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What’s new in social media – what the latest updates mean for your travel brand

Social Media - 4th July 2024
What’s new in social media – what the latest updates mean for your travel brand

When social media boomed in the 2010s, its main use was connecting users and allowing them to post pictures for the benefit of family and friends. Now, it has evolved into a high ROI outlet that most brands incorporate into their communications strategy to market products and interact with customers.

Social media changes fast, and it can be difficult to stay on top of updates that could impact how you use platforms to publicise your brand. We’ve picked out some of the latest updates and what they could mean for your travel brand.

1. Instagram is testing creator profile performance insights for brands

Instagram is rolling out a new feature aimed at enhancing partnerships between brands and creators. This new “Creator Insights” display offers a snapshot overview of a creator’s profile performance over the last 30 days. For travel brands, this feature provides transparency when deciding who to engage with for paid influencer marketing or press trips.

The Creator Insights display provides a quick overview of:

  • Follower Growth: Track the increase in a creator’s followers.
  • Accounts Reached: See how many accounts the creator has engaged with.
  • Accounts Engaged: Monitor user engagement with specific posts.

These insights can be viewed by brand accounts, making it easier to assess the reach and activity of a creator’s profile. Currently, this feature is available to selected profiles, but Instagram may expand its availability in the future.

This tool can streamline the process of selecting the right influencers to collaborate with, ensuring more effective and strategic partnerships.

2. X has hidden likes

Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly Twitter), has decided to hide likes on posts from public view. This significant change, communicated through a brief pop-up in the app, aims to rewrite social media norms by focusing on user privacy and authentic engagement. While the number of likes will still be visible to the post’s author, the public will no longer see who liked a particular post.

The decision has sparked mixed reactions. Critics argue that hiding likes diminishes the community’s ability to detect paid-for engagement, potentially leading to a rise in inauthentic activity. On the other hand, supporters believe it enhances user privacy, allowing individuals to engage with content without fear of judgment or social pressure.

For travel brands, this change calls into question the value of maintaining a presence on X. With the platform’s ongoing challenges and shifting focus under Musk’s leadership, X has lost about 23% of its users, as of February 2024. Brands may need to reassess their social media strategies and consider redirecting their efforts to ensure they reach their target audiences effectively.

3. Meta tests AI-based advertising options

Meta is experimenting with new AI-driven advertising options for Messenger, aiming to leverage the growing trend of private messaging for brand engagement. Key features being tested include:

AI Q&A: Automated responses to common customer queries based on Meta’s advanced Llama 3 AI system. This can streamline customer interactions and potentially drive more orders with less human intervention.

Messaging Promotion: Brands can now create and send paid marketing messages on Messenger to users who have opted in. This feature, managed through Ads Manager, offers a new channel for ongoing engagement.

Additionally, Meta plans to introduce AI-targeted messaging, recommending specific recipients based on desired outcomes, such as conversions or product awareness. While these features offer promising efficiency benefits, the effectiveness of AI-driven interactions remains to be seen, as past efforts with Messenger bots did not achieve widespread adoption.

For travel brands, these new tools could enhance customer interaction and streamline communication. However, it’s crucial to monitor consumer response to AI interactions to ensure they add value, rather than detract from the user experience.

Leveraging social media changes

Staying ahead of social media trends is crucial for travel brands to maintain effective communication and engagement with their audience.

By staying up to date with the latest social upgrades and integrating them into PR and marketing strategies, travel brands can continue to build strong, authentic connections with their customers in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

If you’d like to hear more from the 8020 team or speak to us about your own social media channels, contact us here, and make sure you follow our own socials!

Emma Cole