current social media trends

February 27, 2024 •

7 min reading

How these 6 current social media trends reshape hoteliers' strategies

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The hotel and hospitality industry evolves quickly to keep up with shifting consumer preferences and technological advances. In this constantly shifting landscape, social media can be a powerful tool that helps you showcase your offering, build a relationship with your customers, improve customer service, and enhance your brand.

However, if you want your hotel’s social media marketing to gain traction, you must keep up with the pace of change in the industry and stay ahead of the curve. With that in mind, we’re exploring the current social media trends for hoteliers in 2024 - from short-form videos to branded DMs - that can give you a competitive edge.


Short-form video will reign supreme

Short-form videos, those lasting between 3 and 60 seconds, will be one of the most powerful forms of hotel social media marketing in 2024. Previously, you showcased this type of content on micro-video sharing services like TikTok. However, Instagram Reels is proving to be the real deal.

Unlike Instagram Stories, Reels don’t disappear after 24 hours and are available on Instagram until you delete them. They’re also favored by the Instagram algorithm. That means they’re more likely to be recommended to people who don’t already follow you, which can give your marketing a wider reach.

Consumers spent an average of 17 hours a week watching online video content in 2023, with Reels receiving more than 200 billion plays a day across Facebook and Instagram. That represents a 40% increase on 2022.

An efficient way to boost your hotel’s social media strategy is to shoot lots of footage of your unique amenities and experiences in one go. You can then edit the footage and release numerous short videos over time. You should focus on videos that give consumers an unfiltered view and celebrate what makes you unique. You can also boost your traffic by paying for short-form video ads on search engines like Google.


Choose trendsetters rather than social media influencers

Extending invitations to trendsetters rather than social media influencers can be another effective way to get your name out there in 2024. Trendsetters are people or brands with enough clout in a particular niche to set new trends. They tend to be more relatable than influencers, are authorities in their specific field, and post about products and services that are genuinely useful.

Digital trendsetters include celebrities, but they can also be any person or company with an established reputation in their niche. By identifying the social media trendsetters in the areas your hotel champions, such as sustainability or specific dietary requirements, you can create a partnership that reaches a new audience for your hotel. Sustainability is a hot topic in 2024, with’s Sustainable Travel Report finding that 76% of travellers want to adopt more sustainable travel practices over the next 12 months.

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User-generated content (UGC) is still king

Hotel social media marketing managers are waking up to the fact that when you’re selling a destination, authenticity is everything. In our hyper-connected world, consumers can easily differentiate between what is and isn’t authentic, and anything that isn’t authentic can quickly turn them off.

User-generated content, which is unpaid or unsponsored content created by customers and related to your brand, acts as modern word-of-mouth marketing. It helps to verify that you are who you say you are and the experiences you offer are genuine. And the statistics back that up. 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions, while consumers find it 9.8 more impactful than influencer content and 6.6 times more influential than brand-generated content when making a purchasing decision.

An effective way to harness the power of user-generated content in your hotel’s social media marketing is to create a branded hashtag. You can then use different methods, such as drink offers and promotions, to encourage customers to use your hashtag when sharing images and videos about your hotel.


Harness the power of branded DMs (direct messages)

In 2024, DMs are set to become an increasingly important part of the social media marketing strategies for hospitality businesses and hotels. Over the past few years, DMs have gained traction among young consumers as a method for contacting brands for customer service, and 84% of social media marketers estimated that social media would become consumers' preferred channel for customer service in 2023.

Sending direct messages on social media can also be a very cost-effective way for hoteliers to communicate directly with current and prospective guests. They can use platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with travelers and provide information about special offers or details about an upcoming trip.

If this is a route you plan to take, you should have a team on hand who can message customers consistently, respond to questions quickly, and confidently answer any booking inquiries.


Adapt your strategy for each platform

If you want to take hotel social media marketing seriously in 2024, you must tailor your approach to increase your engagement on each platform. Technically, TikTok is an entertainment platform rather than social media. However, it keeps users glued to their phones for longer and has the highest engagement rates for brands that produce entertaining content, particularly if you’re targetting Gen Z travelers and want to inspire their next holiday.

Instagram has long been the social media platform of choice for hoteliers. Its endless stream of aspirational (and authentic) travel images can be a powerful tool for brands. However, it’s the features like Instagram Reels and Stories that are getting travel marketers excited in 2024 as they have real potential to turn lookers into bookers. YouTube Shorts is another platform that lets hotels and travel brands share their experiences through bite-sized videos.

On the other hand, X (formerly known as Twitter) is a social media platform you may choose to drop from your hotel’s social media marketing strategy. Its usage among brands has fallen by 7% over the last year, and only 3% of destination marketers are prioritizing it in their 2024 marketing plans.


Social media analytics are more important than ever

With a growing number of platforms and features at your disposal, social media analytics are more important in 2024 than ever before. You need to know what works on the various platforms and the type of content your audience engages with, and the only way to tell that story is by keeping a close eye on your analytics.

The metrics to look out for include:

Engagement rate

Are your target customers watching, sharing, and commenting on your content or just scrolling by? According to Hootsuite, the average engagement rate in the travel and hospitality industry is 1.73%. If you’re falling short, it’s time to rethink your content and the platforms you’re using.

Impressions and reach

You could have an out-of-this-world engagement rate of 10%, but if you only have 100 people viewing your account, it counts for nothing. You must keep a close eye on your reach and impressions and do what you can to keep your numbers growing. In 2024, short-form videos on Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and TikTok are set to be the most effective way for hotels to reach new audiences and build their following.

Video retention rate

Although engagement is valuable, social media marketers across all industries are seeing engagement rates fall. With so much content out there, people are experiencing a degree of ‘engagement fatigue’ and are less inclined to like, comment and share. However, people are still engaging with your content by watching it.

The video retention rate represents the percentage of a video that your viewers watch. This metric is just as important as engagement, as it shows you how your videos are performing and what type of content keeps consumers glued to their screens.


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The social media trends to tap into in 2024

This year, it’s clear that the evolution of social media for hotels shows no slowing. By embracing these trends, whether you make the most of short-form video features like Reels and Shorts or focus your attention on UGC, you can enhance your brand awareness, engage with guests, and create meaningful connections that drive more bookings.

“Social media analytics track your marketing effectiveness. To enhance performance, prioritize visuals over text, and narratives over dry facts. Tailor short videos to specific personas, catering to different travel purposes or occasions, to boost relevance and engagement. Ensure your social media content showcases potential customers enjoying your offerings. Sustained social media marketing demands frequent fresh content. Consider involving employees and customers in content creation to foster a sense of community and belonging.” Meng-Mei - Maggie Chen, Assistant Professor, EHL Hospitality Business School.