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Social media platforms compete with one another to maintain relevancy in a rapidly changing world. The whims and trends of internet fads are difficult to stay on top of, even for top companies like Facebook. That means that it can also be confusing for smaller businesses, like tour and experience companies. That being said, your tour company too should dedicate time and energy to follow social media trends. You want to ensure that you are covering all the necessary bases to reach your target audience on the platforms that they are on. It may feel like a daunting task, but Tourism Tiger is here to help!

At Tourism Tiger, we not only design user-friendly and sales-oriented websites(opens in a new tab), but we also keep you up to date on trends in the tourism industry, including social media! If social media, in general, is a mystery to you and you feel overwhelmed about where to start, we have got you covered with an overview of the platforms(opens in a new tab) which give you an all-encompassing run down of how each may benefit your business. If you are more advanced, read on to hear about one of the latest and most important trends to watch in the world of social media.

In February of this year, we posted an article on TikTok,(opens in a new tab) a new social media platform from the Chinese internet company ByteDance. TikTok has gained major ground with generation Z and has blossomed in the COVID era. When people were forced inside and given more free time, many chose to spend it making short-form videos. TikTok’s range from choreographed dances to the espousing of political beliefs. With millions of downloads and an important cultural presence, your business should at the very least be aware of TikTok.

Introducing Instagram Reels

As they often do, Facebook recently rolled out a copycat response to TikTok in the form of Instagram Reels and this rollout comes at an important moment in the world of social media. In the past couple of months, TikTok has come under fire by United States’ President, Donald Trump, who claims that it poses a cybersecurity threat. With rumors that this popular platform might be banned in the United States, Instagram Reels are an important trend to watch.

There are a few key differences between Instagram Reels and TikTok that you should keep in mind. On Instagram videos, you can film up to 15 seconds in length, while TikTok allows for up to a minute of recording time. On the other hand, Facebook has more extensive, established relationships with the music industry and for that reason, there may be more music available on Instagram Reels than there is with the younger platform, TikTok. Editing capabilities and smart sound sync functions, however, are more advanced on TikTok. This allows users to create higher quality and more entertaining videos in less time. Finally, it might be easier to go viral on TikTok than with an Instagram Reel. On TikTok, the For You feed encourages hours of scrolling through algorithmically recommended content. On Instagram, Reels are published under the explore tab alongside posts and IGTV content, meaning they are more easily lost.

All that being said, if your business already has a Facebook and Instagram following(opens in a new tab), Reels are a way to stay current. You don’t need to sign up for a new platform and grow your list of followers from scratch to stay on-trend. For better or for worse, short-form video content is what users have come to expect and tourism lends itself nicely to the medium. Create videos that highlight the beauty of your location. Show off the knowledge of your guides or transport people to the experience of your tours. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what is the value of a video!?

As you move forward in the world of Instagram Reels, let’s clear up any confusion you might have from the get-go. There are now three different ways to publish video content on Instagram. They are Instagram stories, IGTV or lives, and Instagram Reels. It sounds confusing but each has its own place and understanding the differences between them might just help you better market your business!

Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are Instagram’s response to Snapchat’s stories (a once-popular social media platform that has now been rendered obsolete). These Instagram stories can be photos or videos and last up to 24 hours from when they are posted on your profile. They are great for sharing little pieces of your day to day, from beautiful images to quick snippets of your tours and experiences.

Instagram Lives (IGTV)

Instagram Lives, which are then converted into Instagram Television on your channel, is a longer-form method of sharing knowledge, information, and opinions. This medium of social media communication has also seen a large upsurge during the pandemic. Instagram Lives often feature conversations between two people in different locations or a single presenter. Watchers can comment and like the conversation with the comments scrolling over the screen of the live presentation. This allows presenters to engage with their audience in real-time! If you yourself have something to say about a certain area of your business or you employ extremely knowledgeable individuals, here is your opportunity to highlight that! Reach out to local experts or cultural icons in your community and get a conversation going.

Instagram Reels

Finally, Instagram Reels are short (roughly 15 seconds) paired with audio. Think aesthetics, culture, style! Show off your brand, the beauty of where you operate, and the humor of your guides. Most importantly, be creative.

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