The TwoSix team is back and ready to share what’s On Our Radar for May so that you can stay ahead of the always-evolving digital marketing landscape. This month the TwoSix team discusses Instagram Updates, LinkedIn Video, Pinterest Summer Travel Trends, and much more! Keep reading to find out what we’re keeping On Our Radar for May 2024.

Instagram is now prioritizing original content and emerging creators over established accounts that re-post the same content in the feed.  In their latest algorithm update – which should be completely rolled out this summer – Instagram is attempting to diversify content and provide more opportunities for creators with engaging and original content to excel on the application. This update aims to give creators more visibility and engagement by boosting their original content in the users’ feeds.  Instagram aims to create a more dynamic feed by focusing on fresh content and creativity on the platform.

This is something to consider when updating your feed in the future, especially if you work with content creators and influencers to promote your tourism business.

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Get ready to take a fresh look at your LinkedIn content strategy for both your Company Page and personal account. It appears that LinkedIn is now in the short-form video content game. Yup, vertical video. Sigh. Soon you’ll see a new “video” tab on LinkedIn that will transport you into a far too familiar vertical video feed like Reels, Shorts, or TikTok. This new Tik-Tok style format is said to provide a fun, fast-hitting way for us all to level up when it comes to the stories we tell on this network. LinkedIn made the move because video is king and it’s how most users prefer to learn and be influenced. It’s no surprise to hear that we’ll soon be presented with an endless stream of vertical video content to inspire us, inform us, and convert business opportunities for us!

It’s important to remember that this isn’t a place for your more off-the-cuff leisure content. You’re going to need an entirely different vibe. LinkedIn wants to focus on professional development, networking, and education. When thinking about content look to themes that can help enhance the personal brand of your team and organization, showcase your work through inspiring testimonials and storytelling, and other attention-getting topics that can help to position you and your organization as an industry thought leader, while differentiating yourself from the crowd. 

Buckle up, folks! LinkedIn could get a whole lot more interesting in the coming months. Do you think you’ll give short-form video on LinkedIn a try once it rolls out to your account? I sure hope so!

On Friday, May 3rd 2024, Instagram released four new interactive “stickers” for Stories (I’m going assume it was a birthday present). For DMOs, “Frames” is probably the easiest to start with and most useful. You can turn a photo into a virtual Polaroid, where followers have to shake their phone to see the image (cue “Hey Ya! by OutKast”). The best part is you can add a caption to the bottom of the photo.

With “Add Yours Music”, you add a song to a Story and then your followers can add their own choice. This is best used with a prompt. In Instagram’s example, they use the prompt “If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life”. It’s almost like a “caption this photo”, but with music. I can see a photo of a sunset and the prompt “What song does this sunset at *insert location* make you think of?” working for a lot of destinations! Boys of Summer, anyone?

The new “Cutouts” sticker is a little more advanced. You can create a sticker and then add it to Stories OR Reels. The last type, “Reveal”, is probably the coolest, but for community managers, it’s a nightmare. You post a hidden story that followers can uncover, but only by sending you a message. I know you wanted more Instagram DMs!

However, like with any new feature, social media platforms are likely to increase the reach of any posts that use them! Go ahead and give them a try. We’d love to see what you come up with!

Google announced at its 2024 NewFronts presentation that it will be integrating conversational AI into audience creation tools. This is a fresh, new avenue for advertisers to explore—AI-driven audience creation is something entirely new to the scene. By leveraging conversational AI, advertisers can now engage with a toolset that’s designed to intuitively understand and target audiences more effectively.

This innovative approach allows for the crafting of more personalized and dynamic advertising strategies. It’s not just about reaching people; it’s about connecting with them in ways that resonate. With these AI tools, Google is offering advertisers the ability to fine-tune their campaigns to an unprecedented degree, making sure that they’re not just reaching eyes, but the right eyes. This leap in digital marketing tools opens up exciting possibilities for creating deeper, more meaningful connections with audiences.

Spring is flying by, summer is right around the corner and it’s time to start planning. People are turning to Pinterest for travel planning in droves. There have been 1 billion travel related searches and over 10 billion travel related saves on Pinterest in one year. This is an audience that destinations should consider tapping into if they have hesitated in the past.

The top travel trends for this year include adventure travel, adventure camping, caving, water park rides, cabin in the mountains, national parks and more. A few also include searches that can bleed over into the fall season with more mysterious searches including haunted places and places on earth that do not feel real.

If you are solidifying your Pinterest summer plans, keep these searches in mind when considering what to promote about your destination and when crafting your pins. Happy Pinning!

Like many, I initially feared the X versus Threads showdown would be the death of both platforms. While that doomsday scenario remains unproven, Threads is showing some promising signs of resilience. Just last month, Meta announced Threads had surpassed 150 million monthly active users, marking a significant 20 million increase since February! Meanwhile, X (formerly Twitter) remains supreme with 250 million daily users, whilst showing nearly no signs of growth. X reported serving the same number of daily users in November 2022, meaning its had little to no expansion over 16 months – a concerning trend, to say the least.

Data from a recent Apptopia report suggest that Threads now serves more daily users in the United States than X, with rumors of a possible ad integration later this year. The introduction of ads could be a pivotal moment for Threads- Rest assured, I’ll keep you informed about all things Threads in the coming months!

Navigating the AI influencer era: How blockchain could safeguard social media integrity

The rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, with tools allowing users to create unique AI videos quickly and easily that look very real. TikTok is even exploring the creation of AI-driven influencers who can perform tasks similar to human influencers. While this innovation empowers creativity and accessibility, it also raises concerns about the authenticity of content and threatens some human creators’ livelihoods. The solution to this problem may lie in blockchain technology, offering verified human digital identities as a safeguard against the proliferation of AI-generated content.

AI influencers, though not entirely new, are becoming more accessible with tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney, enabling anyone to create high-quality content inexpensively. This trend poses risks beyond undermining the credibility of human influencers, potentially enabling bad actors to spread misinformation and manipulate public opinion. Even regulations may struggle to address this issue comprehensively, necessitating practical solutions beyond legal frameworks.

Blockchain technology presents a promising solution by providing a system to verify the original source of content, whether human or AI-generated. This ensures transparency and enables consumers to make informed decisions about the content they engage with on social media platforms. By leveraging blockchain for verifying digital identities, users can distinguish between human and AI-generated content, fostering trust and integrity in online interactions.

Such a system could assign “humanity credentials” to verified human users, while AI-generated profiles would lack this credential. This distinction would allow users to discern between human and AI-generated content, empowering platforms to regulate AI content effectively. Through blockchain-enforced credentials, users could trust the authenticity of verified accounts, ensuring a safer and more trustworthy online environment. This approach, although complex, offers a practical solution to mitigate the impact of AI on social media while safeguarding individual privacy and content integrity. Though no such solution yet exists, it is important to be forward-thinking when it comes to solving these issues as technology continues to advance at an exponential pace.

With the ever-changing digital marketing world, we are here to keep you informed of new digital trends and what we are keeping on our radar for May 2024. Have any questions? Contact us! We’re here to help. 

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