TL;DR: TripAdvisor just launched Travel Feed and we’re giving you the scoop on how to (properly) leverage this innovative platform in your brand’s strategy.
The world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor, launched its long-awaited platform expansion feature, Travel Feed, which Sparkloft had the opportunity to test in beta. Travel Feed allows users to create, discover, share and follow original travel content and experiences from friends, favorite brands, influencers and local experts.
For brands, this means that you can now meaningfully connect with the largest online travel communities in the world. Adopting platforms early is great (bravo! snaps!) but adopting new platforms early and skillfully is what Sparks are made of.
Here are five tips to incorporate TripAdvisor’s Travel Feed into your social strategy to see results:
Tag Locations Thoughtfully
When you tag content, it shows up not only on your profile page, but also the homepage feed and the destination feeds. When adding a location tag, you should choose the Point of Interest (POI) most granular and relevant to your post (e.g., a specific restaurant, landmark, hotel, etc.).
As an example of the feature in action: When you tag the Beverly Hills Hotel it will automatically populate your post in the feeds for the city of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, the state of California and the United States of America. If you were to tag the city, it would not be visible on the hotel page but would be visible on all broader feeds (L.A., California, USA). Because of this, you’ll want to tag the POI as opposed to the destination for the greatest reach.
Share Relevant Links
Any piece of off-TripAdvisor content that lives on your brand’s website — such as articles, blog posts or e-commerce product display pages — is fair game to post.
But we wouldn’t recommend a free-for-all: As with all social media, consider the medium and if the content you’re about to click “share” on is relevant to your audience. The best content to share is that which informs and excites your readers. Share compelling content with eye-catching visual creative about top destinations and you’re going to make waves on TripAdvisor Travel Feed. The feed should become increasingly personalized based on the users’ searches and saved interests so you’ll want to ensure you’re sharing content that appeals to your audience.
Create Detailed Travel Guides
You can create a curated itinerary for travelers to view and follow IRL! This is especially exciting for destinations or convention and visitors bureaus out there. TripAdvisor is made for recommendations and with that comes a level of trust and a sense of community. Since word-of-mouth is oh-so-analog these days this feature is a simple, effective way to share suggestions seamlessly. Build it and they will come (and presumably, come back).
We’ve been playing around with crafting a week in Atlanta: spending time at popular attractions, under-the-radar, holes-in-the-wall or hidden gems and leave tips and tricks like, “Sit at the bar to get the secret menu and order the panko fried avocado” because, fried avocado — amiright?
This is a great opportunity to knowledge share to your advantage. Create an itinerary for a festival goer that allows them to explore an area they would have never seen otherwise or for someone attending a convention who wants to get drinks with their client somewhere locals *actually* go. On the individual user level, anyone who has extended family visiting them could create a plan and share their favorite spots and coordinate with everyone with the click of a mouse or touch of a screen.
Hashtags Foster Discovery
Including relevant hashtags in your post copy will help users discover your content. This could be trip themes like #FamilyVacation or more specific elements, like an activity: #Parasailing. Or the scenery: #Mountains. Users who are considering the type of trip or activity they will pursue will do their research through hashtags (really!). Help them find you by using the most relevant hashtags to your content and crafting compelling, eye-catching content that will stand out in the Travel Feed.
Sponsored Content Already Has Its Place
As with all sponsored content on social media, you must adhere to the platform’s and the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines. As a word of caution, if you compensate an influencer for a trip, for example, they are not able to write a review, but they can post on their own Travel Feed as long as they clearly disclose it to their audience within the caption (similarly to Instagram) with #ad or #sponsored or, within the copy thanking the partner for their hotel stay, for example. These rules also apply to the curated travel guides and link posts that drive users to sponsored content on your website, blog, YouTube channel, etc. in addition to disclosing it in the web content itself.
Social networks often begin as a place for early adopters to connect and create that initial culture. We may see brands adopt slowly, experimenting and deciding their POV before fully embracing the new opportunities the Travel Feed affords them. Down the line we predict monetizing the platform will certainly be on the radar for TripAdvisor.
Not sure how to tackle a new tool? Get in touch with us! But while you’re here, learn more about Social Media’s Impact on the Hospitality Industry.