Connecting With a Younger Traveler Across Social Media

By Brandon Billings Vice President of Social Media & Content Strategy, NJF an MMGY Global Company | February 03, 2019

Social media is one of the biggest influencers of travel for Generation Z and Millennials. These highly lucrative audiences are using social to drive inspiration for their next trip as well as to inform where they will book their stay. To capture the attention of this audience – which has a strong distain for traditional advertising – it's becoming ever critical that hotels stand out on social. So, where does a hotel start? To drive success, a hotel must develop social programs and supporting engaging content that will truly connect with these younger audiences. 

Below you will find a high-level social guide designed for those just getting started and for hotels that are already active in the space. 

Defining the Audience and Crafting The Strategy

To help you better understand how to activate this audience, it's imperative for hotels to leverage research and key insights. This will lay a strong strategic foundation required to achieve success with Millennials and Gen Z.

By the Numbers: Millennial and Gen Z Social Media and Travel Habits.Key stats from recent leading travel studies will help you understand the importance of how this audience views trip planning across social.

Understanding the Audience Mindset

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.