Vero Social Media App for Hotels: Fresh Air or Toxic Waste?

 In Hotel Marketing

Over the past week, there has been a stunning emergence of controversy around a new up-and-coming social media app, Vero. You may have noticed some unsavory comments about the CEO, or the buzz around how it is difficult to uninstall the app. Whether it’s the guy running the show, or the platform itself, there are some notable issues with the app and how they could affect your hotel. You know something’s up when the company isn’t #1 when you search for it by name. Nevertheless, 10 days ago the app had under 150,000 downloads. Today, that number is about 3 million!

So, there must be some attractive upsides to the Vero social media app that monoliths like Facebook and Instagram may have ignored. It reminds you of the good old days of social media before content algorithms were established. The bottom line is, at this stage, does Vero advance or hinder your hotel’s social media presence?

A Little About Vero

Vero is unique since it:

  • Accepts no advertising
  • Will eventually charge a subscription to users, but remains free today
  • Posts its content chronologically, not in accordance with an algorithm 

Vero is a social network similar to Instagram with an online community of those who can post, like, and comment mainly on photos and videos. One goal of Vero was to recreate a chronological content order, a process Instagram ditched in 2016. Why does chronological order make a difference? You stand to get a broader viewing because the only variable is time. The moment you publish, you are #1 for all of your followers. The main attraction just may be that no algorithm also means no censorship.

Another feature they actively boost is the fact that there are no ads on the platform. This is one of the most significant problems if you’re trying to promote your hotel on Vero. You would have to create content through your account to market your hotel, which is a lot more work than just running repetitive ads. They claim that since the platform is subscription based, there’s no need for companies to pay to advertise.

Having said that, Vero is currently extending its offer of a free subscription after they experienced some technical difficulties. Initially, this offer was only supposed to go to the first million subscribers, yet now they’re closing in on three million subscribers, and they continue to offer free membership. So if you’re looking to sign up for Vero, now would be the time before they end this deal. But read on before you make any hasty decisions…

Vero Social Media App

How Could I Use Vero For My Hotel?

At this point, there aren’t any references that you could draw inspiration from in terms of hotels with Vero accounts. The few that do have accounts are small properties that got onto the Vero bandwagon in the beginning of March to join the hype. Even those only have one post each so far on their sites, and it doesn’t give any insight into how they’re structuring their accounts.

There are, however, prominent celebrities who joined Vero back in 2015. For instance, you could look to Max Joseph for examples of what your account might look like. Granted he’s not trying to promote his hotel through the app, but he is involved with a number of movies and TV shows, and he posts about them on Vero. He mostly posts his personal interests and hobbies. But, this is most of what the app contains right now. Since there aren’t any ads, no one is explicitly trying to promote their business. Here are examples of his profile, and how he personalizes it. He formatted his bio to tie in with his work industry. The content can include a wide assortment ranging from photos, video, movies, and books to external links.

Vero Social Media App

Vero Social Media App

However, if you do want to promote your hotel through the app, I would suggest posting original content and putting a personal flare onto your profile to both blend in with the other users and stand out as an individual hotel. The way to benefit your hotel is to utilize the photos, videos, and external links functions to promote the property.

Why All The Bad Press?

There are multiple reasons why the Vero social media app has recently been under scrutiny for their business model. Most of the rumors revolve around the CEO Ayman Hariri, a 39-year-old billionaire, and son of the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005. The reason all of Ayman’s skeletons suddenly seem to be coming out of the closet now is because it was discovered in late February that Hariri was connected with Saudi Oger, a shuttered construction company with $3.5 billion of debt that failed to pay thousands of workers.

There are also problems with the platform itself, which seem to have developed over the past week after their popularity rose unexpectedly. Though the phrase “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” seems to be applicable here, Vero’s servers can’t handle the sudden increase in users, which is creating problems with uploading content.

Should I Sign-Up For Vero?

At this point, it’s a judgment call. Personally, I wouldn’t subscribe until they’ve worked out all the kinks with the platform. But, keep an eye on it or you may be kicking yourself down the road. You may also want to read what Ayman Hariri has to say about the gossip around him.

I do think this social network has potential. Even though it’s going up against some of the big dogs including Facebook and Instagram, this platform could yet prove to be a unique and viable host for hotel social media. If you want to create organic content for your hotel and get ahead of the game, this may be a solution. If you’re apprehensive in the slightest, you may want to hold off until there’s a more stable foundation of the company. However, if you feel Vero may become useful, you may want to at least reserve a name so that it’s on brand.

Vero is currently at crossroads, and their next actions will determine the future of this start-up.

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