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I'm the Founder of Valerie Merut Consulting and I’m here to help you communicate what you do on social media better, build an engaged community, generate leads + clients and make a difference in our industry and beyond.

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Strategy

Social Media in 2022 – What Travel Businesses Need to Know

Earlier this month, thousands of marketers from around the globe gathered at the largest (and best, in my humble opinion) social media conference of the year – Social Media Marketing World. Their mission? To discuss the state of social media marketing in 2022, what is working, no longer working and where the industry is headed as a whole. 

In this article, I’m going to share 5 of the key takeaways I believe you need to be aware of to see results with your social media marketing in 2022.

The fact is; social media is rapidly evolving and is doing so incredibly fast. What worked a year ago doesn’t always work today and so, it is paramount for hotels and travel companies alike to adapt their marketing and how they use social media to maintain or increase their visibility on these platforms, attract their target audience, generate engagement and ultimately leads and bookings.

So, what awaits in 2022? Let’s dive into my 5 key takeaways!

Takeaway #1 – Instagram are pivoting to an entertainment platform

When Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, announced that they were no longer a photo-sharing app last year, he may not have meant that the platform was moving away from photos entirely, but he made Instagram’s plan for the future very clear: video, video, video. 

Users posting reels have already noticed the increased visibility granted to them for their use of this new content format. As reels keep on growing in 2022, we can expect to see in our feeds more content – reels especially – from people we don’t follow.

Instagram are currently working on consolidating their video formats, a process that has already begun and seen IGTV now merged with Instagram Video, and they are also looking at adding additional creative tools to help their users create more videos.

The good news: you are given more opportunities to get in front of new potential followers and clients.

The bad news: you have to get on board with and become really good at creating fun, entertaining, inspiring or short & snappy educational videos that are going to grab your target audience’s attention.

Takeaway #2 – Facebook’s new mission is to create meaningful conversations

Where Facebook was initially all about connecting with family and friends, it then grew over the past few years to become a place to learn about what is happening in the world and our industry and its latest mission is now: “creating meaningful social interactions”.

This change is the reason why the type of posts that used to work before (posts that link to a website, a blog, a video to watch on Youtube…etc.) no longer works and gets extremely low reach.

In late 2021, Facebook released a report that showed what people saw on Facebook the most were posts with a simple question asked, laid out in a very specific way: as a text-based post with a generated colorful background (you do this on FB directly) – see here for a visual. Why? Because it encourages conversations. Facebook wants people to react, comment, share, tag, connect, and this is the new best format to achieve that.

Tempted to think Facebook doesn’t care about videos anymore? Wrong. It is still one of the best formats to use for engagement, for as long as you upload the video in Facebook directly (instead of posting a link to the video that takes people to another platform). You absolutely can repurpose your videos from Instagram to Facebook. In fact, the option to share your reels and stories from Instagram to Facebook is already available (and you should use it).

The good news: it takes five seconds to put together those new text-based posts with colourful backgrounds.

The bad news: it’s going to require some additional thinking as you can’t just repost what you had planned for IG on FB or at least not without tweaking it for that platform first.

Takeaway #3 – LinkedIn is the best platform for thought leadership.

Gone are the days when LinkedIn was used purely for job searching and hiring. It is now all about showing up on the platform as a leader and the key ways to do this are through:

  1. Starting conversations
  2. Educating your audience
  3. Becoming a go-to resource in your industry

The good news: it doesn’t take as long as other platforms to manage and there is some overlap with some of the content you might provide on your other platforms. The visibility options are also excellent.

The bad news: it requires putting yourself out there in a whole new way you might not be used to.

Takeaway #4 – Tik Tok has become the most visited website in the world, surpassing even Google. 

In December last year, Cloudflare revealed TikTok is the most popular website in the world. If this stat didn’t make you stop in your tracks, re-read it! Tik Tok gets more visits than Google. 

If you are not on the platform yet, it is worth assessing whether your demographic is. For those of you in the US, the percentage of US-based Tik Tok accounts by age are:

  • 10 – 19 years old: 32.5%
  • 20 – 29 years old: 29.5%
  • 30 – 39 years old: 16.4%
  • 40 – 49 years old: 13.9%
  • 50+ years old: 7.1%

 Do keep in mind that TikTok is still a relatively new platform and the stats are showing that the TikTok user base is ageing up every year and so although it may not be a consideration for you right now, it might be soon. 

The good news: new platforms means more visibility. With reach having plummeted on Instagram and Facebook, this is a way for you to get in front of new eyeballs, fast.

The bad news: this is a video-only platform and so you’re going to need to be able to film a lot of videos to build and maintain a presence.

Takeaway #5 – Youtube is getting into podcasts and long-form content

A survey recently showed that 50% of people go to Youtube to find a podcast. They don’t go on the app and search there; they go to Youtube. For this reason, the platform is now actively encouraging its users to upload long-form video content, such as interviews, for people to consume on their platform.

The good news: finally a platform for longer-form content! (best practice is 7 – 15 seconds for IG and 3 minutes for FB). You also don’t need to have a big audience on Youtube because the platform actively tries to find one for you. You don’t just see videos from people you follow. You see any relevant Youtube videos.

The bad news: not everyone has a podcast or long-form video interviews! But if you do, make sure to upload them to Youtube for more chances to be discovered.

It’s fair to say that the social media landscape is drastically changing. Videos aren’t an option anymore but something travel businesses must actively start working towards if they haven’t already. Though not mentioned in each of these takeaways, the new key metrics across all of these platforms are not only video views but also engagement. The more engagement, the more people can see your videos. Building an engaged community and interacting with them is absolutely part of that process. 

Which of these trends are you currently experimenting with or planning to experiment with, in the coming months? What questions do you have?

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