Ephemeral Content: A Hotelier’s Guide to the Newest Social Media Trend

Ephemeral Content

Look out social media marketers, there’s a new buzzword in town. Ephemeral content is the latest medium to dominate the internet, and despite what the name might suggest, this trend is showing no signs of disappearing soon. It has captured the attention of consumers around the world and that makes it a medium worth your consideration.

New to the concept? Here’s a quick overview to get you up to speed:

What it is

Ephemeral content refers to photos and videos that are only accessible for a short time period. In addition to Snapchat, which pioneered the disappearing content, this form of media is also gaining popularity on Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp.  In fact, Instagram stories are used by more than 500 million people every day.

Why it works

FOMO >> Photos and videos that vanish after a specific period take advantage of a powerful psychological phenomenon: the fear of missing out. Because content is fleeting, viewers have to act fast; there’s a sense of urgency to see, respond to, and send content while it’s still accessible.

Authenticity >> The fact that ephemeral content is, well, ephemeral, takes off the pressure to post highly produced content. Videos and photos don’t need to be high-quality or high concept.  The medium is made for spontaneous and informal posts, allowing businesses to showcase their human side and build a stronger relationship with their audience.

Low stakes >> What’s great about short-lived content is that it doesn’t stick around and clog up your main profile. You don’t need to worry about how your Instagram stories will impact the feel and layout of your permanent feed, which means you can be creative and spontaneous with your posts.

What to post

Daily updates/offerings >> Your ephemeral feeds, which typically last 24 hours, are the perfect place to post daily updates and reminders. If you have an on-site restaurant or bar, snap a quick photo of the daily specials with an invitation message to come down for a bite. And when you have any special deals or events, announce it on your ephemeral feed.

Special moments >> Take advantage of the room for spontaneity. When a special moment arises at your property – whether it’s a particularly beautiful sunset, a wildlife spotting, or a celebration for a staff member’s birthday – shoot a quick video to share it with your followers. They’ll appreciate being included in the moment.

User-generated content (UGC) >> When guests tag your property in their own ephemeral posts, you’re given the option to add that post to your own story. Take it. There is nothing better for social proof than UGC. When your followers see authentic content of real guests enjoying your hotel, they’ll have no doubts about the legitimacy of your own promotional content.

Tips for success

Use the extras >> Don’t just post a photo or video as is. The story feeds on social media platforms have several features that you can use to elevate your content. You can add filters, overlay text, post polls, adorn images and videos with stickers, and even add tags that users can click to make purchases. And be sure to take advantage of the “swipe up” feature which brings users directly to your website when they swipe up on a story.

Promote your story >> Boosting your story will help your content reach more potential customers. You should use this option when you have a particularly enticing post, like a special offer or details about an exciting event.

As a marketer, it may seem counterintuitive to spend time and energy on content that disappears so quickly, but don’t let that scare you away. Ephemeral content is taking over the social media space and monopolizing the attention of consumers today. It’s time to embrace this medium so you can continue reaching and engaging with new guests. Good luck!