More people from more age demographics are using social media, especially when it comes to booking travel — but not everyone uses it the same way.

NB: This is an article from Cendyn, one of our Expert Partners

Social media has revolutionized the way people interact with each other and with companies. It has created an entirely new world for marketers, one where there are deeper, more organic relationships between consumers and brands. In this new world, it is not enough for a consumer to simply know about a brand — they need to know about that brand’s mission and culture, and make sure those align with their own.

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As more and more people use social media, the platforms and the content on them have become more diverse. There is a space for every demographic, and different groups of users enjoy different types of content. So how do hoteliers make sense of it all and thrive in the world of social media? There are a few important questions they need to answer, such as which platforms to use, what message to send, and what content to create. Read on to learn all about our best tips for crafting your social media presence.

Popular platforms and the people who use them

One of the most basic rules of advertising is to be where your customers are, and social media is no different. There are multiple social media platforms that are viable for marketing, but each represents a different demographic and lends itself to different types of content. Hoteliers need to analyze their data to determine which demographics to target. They should look at which age group the majority of their guests fit into, as well as which age group their best guests (the ones who spend the most money) fit into.

Monthly active users: 2.7 billion
Largest age group: 25-34

Monthly active users: 1 billion
Largest age group: 25-34

Daily active users: 187 million
Largest age group: 30-49

Monthly active users: 400+ million
Largest age group: 30-49

Monthly active users: 100 million
Largest age group: 18-24

Monthly active users: 265 million
Largest age group: 13-34

Monthly active users: 2 billion
Largest age group: 15-25

*Info taken from Sprout Social

Popular types of content by platform

Once you know where your target customers are active, you need to make sure to focus on content that is going to be effective on that platform. Each social media platform is unique and displays different types of content in different ways. Some are better for images and video, some support longer or shorter content, and others provide interactive elements that encourage engagement.

Articles and guides: For any long-form content such as travel guides, articles, and reviews of the hotel, LinkedIn and Facebook are your best bet. Other social media platforms simply don’t support this content effectively (if at all). If you have good articles, guides, or reviews on your hotel website, these make for great social media content if shared on the right platform.

Images: Instagram and Pinterest are built for sharing images and providing inspiration, so they take the crown, but images can also perform very well on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat.

Videos: Videos can perform very well on social, but the various platforms lend themselves to different types of content. Facebook Live is excellent for making announcements and interacting with your audience, IGTV is best for long-form videos and reels, and TiKTok is great for viral content that’s relatable, witty, or funny.

Infographics: Facebook and LinkedIn are the best platforms for infographics, but Twitter is also a viable option.

Reviews: Facebook is great for showing off reviews and even displays star ratings on business pages.

Polls/questions: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have built-in features that let you create polls in your posts. Facebook and Instagram support questions with two options, while Twitter supports multiple-choice questions. Twitter, however, is the only one that doesn’t support images or video.

Speak to your audience

After a hotel has determined the best social media platform to use and the format to follow, they still need to create the content. When designing marketing content for social media, it’s important to understand how different demographics interact with social content. Naturally, users from different age groups have very different attitudes and habits online.

Hotels that target a younger demographic will want to use more interactive content on social media. Generation Z and Millennial users are comfortable interacting with brands, making purchases via social media, and even sharing information — as long as it’s being used appropriately. These users want personalized experiences, immediate responses, and socially conscious brands. Interactive content, such as polls and quizzes, are great for getting conversations started.

Users that fall into older age demographics use social media quite differently. They can be less inclined to make purchases online, and they generally require more information before initiating interaction with a brand. At the same time, they have more patience for long-form content, and they appreciate honesty, attentiveness, and old-fashioned hospitality. Articles, long-form videos, and tutorials can be very effective in educating users on the brand and how to take advantage of special offers.

Interact with your followers

Even if a company creates brilliant content, good social media performance involves more than simply sitting back and waiting for the likes and reactions to roll in. As users and businesses start to follow your account and see your content, you need to engage with your audience. Follow accounts that follow you, interact with their content, respond to comments on your posts, and start conversations wherever and whenever you can. As you do so, keep in mind who your target demographic is and try to use the social media platforms in the way that your customers do. This will help you better understand the content they like and the language they use, while the increased activity and communication will all lead to more visibility for your own content.

Summing it up

Social media can be an incredibly useful tool for marketers, but only if used effectively. As more people spend more time on social media platforms, it looks destined to become the primary way that users of all age groups discover, explore, and ultimately book their travel experiences. As a result, the hotel brands that properly take advantage of social media not only reap the rewards now, but position themselves to be the most successful in the future. As always, the social media and digital marketing experts at Cendyn are happy to help fine-tune your social media presence to match the right generation.

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