Working in social media keeps you on your toes: there are always new developments that you need to keep up-to-date with. Sometimes these are small changes, but other times they are more noticeable updates.
Recently there have been four of the bigger changes, and each one could have a major impact on the social media strategy for your tour and activity company. Here are all the details!
1. Snapchat Memories
Before July 5, the only photos or videos you could share on Snapchat were those you took in real-time. But on July 6, this changed with the introduction of Snapchat Memories. This enables the user to go into their photo library and upload previously taken photos.
When this was announced, there was a lot of negative feedback - it had essentially turned Snapchat into Instagram. Because you could now share polished photos that look amazing, it meant there would be a lot less of those blurry shots taken on-the-go that made Snapchat unique.
This hasn’t yet happened, however (at least not on my feed). Snapchat is still full of on-the-go photos and videos. So while the functionality is there to share photos from the past, not many people seem to be using it.
What does Snapchat Memories mean for your tour and activity company?
If you're wondering if Snapchat might be the social channel for you, but also think "there’s no way I’d remember to upload snaps while I’m on a tour", you don’t need to worry about remembering anymore.
You can now share snaps from the comfort of your office or sofa after the tour has ended, thus building your Snapchat presence without having to share snaps in real-time.
To find out more about Snapchat for tour operators, check out this guide to using Snapchat.
2. Instagram Stories
On 2 August 2016, Instagram introduced Instagram Stories. The long way of describing this is that Instagram is now letting you ‘share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.’
Sound familiar? If not, the following probably will to Snapchat fans…
'With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.'
So, that’s the long way of describing this new feature. The short way is that Instagram has introduced its own version of Snapchat.
I’ve worked in social media a long time, but I’ve never seen such a blatant rip-off as this one. Instagram have unashamedly copied Snapchat, even calling the end product of photos and videos a ‘Story’ – the same as Snapchat.
What does Instagram Stories mean for your tour and activity company?
If you’re enjoying sharing content on Snapchat but are finding it difficult to grow your audience (which many businesses are), this is extremely good news.
Since Instagram has been around much longer than Snapchat, chances are you have a bigger audience on Instagram than on Snapchat. This means you could forget about sharing snaps from your tour to Snapchat for only a minimal number of views and instead focus on sharing your photos from the day on Instagram for a more substantial view count.
3. Twitter introduces a new dashboard
One of the many great things about Twitter for a power user like me is the amount of free tools out there. For somebody who doesn’t use Twitter as much, this can actually be a negative as there are just too many places to be – Twitter itself, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and multiple other analytics tools.
With the introduction of Twitter Dashboard, there are now less places to be. From one place you can view tweets from the people you follow, look at analytics, and more.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the dashboard:
Home: This is broken up into four different sections:
- About: This is your custom feed where you can keep track of unique nicknames (accounts, phrases, people and hashtags). So it’s a bit like a Twitter list on steroids.
- Your Tweets: Here you’ll find all the tweets you’ve published
- Timeline: This is the timeline as we know it, i.e. tweets from accounts we follow
- Messages: Here you’ll find your DMs (direct messages)
Create: Now you can schedule tweets right here in Twitter, instead of having to use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite
Analytics: This gives you an overview of both your account and your tweets. You can break the stats down to the past week, 30 days, or 60 days.
What does the new Twitter dashboard mean for your tour and activity company?
From my experience, some businesses are almost afraid of Twitter because of the terminology and the number of places they have to be to make their Twitter activity effective.
But with this new tool, you can now create a custom feed that will help drive engagement, schedule tweets, and see what’s performing best - all in the one place. This will save you time and increase productivity.
To access your Twitter Dashboard simply log into Twitter then visit http://dashboard.twitter.com
4. Facebook announces an algorithm update
About two years ago, Facebook was regularly tweaking its newsfeed and announcing algorithm updates. Things slowed down for a while, but they recently made another announcement that has a big impact on businesses using Facebook for marketing purposes.
In a nutshell, they said that their main focus was ensuring that users saw the stories of the ‘friends they care about’ - i.e. not the businesses. As a result, they are now prioritising updates from ‘profiles’ (humans) instead of ‘pages’ (businesses).
What does the Facebook algorithm update mean for your tour and activity company?
With the recent algorithm update, it's more difficult than ever before to reach your audience on Facebook. But don’t fret – there are ways to get them without having to invest in Facebook advertising. In particular, you can use Facebook Live and you can share more video.
I recently wrote about this in my article 7 ways to drive more engagement and earn more reach on Facebook, and now is a great time to check out the tips.
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Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.