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TikTok vs Instagram: What You Need to Know for Your Hotel

TikTok is all the rage, but what about Instagram? Do I need to be doing both for my hotel? Who are the audiences and what is the right balance? These are some of the questions social media guru Christalena Vraila, co-founder and director of award-winning digital agency Mr. Highline, fielded at the Independent Hotel Show in London last week. Here are the highlights of her presentation.

Chrisalena Vralia at the Independent Hotel Show in London
Chrisalena Vralia at the Independent Hotel Show in London

Current Basics––TikTok v Insta

#IKYKY but if you don't, that's OK too, social media trends change all the time.

Here is a basic primer:

  • TikTok is a standalone app that allows its users to create short music and lip-sync videos, using a host of features.

  • Instagram has video-sharing features such as Reels, IGTV, and Stories. The number of video effects and editing features on Instagram are very limited, compared to what TikTok offers.

Both TikTok and Instagram are important in your social media marketing mix advised Christalena.

10 most downloaded apps in 2021

TikTok was the most downloaded app, but does your hotel need to be on there?

While TikTok is stealing more of the buzz lately, Instagram still has about a BILLION monthly users globally according to Statista. In the US, out of TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, TikTok was the most used of all three platforms by Generation Z. Overall, 57 percent of Gen Z social media users used Instagram, down from 61 percent in 2020 and 64 percent in 2019. Instagram finds the most popularity among those in the 25 to 34-year age group. Whereas TikTok still skews younger 25 percent of users are between the ages of 10-19 and another 22.4 percent of users are between 20-29, so nearly half of the users are under the age of 29. Also worth noting: most of TikTok's users are in China and India.

Bottom line: both platforms are still important, but you need to know your target markets. Either way, let's get to the tactics!

Instagram Content Trends: Reels, Memes, Pins, and more!

Instagram Reels

A great way to build an engaged community on Instagram is short videos. This new video feature allows users to record and edit multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and other creative options.

Top tip: You can utilize reels to showcase all the venues of your hotel by blending a few short videos together and overlaying them with music and effects instead of creating multiple Instagram stories for the same purpose.

Instagram Memes

Instagram memes can be used to build a more personal bond with your audience, illustrate your brand values, or simply inject a bit of personality to your page. Think of them as an inside joke, a way to leverage current events from film and television to politics and everyday life.

  • Use wide-know figures and images (ex. famous movie part)

  • Keep it short and punchy

  • Ensure that the asset is high resolution

  • Research to find out what memes are currently trending

Top tip: It’s a great idea to use a meme post to introduce some humor to your brand but also inform the audience about an interesting fact regarding your business

Instagram Branded Assets

Branded assets can help you create an enticing feed and build a strong brand identity that makes you recognizable and differentiates you from the rest of the social media accounts.

  • Write short copy and be to the point

  • Include enough assets to convey your message

  • Ensure all copy is readable

  • Aim for a great aesthetic result which is on brand

Top tip: you can use a branded asset to showcase a TripAdvisor review or even a client testimonial.

Instagram Pin Posts

It’s a great way to highlight important news or updates related to your brand.

Visit the post you want to pin & Tap the three-dot menu. Tap Pin to your profile.

Top tip: The best way to utilize pins is to pin your top-performing posts that have also generated revenue for your hotel. Or if you run a competition

Instagram Reminder Posts

Now, people who see your Instagram post can choose to receive a reminder for your event.

Top tip: A great way to utilize this feature for a hotel is to create event calendar posts for the upcoming Christmas celebrations happenings

TikTok Marketing what is it good for?

  • Increase and widen your audience base: TikTok is available in over 150 countries so it has a very large audience that you can capitalize on.

  • Marketing that doesn’t look like marketing: Generation Z doesn’t like to be bothered by advertisements, and that is the reason why 51% of them use ad-blockers. Smart marketers find less invasive techniques to quickly grab this audience’s attention.

  • An easy way to build communities: Today users consume maximum content through videos, and thus you should look at your users as a part of a community. Sharing ideas through videos, and invoking the interest of like-minded people is what matters. Though the platform doesn’t have a group element yet, community building is at the heart of this platform, and a formal group feature will be included in it soon.

TikTok Content Trends

TikTok Branded Hashtag Challenge

Among the most popular TikTok trends of 2022 is the branded hashtag challenge. In this challenge, users create their hashtags and ask followers to create TikTok content based on the challenge. This is a highly popular strategy as it can help you to attract a lot of attention and go viral.

Inspo: Marriott Bonvoy was searching for three TikTok experts with a passion for content creation and travel to become their official TikTok correspondents in 2022. They run a TikTok challenge where participants had to use the hashtag #30stays300days and create a TikTok to explain why they should be one of the three Marriott Bonvoy TikTok Correspondents.

Top tip: Use a signature hashtag and challenge people to share their experiences during their stay with you.

TikTok Lip Sync

A simple way to pass a message using an already popular song, movie clip, or television show. Gain a lot of followers by syncing your video to other creators’ audio.

Top tip: Get your team to film one of the latest TikTok lip sync challenges. This will allow you to reach a wide audience and increase your engagement.

TikTok Monthly Trends

My advice to you: always look out for new trends as they keep changing

Inspo: ‘You are enough’ was a viral TikTok trend, where people are appreciating themselves, their loved ones, and their pets. It involves sharing a photo or slideshow of someone’s perceived flaws and insecurities and adding a text overlay of “you’re enough” to let them know they’re loved.

Top tip: If you are a pet-friendly hotel you can use this trend to prompt guests to share their experience with their dog, expressing their love.

Should I use TikTok for my Hotel?

Do you have the budget? Do you have the resources? Have you already built a consistent presence on Instagram & Facebook? If the answer to all the above is yes then great! Just one more thing to consider though… If your venue is targeting anyone above the ages of 16-24-year-old, then probably it’s not worth it investing in TikTok, due to the demographic.

How can I market my hotel on TikTok?

Because it’s video-based, TikTok is ideal for hotels. Short videos showcasing the highlights of your venue and the local area can really grab a user’s attention. Taking your audience behind the scenes is a great way to add authenticity to your content. Who doesn’t love the feeling of being given a sneak peek into things they wouldn’t normally see? Focus on different roles within the hotel, showing how important each department is to make a stay special.

User-generated content (UGC) can be very powerful when it comes to getting the word out about your hotel. You can offer rewards if users share videos with your brand hashtag or participate in challenges. Guest videos make your content feel more authentic and relatable. Additionally, UGC provides more content without having to give more work to your team. It’s the users that drive TikTok, after all, and encouraging guests to make videos of their stay is a great way to promote your hotel.

Who’s going to win the battle? TikTok or Instagram

TikTok emerged as a prominent social media network quickly because of trends, such as dance challenges and lip-syncing videos. However, the data privacy and handling aspect of the company behind TikTok has become a matter of debate in the western world. And if that gets escalated it can quickly become a political issue and that will mean trouble for TikTok.

Bottom line: until this is resolved, it’s highly unlikely TikTok will ever beat Instagram.

Christalena Vraila is the Director of Mr.Highline, an award-winning digital agency, based in London offering digital marketing and software development. The main services provided include social media management, email campaigns, mobile app design & development, and website design & development, and other software projects.


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