so, that in an explosion of growth in the second half of 2016 alone, the network gained 100 million new users. Instagram is immensely popular with younger users, specifically Millennials. The network’s engagement levels are second only to Facebook, which owns the platform. Instagram has been attempting to make the network more friendly for business and marketing purposes, even rolling out profiles and tools for business in 2016.
One of the most exciting developments has been the platform’s recent enablement of the posting of ephemeral videos and photos. Called Instagram Stories, this tool empowers users to post visual material which automatically disappears after 24 hours. This concept originated with Snapchat (now called simply Snap), but Instagram is monetizing this idea in ways more conducive to the purposes of marketers. For example, marketing messages coexist with the video stories posted by the friends of users now.
While still evolving formats, live and ephemeral videos offer hoteliers inspirational potentiality in sharing their properties with new audiences.