There are many things in the world that are certain. Saturday will always come before Sunday, my name will always be Colm and New York City will always be the city that never sleeps. Something else that will never change is that the world of social media will always be changing.
In recent weeks there have been quite a few updates in the world of social media. All four of the main B2C social channels that any tour or activity operator should be using have and will be seeing big changes. Here’s what you need to know…
1. Snapchat to release Ads API
Of all the social channels B2C marketers use,the one that’s making the most noise among is Snapchat. But the one thing is that people are wondering is how they’re making money. At present their main revenue streams are from custom geofilters and their ‘Discovery’ section where big brands have their own channels. This is all soon to change. Soon there will be ads between ‘stories’, expandable ‘Snap Ads’ that will prompt you to download apps and more.
To get ahead, you can read my tips on how to use Snapchat to market your tour and activity business.
2. Instagram algorithm update
Up until very recently, Instagram shared its users' content in much the same way that Twitter does – chronologically. Once you uploaded a photo, it automatically went into your followers’ feeds. But now, just like Facebook, Instagram has an algorithm. This means it chooses whether or not to show your content. Ultimately, this makes it more difficult for your photos to be shown.
Conveniently for you, we’ve put together these seven tips for beating the Instagram algorithm.
A photo posted by TrekkSoft (@trekksoft) on
3. Twitter changes to tweets
While these changes haven’t been rolled out yet, Twitter recently announced that you would soon be able to ‘express even more in 140 characters’. This will be done via four main changes to tweets:
- When replying to a tweet, @names will no longer count towards the 140-character count.
- When you attach videos, images, GIFs, poll tweets or quote tweets that ‘media’ won’t count towards the character count.
- Soon you’ll be able to quote tweet or retweet your own, old tweets. Why you might want to do this is beyond me, but nevertheless, it’s one of the updates.
- You may notice in your feed that some tweets begin with a full stop, or a period if you’re in the US. This is to break a rule that limits the visibility of your tweets that begin with ‘@’. Previously, only the followers of you and the person you are tweeting would see the tweet in their feed. But once these changes are rolled out, your tweets that begin with an ‘@’ will have the potential to reach all your followers, just like your standard broadcast tweets.
4. Facebook 360 photographs
Since many of you work in places of the world that are naturally stunning, this should be an extremely welcome update in the tour and activity industry.
Facebook is currently rolling out Facebook 360, a way to share 360 experiences through photos or videos with your audience. This will be particularly powerful for anybody in the travel industry. Imagine posting a ‘panosphere’ from your city’s main square, telling potential customers ‘this is what you can expect to see when you visit us’.
Of all the five updates mentioned in this post, this is arguably the most important - especially for your visual content marketing strategy.
5. Microsoft buying LinkedIn
LinkedIn might be the B2B social media channel, but there are still ways you can use it to market your tour or activity. This might change (for the better) in the coming months, as on June 13th Microsoft announced it was buying LinkedIn for a whopping $26.2bn.
To sum it up, this will connect your Office 365 and LinkedIn to empower you in terms of how you broadcast content, how you try to influence your network and how you grow it too. Of course, this a catch – you need to be using Microsoft products to benefit from it.
Get more social media insights for your tourism business from Colm Hanratty in our Ultimate Social Media Guide
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.