Flywheel News | August 2023 Hotel Digital Marketing News | GCommerce

  1. Google Sending Out Alerts Re: UA Data Processing

Months after what was expected to be the official deadline of when Google UA would top processing data, account owners are getting alerts that their UA accounts have officially stopped processing new data. Have you noticed this in your Google UA accounts yet?

  1. TikTok Officially Announces Search Ads

According to TikTok, 58% of users discover new brands or products on the platform. Now, advertisers can capitalize on this even more with the introduction of the search ads toggle. This feature is automatically enabled with the creation of an in-feed campaign but can be disabled if desired. Learn more about this new feature and where it appears on the platform here.

  1. Instagram Launches Multi-Advertiser Placements, to the Display of Advertisers (And Users)

If you’ve scrolled through Instagram recently, you’ve probably noticed a new cluster of 4 ads lumped together in what is officially called the Multi-Advertiser placement. Although CPMs with this placement might be less expensive, the fear is that users will quickly start skipping over them, and they’ll provide little value to advertisers. Learn more about this new feature and how to opt out here.   

  1. Metasearch Products for Any Property in Any Market

As metasearch continues to expand into one of your most important channels for direct revenue, it’s essential to understand your choices in terms of pricing models. Metadesk offers a variety of products and pricing models designed to fit any property’s unique situation and market conditions. Learn more here.

  1. Google Business Profile Rolling Out Social Links 

Up until now, companies haven’t been able to manage or edit social links shown in Google Business Profile listings. Google is now adding this functionality as an attribute in Google Business Profiles, and it’s rolling out now. Learn more.

  1. Learn Why GA4 Data Might Not Be Matching Up in Different Reporting

A common question and source of confusion that GA4 presents is when data doesn’t quite add up the same when drilling down into different areas of the UI or even with the API data from the platform. We found this blog to offer a lot of great common reasons why you’re seeing different metric counts when viewing the data in different areas of the UI.

  1. Google Announces Changes to Visibility of HowTo and FAQ Markup

Google has announced changes to HowTo and FAQ markup visibility in the SERP. FAQ will only be shown for well-known government and health workshops while HowTo will only be shown for desktop users. This could significantly impact sites, including travel-related ones, that have capitalized on FAQ-rich snippet visibility over the years. Learn more about these changes here.

  1. Google Search Generative Experience OFFICIALLY Rolling Out Links to Sources

This is a big, long-awaited change for SEOs and search marketers. Up until now, Google’s Search Generative experience has failed to feature links to sources and drive well-deserved traffic to the source sites. As of August 30th, when you see an arrow next to information in the experience, you can click it to see relevant sources and easily visit those pages. Learn more here.

[E-Book]Email Marketing Strategy Recommendations


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Flywheel News | July 2023 Hotel Digital Marketing News | GCommerce

  1. Some Google Universal Analytics Accounts Still Processing Data

Even though Google claimed all UA accounts would stop processing data on June 30th, 2023, we've found that most accounts still show data flowing. The current notice that appears when accessing accounts states that the account will "stop processing data very soon". It appears that the end of data in UA is more of a rollout than a hard cut-off date for all accounts.

  1. Twitter Rebrands to X

The bluebird is gone. Elon Musk has rebranded Twitter to X and states it's "more than just a name change" but a plan to recreate it into an "everything app". Will this hurt or help the platform's success? Read more here.

  1. Meta’s Threads (Twitter Competitor) Launches July 5th 

Are you among the more than 100 million people who signed up for Threads? Learn all about this new social media Twitter (X) competitor in this in-depth blog from our in-house social media experts.

  1. Tips for Finding Your Hotel’s Target Audience 

How do you know where to advertise or what to message if you don't first identify the best target audience for your hotel? In this insightful blog post, journey through finding your hotel's target audience.

  1. TikTok launches text posts 

A content format previously unavailable to brands is now live on TikTok. Brands can now share text posts on the social media platform. Learn more about new features for text posts, such as stickers, tags, sound, and more, here.

  1. Uncover Metasearch Bid Modifications You Should Be Using 

Did you know you can set bid modifications on segments such as length of stay, days to arrival, and more within your Google Hotel Ads? Learn more about these bid modifiers and how to apply them to your hotel's Google Hotel Ads campaigns.

  1. Instagram Updates Reels

Instagram is launching updates for Reels with the added bonus that Instagram Reels will now also be served on Facebook to offer more reach than ever for these video placements. Learn more here

  1. Should You Use Google Paid Search Ads for Your Restaurant? 

There are many different ad placement and campaign options available to advertise your restaurant. Should Google paid search ads be at the top of your list? Read more in this Paid search ads test for restaurants.

Hotel Metasearch Bid Modifications You Should Be Making


As the online travel industry grows, so does the need for metasearch optimization tools. Search engines have become increasingly complex, and there are now more players in the market than ever before. As such, you may find yourself faced with a new challenge: how to optimize your metasearch campaigns in an increasingly competitive landscape. Although we cannot bid on specific dates, there are many ways to update and customize your bids for prime optimization.

In-Market Audiences

In-Market Audiences are a useful bid modifier that can be used to target people who are looking to travel soon. This bid modifier could be combined with other modifiers, like device targeting, to get even more granular with your audience targeting.

In-Market Audiences also allows you to target people who have already shown interest in travel plans so that you’re not paying for impressions that are less likely to result in conversions.

OTA Bid Modifiers

OTA bid modifiers are a way to increase or decrease your bid on a particular site like TripAdvisor, Google Hotel Ads, Trivago, etc.. This can be useful for ensuring the highest visibility on the channels that are most likely to convert for your brand. Alternatively, you can decrease the amount you’re willing to bid (or not bid at all) on channels that have a track record of lower performance. Travel metasearch optimization is all about getting the most bang for your buck while still maintaining your presence throughout the customer journey. 

Check-in Day Modifiers

Since hotels are not able to bid on specific check-in dates, the next best way to fill need periods is by adjusting your bids for particular check-in days of the week. Have strong weekend occupancy but are somewhat soft in mid-week? Increase your bids for check-ins Monday through Thursday and decrease bids for Friday through Sunday. This will allow you to be present for more searches where you need the bookings and avoid spending unnecessarily when you’re already full.

Hotel Metasearch Management Best Practices

There are some basic best practices that should be followed when managing a metasearch campaign:

  • Optimize your campaigns. There's a lot of room for improvement in terms of how many impressions each campaign is getting compared to others in the network, as well as where those impressions are being served (geographically).
  • Use in-market audiences. These are audience segments based on consumers who have recently searched for products similar to yours, so they're more likely than non-qualified searchers who didn't find what they were looking for before coming across yours on the next page down (or wherever else!). This can help get better results at lower CPCs because people have already shown an interest in what you offer by searching for travel or hotels. This means there's less risk involved since they've already expressed their intention towards booking travel previously in their research.
  • Adjust your bids for Check-in day, Length of stay, and/or Days to arrival. If you’re looking to encourage bookings for specific periods, the easiest way to have an impact is by increasing your bids for these variables. 
There are many ways to update and customize your metasearch bid for prime optimization. 
Although we cannot bid on specific dates, we can utilize in-market audiences and other bid adjustments to ensure the highest visibility with guests that are the most likely to book. It’s important to own the space for searches with the highest value to your business.

We hope this article has helped you understand how to better optimize your metasearch bid. There are a few more tips we didn’t mention here, but if you would like to learn more about optimizing your metasearch bids, then please contact us at

How To Find Your Hotel’s Target Audience


It can be challenging to determine who you should market to in order to have the most success. It's essential to understand the demographics of the guests who visit your hotel, the location and amenities you offer, the experiences you provide, and the local scene where your hotel is situated. All of these factors can contribute to identifying your target audience and the best ways to message to them. In this article, we will share some tips on finding your hotel's target audience and advertising to the right customers effectively.

  1. Start With Your Hotel's Current Guests

What kind of demographics stay at your hotel? Young or older people? Families? Is your hotel budget-friendly or more upscale? Where is it located? Does the location have any unique attractions? These are some questions to ask yourself to identify your hotel's target audience. When creating ads, you can leverage the local attractions and activities to make your hotel more appealing to these potential vacationers. 

  1. Utilize Facebook's Detailed Targeting Feature

Facebook has a feature within the Ads Manager called detailed targeting. Here you can add demographics of the kind of people you want to stay at your hotel. This can include activities, travel preferences, hobbies, interests, demographics, and behaviors. There are many options to choose from that can help you target people that would have an interest in staying at your hotel. 

Another platform with a similar feature is DV360's affinity audiences and in-market audiences. Affinity audiences are based on people's interests and behaviors. In-Market audiences, on the other hand, are those who are close to making a purchase. They are actively comparing products or services within a specific category to make a final decision. These are great audiences to test to find the right customer for your hotel based on their purchasing behavior and interests. 

Pro Tip: What are common activities that are done in your location? Are you by the beach? You can use detailed targeting for activities like snorkeling, boating, kayaking, etc. 

  1. Incorporate Adara Audiences

Adara Travel Audiences are a great way to find your customers. The audiences are created using search, purchase, and loyalty data directly from top travel brands such as airlines, hotels, and rental car companies. You can also use demographic and behavior data within the platform. These audiences are great in helping you boost engagement and drive growth. Adara is also great at getting a real niche with your brand, whether you are luxury, adventure, or budget-friendly. These audiences are suitable for every hotel.

  1. Use Geo-targeting

The geography feature is a great tool to use to really narrow down your audience. Where are you located? Where do visitors come from? You can also use surrounding cities as target geographic areas. The geographic targeting feature allows you to narrow down even further with a radius of 10-50 miles and the ability to use zip codes. Test out different areas and see where the most engagement comes from, or utilize Google Analytics to find the top feeder markets for your current guests. Many people enjoy staycations, and that could be worth testing with a local radius geographic audience.

  1. Identify Local Experiences For Your Customers

Many people look for a hotel that is close to local attractions, the downtown area, or other well-known destinations. What is something special your hotel can offer? Is your area known for something unique? You can use these to your advantage when narrowing down your target audience. Knowing what kinds of people enjoy these activities can help you find the right people that will stay at your hotel and have a great experience. 

  1. Focus On Interests Specific To Your Hotel's On-Site Amenities

Does your hotel have any exceptional amenities that customers gravitate towards? It could be a restaurant with delicious cuisine, a rooftop bar with specialty drinks, or a spa featuring massages or facials. Many people do staycations that would benefit from these hotel amenities. Amenities are a great way to find new customers with a specific hotel experience or just for a quick getaway. 

Understanding your target audience is vital to ensure the success of your hotel's marketing campaigns. By knowing your current customer base, utilizing detailed targeting, Adara audiences, geos, vacation experiences, and on-site amenities, you can effectively advertise to the right customers. Remember to continuously analyze and adjust your strategies to ensure that you reach the right audience and provide them with the best experience possible. 

These tips will help you find and target your hotel's ideal audience and, ultimately, drive growth for your hotel business. Reach out to us today to learn more about finding your audience!

Instagram’s Twitter Challenger ‘Threads’ Has Landed


Last month, we wrote about a new social media platform Meta’s Instagram was working on – a Twitter competitor called “Threads”. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen more announcements around the new social media platform, and as of yesterday, it’s available to the public.

Threads is Meta’s newest product launch under the umbrella of the Instagram brand. It’s a text-based conversation app competing with Twitter and its slew of competitors that have come out since Elon Musk took over Twitter last year. With Meta’s Facebook and Instagram losing out to TikTok on time spent on social media, the company has been looking for ways to remain relevant.

What Is Threads?

Meta has described Threads as a text-based app for conversations where you can talk directly with your audience & peers. Like Instagram, photos and videos can be shared, but unlike Instagram, text-only posts are also possible on the platform. The social platform is deeply integrated with Instagram - you’ll log into the new app using your Instagram login information and keep the same username between apps. Users can also follow all the accounts they follow on Instagram with one tap, allowing you to build an audience quickly.

With an emphasis on real-time moments, this new app breaks from the curated feeling of Instagram Stories and the Instagram Feed. This change allows brands to more authentically connect with their local communities and potential customers without the need to fit a heavily-curated feed aesthetic.

A New Era For Content Creation

With heavily curated content calendars acting as an essential part of organic social media for years, we think this social media platform will shine best for those who use it for timely property updates and organic interactions with communities, customers, and creators. 

While many of these property updates and interactions have long lived hidden beneath Instagram comments & soon-disappearing stories, a streamlined text-based feed allows people interested in your property to see everything that has been going on recently on property, questions and answers from other prospective travelers, and other local businesses you’re interacting with. All three of these give customers a clearer picture of your engagement with customers, the brand’s voice, and your hotel’s authority on things to do wherever your hotel is located. 

Sharing UGC will also take on a new life in this new social media platform. While before, we were only able to share stories that mentioned us on Instagram, on Threads, hotels will be able to share content that they are not mentioned in including posts about them and posts that their customers may be interested in. This is a great opportunity to share other company’s content to keep your brand top-of-mind while establishing yourself as a knowledge base for the area. Establishing yourself as a company who shares other’s content in the area could also incentivize them to share your content back, expanding your reach. 

How Can My Hotel Be Successful On Threads?

At launch, Threads doesn’t use hashtags or trending topics, removing some of the main discoverability tools on its main competitor, Twitter. The main methods of discoverability right now are through connecting with other users, users you’re already connected with on Instagram, and of course, an algorithm. At launch, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, says that there is an algorithm that ‘lightly’ ranks posts. They’re also looking to highlight recommendations from accounts you don’t follow in your Threads timeline.

Hashtags, improved search, and trending topics all seem to be on the way, with Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram responding to a user asking about hashtag search saying “Yeah, lots of basics like that still missing”. 

Advertising on Threads

At this time, there are no paid ads on the new social media platform, a nice refresher from the ad filled social media platforms we’re used to. However, Mark Zuckerberg had this to say about ads on the platform: “Our approach will be the same as all our other products: make the product work well first, then see if we can get it on a clear path to 1 billion people, and only then think about monetization at that point.”

With 10 million users on Threads in the first 7 hours, Meta is well on its way to that point, but it may be a while before we see ads. In the meantime, the data collected from Threads may inform what ads you get served on other Meta platforms like Instagram and Facebook: “We will use your Threads and Instagram information to personalize ads and other experiences across Threads and Instagram”.

What Happened To Threads Being Part Of The Decentralized Social Media Universe?

It’s true - the first reports on Threads earlier this year teased that it would be built on the ActivityPub platform. The ActivityPub platform is a standard that allows posts from one social media platform to be viewed and interacted with across a whole host of other platforms including Mastodon and PixelFed, similar to how you can interact with emails no matter where they came from.

At launch, this feature hasn’t been fully fleshed out in Threads, closing the social media platform off. However, this does seem to still be in the works and is something to look forward to in the future: 

How Can You Get Started on Threads?

You can get started with threads by visiting or downloading the app on the App Store or Google Play Store and logging in via your Instagram account. 

Take a look around the new social media platform and introduce yourself. This is a great time to share some of your most successful Instagram posts to start building account history, along with sharing some new content so that your profile visitors have something to look at and know what kind of content they’ll be seeing going forward. Share your top recommendation for travelers in your area, a photo from a great spot to eat, and start interacting with those who are in your area! 

With a brand new social media platform here, we’ll be keeping an eye on any changes and updates we see – we’re sure there will be a lot of them. GCommerce will be hosting a webinar on getting started with Threads on August  17th, 2023 at 11AM MST. You can sign up to join the webinar here.