How Leveraging Video With Social Media ‘Reels’ Can Boost Your Hotel’s Brand
To give your hotel’s brand a jolt, increase its social media visibility, and attract a new segment of potential customers, grab your phone and get ready to start shooting more video.
From Instagram and Facebook to LinkedIn and Pinterest, video is quickly becoming the dominant content in social media as platforms look to keep up with Tik-Tok’s explosive popularity. And the platforms themselves are adjusting their algorithms to emphasize video content, making it a priority across user feeds.
This doesn’t mean you should stop with your regular posts. Instead, you should be looking at how you can improve your video content and increase your video output on social media to raise your hotel’s profile.
We’re not talking about creating the next viral video sensation. But when social platforms have made it clear they are making videos a high priority, you should be, too.
Let’s look at when and how you can use videos — particularly what are called “reels” and “stories” — to broaden your hotel’s visibility online and improve engagement with potential customers. We even have a few concepts for videos you could consider shooting in your hotel.
A Quick Explanation of Reels and Videos on Social Media
So what are Reels anyway? Reels are the short-form, vertical video clips in your feed. They usually run anywhere from 15 to 90 seconds and often include some captions, graphics and music.
Instagram and Facebook both call these videos Reels. Similarly, Snapchat “stories” are user videos and photos that are stitched together in a scrolling series. Pinterest also got in on the video trend with its “story pins.”
And since launching video in 2017, LinkedIn is getting over 300 million video impressions each year on the platform, triple the engagement of static images or text posts.
In a marketing context, Reels are typically spontaneous, funny and informal videos that showcase a company’s product in action. Brands sometimes hire social media influencers (those with a sizable following on a niche subject) as content creators to increase their reach. Others have in-house teams who regularly produce and post their video content.
But perhaps most importantly, these are not high-production-value videos that require a whole production team, special equipment or even special skills. You can use the native platform to shoot and upload your video directly. Or you can try third-party apps that have additional editing tools and features to give videos added pop.
Jump on the Video Bandwagon or Your Hotel May Be Left Behind
The anecdotal evidence for video’s growth is clear. Video appears to be leading the format race across most platforms.
Instagram and Facebook parent company Meta recently announced that Reels account for 20 percent of time users spend on Instagram and video overall takes up 50 percent of the time users spend on the platform.
Instagram has also said it treats Reels and Posts differently by using separate algorithms for each. That difference may be part of the reason that compared to Posts, Reels reach a much larger audience beyond the number of followers on any given account, in some cases 10 or 20 times as many more views than followers.
Does that mean videos are “better than” posts for promoting your hotel? Not necessarily. But the data suggests videos consistently get better engagement than text or photos. Users tend to share videos more frequently than static posts. They are also more likely to comment on them.
To best understand how your Posts and Reels are performing on Instagram, be sure you sign up for Instagram Insights, a metrics measuring tool (mobile only) available to business and creator accounts.
If You’re Ready to Start Shooting, Consider These Concepts
Whether your hotel is already regularly posting video content or you’re just getting started, coming up with ideas for new and fresh content can be a challenge. Take some time to look around your property, noting what might make for a quick, interesting or funny video.
Are there themed evenings you host? Do you have a special season or time of year that really highlights your hotel? Do any of your employees have a unique talent or skill you could share? What piece of hidden history or behind-the-scenes work would surprise or delight guests?
Here are some video concepts you might try to get the creative juices flowing:
Feature your latest activations. Some hotels have a runway fashion show or an interactive video wall. Others might host a trivia night or an art exhibit. Put together a video around your activations (even if they’re one-offs) to show there’s always something interesting happening on your property.
The main course as the main event. If you have a restaurant, show how a popular dish comes together. Use quick cuts of the process: grabbing ingredients from the refrigerator, slicing and dicing vegetables, tossing everything together, cooking on the range or in the oven. Show how it’s plated and follow it out to the table.
Shaken not stirred. A specialty cocktail preparation can make a great video. Have your bartender walk viewers through each step. A jigger of this. A dash of that. A twist of citrus. A garnish. Serve neat or over ice. Toss in some graphics with the recipe and serve your video.
Be our guest. Give viewers a first-person experience of what it’s like to arrive at your hotel. Show them how it feels as they reach the front door, walk through the lobby, approach the reception desk, receive their key card, maybe engage with an attendant or concierge, ride up the elevator, arrive in the room, check out the view and then flop on the bed.
A week in the life of your flex space. Conference spaces or ballrooms make great fodder for a time-lapse video. Setting up for a keynote address for 500 one day, hosting a wedding reception the next. Stacking chairs, arranging tables, testing video screens and sound systems. Those spaces are a hive of activity and the transformations captured in a time lapse video can be astounding.
Your Hotel Can Start Leveraging Social Media Video Right Now
Regular posts and static content are great for showing how your hotel looks and what you offer. Videos like Reels are better at showing what your hotel is and how it feels to be there.
While images and words are still a reliable way to convey information, video is a powerful tool for creating emotion.
If you’d like to hear more about how O’Rourke Hospitality can help your hotel make the most out of video content on your social media channels, we’d love to hear from you.