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Social Media 
Trends 
Implications 
On the Radar
Trends 
1. UGC - User Generated Content 
2. Images are Increasingly Essential 
3. Video 
4. Mobile Usage 
5. Millennial Ma...
Trend #1: User-Generated Content 
Definition: Any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion 
forums, posts, chats, ...
• User Generated Content can be powerful. 
• According to Skift.com, the top 10 destination’s* social media growth 
is cre...
Smoky Mountain Host – Social Media Hub
Hampton Inn’s Facebook Cover Photo 
Made entirely from user-generated photos, and part of a campaign to generate UGC 
thro...
Hampton Inn Commercial Using UGC
User Generated Content - What does it look like in our region?
How to Find UGC 
• The easiest way to get UGC is to search for it. 
• Search for a hashtag (keyword) related to your brand...
Our Region’s Consistent Theme 
• One consistent theme of user generated content and post comments 
in our region: unwind, ...
Trend #2: Images are Increasingly Essential 
• New research confirms that photos are the “holy grail” of social media 
eng...
Images (continued) 
• People scroll through news feeds quickly, and will only engage with 
content that captures their att...
Share professional photos
Take your own photos - Include people in your 
photos whenever possible to increase reach and 
create a desire to visit.
Take impromptu photos 
on your smartphone and 
post them in real time.
Add inspiring words to your images to increase reach.
Post photos that interest your target audience.
Use Photos to Create a Desire to Visit 
What NOT to do:
DO Post this: 
UGC 
Shared from 
The Swag 
Shared from 
VisitNC
Share Your Own Photos with Relevant Media
Share Your Own Photos with Relevant Media
Trend #3: Video 
• Facebook is predicted to surpass YouTube in direct video uploads by 
the end of this year. Facebook con...
Trend #4: Growth of Mobile Usage 
• Smartphones and tablets combined now account for 60% of all time 
spent online. 
• Pin...
Trend #4: Mobile Usage – What You Can Do 
• Ensure your Facebook tabs (contests, 3rd party apps, etc.) are 
accessible to ...
Trend #5: Millennial Marketing 
18 to 33 years old, born 1981–1996
Millennial Marketing 
• Consider marketing initiatives that can help fuel their passion for 
creativity, discovery and lea...
Millennial Marketing 
• Affluent Millennials are a growing segment and do not seek to show 
off their high status. Instead...
Social Media Implications 
1. Facebook Algorithm Changes 
2. Your Digital Visitor Center 
3. Online Reputation Management
Facebook Algorithm Changes 
• Last week Facebook made the announcement that starting in January, 
it will crack down on “o...
Your Digital Visitor Center 
• Your prospective visitors see your social media channels as your 
digital visitor center an...
Online Reputation Management (ORM) 
• 93% of travelers worldwide say their booking decisions are impacted 
by online revie...
On The Radar 
1. Facebook Places 
2. TripAdvisor Tours and Activities Sector 
3. Amazon Hotel Booking
Facebook Places 
• Facebook.com/places has been quietly launched. There has been no 
official announcement from Facebook 
...
TripAdvisor – Tours and Activities Sector 
• The tours and activities sector is TripAdvisor’s next major area to 
focus on...
Amazon 
• Amazon plans on entering the hotel-booking arena early next year, 
using the merchant model that Expedia and Hot...
“Social media is a never-ending 
experiment, because the users, 
how they use it, and the 
functionality provided by socia...
Social Media Trends and Implications for Destination and Hospitality Marketing
Social Media Trends and Implications for Destination and Hospitality Marketing
Social Media Trends and Implications for Destination and Hospitality Marketing
Social Media Trends and Implications for Destination and Hospitality Marketing
Social Media Trends and Implications for Destination and Hospitality Marketing
Social Media Trends and Implications for Destination and Hospitality Marketing
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Social Media Trends and Implications for Destination and Hospitality Marketing

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Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO's) and Hospitality Partners are perfectly poised to market their viral assets on social media. Learn about trends and forecasts for 2015, understand User-Generated Content (UGC), Millennial Marketing, Facebook Algorithm, the importance of Video and Photo, how to create a desire to visit, and trends in Online Reputation Management (ORM). This presentation was part of the annual meeting for Smoky Mountain Host in Western North Carolina, held on 12/2/2014.

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Social Media Trends and Implications for Destination and Hospitality Marketing

  1. 1. Social Media Trends Implications On the Radar
  2. 2. Trends 1. UGC - User Generated Content 2. Images are Increasingly Essential 3. Video 4. Mobile Usage 5. Millennial Marketing
  3. 3. Trend #1: User-Generated Content Definition: Any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasting, pins, digital images, video, audio files, and other forms of media that was created by users of an online service, often made available via social media Web sites.
  4. 4. • User Generated Content can be powerful. • According to Skift.com, the top 10 destination’s* social media growth is credited to their use of other Instagrammer’s images to increase their reach. • UGC resonates across all demographics of fans. Top 10 Destinations Worldwide on Social Media: Queensland, Disney World, Australia, Alberta, Philadelphia (Philly), US Dept. of Interior, Visit Florida, Pure Michigan, Discover Los Angeles, Travel Oregon
  5. 5. Smoky Mountain Host – Social Media Hub
  6. 6. Hampton Inn’s Facebook Cover Photo Made entirely from user-generated photos, and part of a campaign to generate UGC through use of the hashtag #Hamptonality
  7. 7. Hampton Inn Commercial Using UGC
  8. 8. User Generated Content - What does it look like in our region?
  9. 9. How to Find UGC • The easiest way to get UGC is to search for it. • Search for a hashtag (keyword) related to your brand, like #greatsmokymountains, #lakefontana, #highlandsNC, and find a photo that your audience would enjoy. • Give credit to the owner of the photo in your post.
  10. 10. Our Region’s Consistent Theme • One consistent theme of user generated content and post comments in our region: unwind, relax, natural beauty. • “Overwhelmed with how beautiful it is here” • “I am in awe!” • “The first time I saw this it literally took my breath away” • “A place for serenity and clarity” • “This town is right out of a Hallmark Christmas movie” (Bryson City)
  11. 11. Trend #2: Images are Increasingly Essential • New research confirms that photos are the “holy grail” of social media engagement. • Photos are also the most engaging type of content on Facebook, with an 87% interaction rate from fans. • Adding a photo to your tweet can boost retweets by 35%. • According to a recent Forrester report, Instagram (which is 100% photo posts) delivers 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. • Most of top 10 destinations (mentioned on an earlier slide) on social media author two-three posts per day on Facebook, and stick with photos most of the time.
  12. 12. Images (continued) • People scroll through news feeds quickly, and will only engage with content that captures their attention. • Deliver inspiring, relevant, quality images to resonate with your target audience and communicate your story. • We have great viral assets to work with – our scenery is some of the best in the world! Use your photos to create a desire to visit. • Quality images can mean a variety of things, from professional photos to those you snap on a camera phone, to UGC from a variety of sources.
  13. 13. Share professional photos
  14. 14. Take your own photos - Include people in your photos whenever possible to increase reach and create a desire to visit.
  15. 15. Take impromptu photos on your smartphone and post them in real time.
  16. 16. Add inspiring words to your images to increase reach.
  17. 17. Post photos that interest your target audience.
  18. 18. Use Photos to Create a Desire to Visit What NOT to do:
  19. 19. DO Post this: UGC Shared from The Swag Shared from VisitNC
  20. 20. Share Your Own Photos with Relevant Media
  21. 21. Share Your Own Photos with Relevant Media
  22. 22. Trend #3: Video • Facebook is predicted to surpass YouTube in direct video uploads by the end of this year. Facebook consistently outperforms YouTube in getting video views and engagement. • Besides Facebook and YouTube, consider trying Vine and Instagram. With a 6-second maximum for Vine, and 15 for Instagram, they are both great platforms for short videos. • Highlight our natural beauty and outdoor adventures. Keep videos short – remember that user’s attention spans are short. • Time Lapse video is becoming more relevant. Instagram recently released it’s Hyperlapse app.
  23. 23. Trend #4: Growth of Mobile Usage • Smartphones and tablets combined now account for 60% of all time spent online. • Pinterest users are 92% mobile; • Twitter users are 86% mobile; • Facebook is 68% mobile • By 2017 over 30% of online travel bookings will be made on a mobile device.
  24. 24. Trend #4: Mobile Usage – What You Can Do • Ensure your Facebook tabs (contests, 3rd party apps, etc.) are accessible to both desktop and mobile users. • A responsive web design ensures your blog or website appears properly formatted on various mobile devices. • Eliminate Message Fatigue, which happens when you post the same updates across all social channels at the same time and inundate your followers with repetitive messages. For mobile users, this is very frustrating. • Given that 79% of mobile phone owners and 81% of tablet owners use those devices for local searches, it makes sense to create or claim your local Google+ page, ensure that the listing has the correct information, and post regularly to the page.
  25. 25. Trend #5: Millennial Marketing 18 to 33 years old, born 1981–1996
  26. 26. Millennial Marketing • Consider marketing initiatives that can help fuel their passion for creativity, discovery and learning. • Instagram is one of the top media channels used by Millennials on a daily basis. • Facebook purchased Instagram when it became clear that Millennials preferred sharing pictures instead of status updates on their Facebook profiles. • Millennials trust information received through UGC 50% more than information from other media sources, including TV, newspapers, and magazines.
  27. 27. Millennial Marketing • Affluent Millennials are a growing segment and do not seek to show off their high status. Instead they are driven by experiences and opportunities to create memories that they can share with friends. • Two out every five Millennials say they would feel anxious without their smartphones. • Millennials make up 70 percent of consumers who say they are more likely to immediately delete an email if it is not adjusted for mobile use.
  28. 28. Social Media Implications 1. Facebook Algorithm Changes 2. Your Digital Visitor Center 3. Online Reputation Management
  29. 29. Facebook Algorithm Changes • Last week Facebook made the announcement that starting in January, it will crack down on “overly promotional” posts — and limit their visibility in the news feed. • Key Takeaways: • Avoid being overly promotional on your page. • Post a strong mix of scenic and user-generated content. Post about events and share content from your tourism partners. Occasionally post content that provides value for your audience. • Pay once in a while for extra Facebook reach. Boost a few of your posts to gauge follower response.
  30. 30. Your Digital Visitor Center • Your prospective visitors see your social media channels as your digital visitor center and/or customer service center. • Depending on your fan count, you may have visitors inquiring daily. They expect a quick response. • An alarming 95% of wall posts on Facebook pages go unanswered by companies. What message does this send to fans and potential visitors? • Key Takeaway: Check all of your social media channels daily (or more frequently if you have high follower counts) for fan questions, comments, photo uploads and posts to your wall. Or set up notifications to inform you via email or push notification.
  31. 31. Online Reputation Management (ORM) • 93% of travelers worldwide say their booking decisions are impacted by online reviews. Yet many of our lodging and restaurant partners are ignoring TripAdvisor. • Travelers rely more on the opinions generated through UGC than they do a destination/business’s own advertising. • TripAdvisor continues to dominate the traveler’s planning process and holds its position as the world’s largest travel site. • Replies by managers and responses within 48 hours are some of the essential factors that distinguish a great profile from a normal one. • TripAdvisor also offers forums where users post their travel question, share their opinion and discuss services. Hotels and destinations should regularly monitor the most important forums and actively take part in the conversation.
  32. 32. On The Radar 1. Facebook Places 2. TripAdvisor Tours and Activities Sector 3. Amazon Hotel Booking
  33. 33. Facebook Places • Facebook.com/places has been quietly launched. There has been no official announcement from Facebook • Facebook Places looks similar to TripAdvisor • Content is based on existing Facebook pages in your city/town and also includes comments and content of friends and FOF. • Key Takeaway: Encourage your travel partners to keep their Facebook pages updated and active so they will display well on Facebook Places.
  34. 34. TripAdvisor – Tours and Activities Sector • The tours and activities sector is TripAdvisor’s next major area to focus on. • They recently acquired Viator, a leading resource for researching and booking destination activities around the world. Viator features more than 20,000 bookable tours and attractions and more than 600,000 reviews, photos, and videos submitted by travelers. • TripAdvisor now allows free listings for many more segments under it’s attractions section, including retail, adventure outfitters, spas, bars, ranch & farm, performances, landmarks and more. • Key Takeaway: Visit TripAdvisor.com/GetListedNew and view the Attractions Listing. Encourage your travel partners in these sectors to get listed for increased visibility.
  35. 35. Amazon • Amazon plans on entering the hotel-booking arena early next year, using the merchant model that Expedia and Hotels.com use. • Amazon plans to entice hotels to sign up by taking a considerably lower margin, around 15%.
  36. 36. “Social media is a never-ending experiment, because the users, how they use it, and the functionality provided by social networks is always in flux.” Neal Schaffer author of Maximize Your Social

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