2017: What’s New and What’s NOT? Social Media Marketing Trends | Travel Research Online


2017: What’s New and What’s NOT? Social Media Marketing Trends

Social marketing can be as fickle as fashion!  There’s always a “What’ Hot” and a “What’s Not” list springing up in both.  As we turn over another calendar year, let’s look forward and back to learn, plan, and stay on trend.

Remember poodle skirts, leisure suits, and big hair? You laugh, yet I sure loved my big hair… back in the day.  Now those fashion faux pas are as out of date as:

  1. MySpace
  2. Social ads that aren’t targeted to specific, well-defined audiences.
  3. Images that are poor quality or not sized right for the particular platform.

These vintage tactics can be as easily updated as those flared pants that made a comeback after bell-bottoms.

new-years-day-1860624_1280 pixabyWhat’s NOT!

Let’s ring in a new year of fashion and leave some things in the dressing room.

Targeting Social Ads

We want to leave behind untargeted, large-audience social ads.  We all know that not every tour is right for every person out there,  just like every fashion trend isn’t for everyone!

When you dive into Ads Manager or Power Editor on Facebook, you’ll find a wide array of targeting options that will help you reach your ‘perfect audience’.

Fashion your custom audiences around these features:

  • Relationship status; think newly engaged, upcoming anniversary, etc.
  • Activities; think yoga, culinary aficionados, Italian food lovers, and more
  • Travel; people who love eco-tourism, adventure travel, theme parks, and beaches

Tip:  The more closely your ads are related to the audience, the more likely you’ll find new business.

Social ads are as cool as platform shoes of yore.  Here’s some tips to elevate your awareness.

Did you know?  You can also target a ‘Preferred Audience’ for your organic posts!

It’s all about the Visuals

Social is turning into a visual playground.  Your photos, videos, and graphics speak much more loudly than ever before.  Forget about those old family photos you took back when your phone just got a camera.

Now we want to focus on clear, crisp images that tell your modern story.  Here’s what’s tops now:

  • Quirk works; unusual angles, quirky local signs and sites
  • Beaches, sunsets and calming images. In our overworked society we all need a break.
  • Lively action
  • Culinary Foodies are a dominate force in the world of travel.
  • Size Matters. Tips to make sure your graphics size-up socially

NOT - Dec '16 cropped

What’s NEW & HOT?

Today’s fashions are far more exciting than those huge shoulder pads of the 80’s!  Sometimes what’s old becomes new again.  Remember ‘petal pushers’?  Now check your closet for some ‘capri’ pants.

Today’s red-carpet stunners are:

  1. Video, video, and more video
  2. Lead generation and retargeting
  3. Immersive ads


Back in the days when Vine made its debut with short 7 second video, we thought we were so cool (just like my big hair!).  Now we have such variety in live video options with amazing uses for travel and tourism.  Here’s a few creative topics for your next video:

  • Interviews; chat with your favorite BDM, DMO or GM.
  • Fam tips and site inspections; capture short video of each area you see. Shoot 1 video of a guest room, another video of the pool, and yet another of a culinary delight.  Wah Lah… now you have a video library collection that you can trickle out to your audiences.
  • Local events and festivals; what a fun way for people to live vicariously and then decide to experience it live.
  • More content ideas here.

Jump on the video band wagon with live-streaming options like Facebook Live, Periscope, Meerkat, and now even Twitter.  Up your game with an HD video and a great external microphone to capture those interviews and the sound of the waves lapping up on shore.

Video posts are a shoe-in for generating more coveted ‘likes, comments, and shares’.   Remember to add captions, a call to action, and your contact information.

Tip:  Check your Video Relevance score to assess your success.

Video ads generate red-carpet attention.  Consider creating Carousel, Canvas or Slideshow ads on Facebook.

Not into creating your own live video?  You can be fashionable in our video-obsessed world by creating video from your still images.  Tools like iMovie, Movie Maker, ShowBox, Magisto, Flip A Gram, Adobe Spark, and even the Facebook Slide Show option let you string together a series of still images to create a video.   Here’s how to create yours.

Earn New Clients

Whether you’re adapting a new fashion-forward trend to your wardrobe or reimagining an old favorite, generating leads from new clients or reigniting relationships with past clients, there’s a valuable way to increase your possibilities.

Lead generation options are as plentiful as cheap t-shirts.  Consider these opportunities:

  1. Create a downloadable give-away on your website. Lock it behind an email capture form.  This way readers will happily provide their contact information in exchange for your valuable lead magnet give-away.  Think: Destination Guide, Packing List, Travel Tips.
  2. Check out the lead generation ads on Facebook. In Power Editor select ‘Collect Leads for your Business’. “Using a Facebook form, advertisers can build an email list without needing to send users to their website.”

Immersive Ads

As advertisers and marketers we can provide experiences for our viewers and involve them in our ads.  Creating the travel experience in an ad that inspires a viewer to connect with you and travel is the goal.

Here’s some tools to build an immersive experience that draws attention.

  1. Canvas ads in Facebook
  2. Carousel and Slideshow ads in Facebook
  3. YouTube
  4. Promoted Pins on Pinterest
  5. Instagram ads
  6. Twitter

HOT - Dec'16 cropped

As you’re studying what changes and updates you’d like to make to your social marketing strategy, remember to add to your closet some cool new pieces, but don’t forget about the reliable, hard-working classics.

While fashions can be fickle, great marketing strategies are always stylish.

catherineheegCatherine Heeg, international speaker and trainer, focuses on social media marketing & communication for the travel and tourism industry. Join the conversation and connect with her at www.cmsspeaking.com and socially.

Connect online for access to free social media resources.

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