By Kristina Payne
One of the biggest travel weeks for college students is spring break. It’s typically the second week in March, and it provides a big source of pre-season income to the travel industry. But how do millennials choice where to vacation on spring break, and how can we convince them to come to an all inclusive resort or timeshare?
Social media is the general answer to this question, but there have been multiple changes to social media algorithms lately. This is to inform you about what’s been changing lately on the biggest sites, and how to use it to get to that younger, core audience. Some of these ideas are taken from other Timesharing Today articles I have written, but these are tailored to a spring break marketing angle.
Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram have recently undergone algorithm changes that affect how businesses can optimize those platforms. Every resort or hotel should consider running social media accounts for themselves, so here is how to optimize the new algorithms.
Facebook has changed it’s newsfeed to prioritize content from family and friends. So to promote your resort, it will be best to share photos from recent visitors that have gone to your resort, along with custom content on your page. The younger the people in the photo’s, the better; Facebook takes age into account when choice what content to show people. This isn’t going to fool the algorithm, as Facebook knows you are a resort and not a person, but it might give you the edge over news and social media influences.
Instagram also has a new algorithm, which is more important than ever. Some recent research has shed some light on how millennials choose where to go on vacation. A UK rental home insurance provider, Schoolfields, conducted a survey of 1,000 adults to see how they decided where to go on vacation, and 40% said that how the vacation would look on Instagram was the most important.
What this means is that millennials are interested in posting their vacation online for the public at large to see; this can essentially be free marketing if the resort in question has a social media team behind it. This also means that millennials are going to look towards social media, specifically Instagram, for vacation ideas. What looks good on a friends page is also going to look good on yours.
Instagram’s new algorithm is centered around hashtags. Before the change, Instagram users could use as many hashtags as possible to spread their posts around and get high engagement. Now, Instagram put a limit on how many hashtags count in a post. The first five tags will count on the post. However, it should be noted that the hashtags on Instagram that are useful for us are vacation based, and not timeshare based. So #vacation, #vacationstyle, etc. are all more active than #timeshare. These posts can be edited, professional posts from whoever manages your social media, but their hashtag choice has to be strategic and focused.
Instagram is also going to prioritize newer posts on people’s feeds, so in order to get the most out of Instagram, keep your posts fresh and frequent. However, Instagram’s algorithm does not like spam, so only a couple of posts a week should do.
Millennials use social media as their scrapbooks. One day they’ll be able to go through their old posts and see vacations and jokes they used to like. This is why the vacation and timeshare industry has to jump onto social media sooner rather than later. Put your resort out there and let us come to you!
Kristina Payne is the Social Media Manager for Timesharing Today.