Attracting direct bookings is key to all hotel and hospitality businesses, especially those looking into social media channels / influencer marketing platforms. But how can you best use social media and online word-of-mouth? With so many platforms available for influencer marketing, the task of choosing between them can seem impossible.
Worldwide social media advertisement revenue will rise to over $49 million by 2022. As such, it is crucial not to underestimate the industry. Millennials now watch nearly 50% less television than those over 35, meaning that as a medium of advertisement, it no long reaches half the audience it used to. Now more than ever, choosing the right social media platform for your brand is crucial.
Which influencer marketing platforms should you use?
The oldest and perhaps most obvious of these potential influencer marketing platforms is Facebook. Founded in 2004, the platform raked in over $40 billion in 2017 alone. In terms of influencer marketing, therefore, Facebook has the largest user base, involving roughly 2 billion users.
However, its demographics demonstrate a limited reach with 18 to 24 year olds. You also can’t follow hashtags on Facebook. This is a crucial because simply adding #travelling can instantly boost an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram. Facebook’s potential pool of influencers is ultimately limited by the platform’s branding as a community. Rather than connecting an influencer with an audience, Facebook instead typically connects individuals to those they already know.
Snapchat, meanwhile, has the opposite problem, as just over 53% of its adult users fall into age groups below 34. Although the app has an impressive 178 million active users, it remains a ‘millennial’ platform associated with students. As this reputation appears unlikely to change, Snapchat suits influencer marketing platforms only to the extent that businesses wish to target these age groups. Even then, however, Snapchat does not suit influencer marketing. The platform’s branding leans more towards casual interaction between individuals than it does between an influencer and their audience.
YouTube, meanwhile, offers four distinct types of advertisement: in-stream, in-slate, in-search and in-display. As a platform with over 1 billion unique users every month, YouTube’s reach is broad even when compared with that of Facebook. Video advertising in particular sees a 20% traffic increase on branded websites, making it a good fit for influencer campaigns seeking a video-based format. YouTube’s content is also always associated with popular internet personalities because its format encourages an approach known as vlogging. For influencer marketing, this is key – YouTube is a treasure mine of potential influencers with large audiences.
Although it is almost the youngest social media platform, Instagram offers a unique opportunity for influencer marketing platforms. It is the fastest growing media platform in history, with its millions users increasing on average by 100 million every six months. Instagram is an influencer platform unmatched in its organic reach. Engagement with brand advertisements on Instagram in 2015, for example, was ten times higher than those on Facebook, fifty-four times higher than those on Pinterest and an astonishing eighty-four times higher than those on Twitter.
Alongside this, half of Instagram’s active users follow brand accounts, making them the digital media users most likely to do so; the Instagram Industry Report further emphasises how 90% of the top brands worldwide have a presence on Instagram. As such, therefore, organic and interactive advertisement seems to garner most attention on Instagram. The platform is also good for connecting influencers and their audiences because the visual format lends itself to daily use and lifestyle updates. Instagram is a great fit for hotel and hospitality businesses seeking a way to advertise more organically.
By Angharad Miller