6 June 2016

Under Investigation: Social Media Shares


social media marketing

Dear hoteliers, today we are going to discuss a recent study conducted by Shareablee about social media sharing. With people spending most of their free time on their smartphones and, more specifically, socializing with friends or not, we have to carefully study and analyze their behaviors and habits so that we can optimize our social media marketing practices for your hotel’s benefit. Social networks’ power is undeniable but have you ever considered what makes your content shareable? Have you studied actual numbers that can prove their importance? Do you know how the travel industry is affected by them? Let’s answer all of the above together with the help of the aforesaid case study and personal insight.

First off, in the travel industry, from 2015 to 2016 we are witnessing a 20% increase in Facebook shares and a 23% increase in Twitter actions. Given the fact that having your current or potential guests sharing your hotel’s content should be one of your main social media marketing objectives, these stats prove that it worth it. Therefore, your social media accounts should be carefully taken care of so that you provide your visitors with valuable, interesting content that they will willingly share with their peers. Is that so? Not always. Although you should absolutely show off quality content, according to the study under consideration, in some cases, people value content characteristics other than quality. These can be humour, excitement, inspiration and much more. But this will be another discussion. What you need to remember at this point is that you should absolutely spend time and effort on creating the content you share through your hotel’s social media accounts.

Speaking of content, another very interesting outcome from the study is that, as far as the travel industry is concerned, video content is getting much more value from the audience than it did a year ago. In fact, from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016 Facebook video shares grew by 27%. In plain English, you should consider updating your content calendar and add some video to your content types. Copy is good and so are pictures but the audience demands video content and you have to offer them that. As we have said before, video marketing is getting increasingly popular nowadays and I trust you have already added videos on your website. But have you added videos presenting your premises and services to your social media profiles? Are you running the right video campaigns so that you lead your audience to increased levels of engagement. If not, you should absolutely go for it. You saw the numbers above and you know by now that it will work and bring back a lot of publicity.

Now, we’ve seen the increase in shares from last year but what is this attribute that makes a person share your content? Is it the same for everyone or does it vary depending on age, gender and so on. As with any statistical proof, the reason people share varies depending on their age, gender and so on. However, there is a common characteristic that makes most people share with others and that’s no other than the “story” factor. Younger generations want to look cool, older generation want to look caring but, in general, most people love sharing content that tells a story. In your hotel’s case, that can be your story, your staff’s or even you own guests’ one. No matter who is the protagonist or the hero of the story, if your hotel’s name is in it then you have accomplished your goal. As long as the content is relevant to your hotel and your goals, you don’t have to care about the originator or other staff other than the degree of engagement you enjoy from it.