Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement lays a foundation for how Facebook’s News Feed will operate in 2018. The change? Less organic content from businesses, brands, and media and more content that encourages meaningful interactions between users. To a business, this can seem threatening. Will this minimize my Page’s visibility? How will this affect my organic reach? Is there content I should avoid posting altogether? We are going to deep dive into what this means for the hospitality industry and how you can not only adapt, but thrive.
With All These Changes, Is It Worth Continuing to Post on Facebook?
In one word: yes. In a recent Blue Magnet blog post, we noted that Facebook has 38% more monthly active users than YouTube, 158.75% more than Instagram, and a staggering 527.27% more than Twitter. Similar to all digital marketing channels, Facebook is constantly evolving; and keeping up with their updates is a matter of understanding what they have changed and what you can do to keep pace.
The When and Why
Changes to Facebook’s News Feed are already in effect. The announcement came on January 12, 2018, but the new algorithm is still being rolled out. You may have already noticed changes to your feed, like seeing more posts from your friends, family, and groups and less from the Pages you like and/or follow. According to Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s VP of News Feed, “Content that is shared and talked about between friends will grow, and content that is directly consumed from Pages will shrink slightly.” In a recent interview with Wired, Mosseri mentioned several key points:
- You will see more content from friends, family, and groups
- There will be less video
- There will be less content from Pages
- These updates will not affect paid efforts
How Can I Be Sure I Am Still Reaching Potential Guests?
We recently discussed ways to increase engagement across channels, and adhering to the seven tactics mentioned will help to ensure your posts are being seen and that meaningful conversations are happening in the comments. The first step is something you should already be doing while creating content for social: optimizing your content. Always update your link previews and check for errors, poor image quality, correct image size before posting, because if you do not, you will inevitably be called out for it.
Beyond keeping your content optimized, you should also ensure your profile is up-to-date. Did you recently undergo renovations? Your profile picture should reflect this. Another way to invite engagement is to share sneak peeks at renovations or a video of your bartender crafting your latest special cocktail. These examples create intrigue and invite potential guests to check back for updates on renovations or to stop by themselves to taste what is new. Once you have been posting for a while, you will better know your audience, what works, and most importantly, how to engage them.
How to Balance Videos in Your Content
While Facebook plans to decrease video in your News Feed, it will still be valuable. According to Mosseri, “Video is an important part of the ecosystem. It has been consistently growing. But it is more passive in nature. There is less conversation on videos, particularly public videos.” Facebook wants to encourage more interaction and conversations between its users, so while video will still have a place on your News Feed, it will be monitored by the interactions it is receiving and how substantial they are. Therefore, be mindful when posting video content and reply to any comments on the videos you post to encourage those meaningful interactions. Furthermore, focus on taking your photos to the next level while still sprinkling in video consistently.
We highly recommend giving Facebook Live a try as this format will be even more important in 2018. Facebook plans to place a higher value on live video due to its ability to connect people ‘in-the-moment’ and cultivate real-time conversation. We have outlined a detailed guide of Facebook Live and how useful it can be for your hotel.
Incorporate User Generated Content
Posting user generated content is an excellent way to hone in on what Facebook is ultimately trying to do, which is to encourage more stories and connect people together. Your followers are hungry to hear about others’ experiences at your hotel. We have already discussed how crucial storytelling and personal experiences will be on Facebook in 2018. Actively engage with your followers, encourage guest photography, and highlight surrounding businesses and you will start to see more engagement in the form of comments and shares. This is the valuable kind of engagement you want to see and will ultimately position you above your competitors.
Avoid Clickbait, Encourage Meaningful Interaction
Clickbait is everywhere, and as a consumer, it is one of the most loathed aspects of the social space. As a marketer, however, it is difficult to resist the temptation to use flashy callouts. Below, we share an example of a hotel using simple language that fishes for clicks – “book here.”
Your ultimate goal is, of course, to drive potential guests to book; however, in doing so, you can still use enticing language that is relatable and invites an experience. Your posts not only will perform better on Facebook, but also will be valued more highly on Facebook’s updated News Feed. Below is a post Blue Magnet created for a client in Chicago, where the annual St. Patrick’s Day river dyeing sees hundreds of thousands of attendees. Using less ‘clickbait’ like language, this post serves the same purpose as the post above, yet has seen more engagement because we tied it to an experience.
While your language on social media should always be honest and transparent, you should also encourage people to follow your Page in addition to liking it. You should see a follow and a like option on every Facebook homepage.
Facebook’s new algorithm wants to keep users on their platform rather than diverting traffic elsewhere, and by asking for Page follows, you will be adhering to their new system. For example, you could mention in a post that, should potential guests wish to see the latest events and deals for your hotel, they should follow your page on Facebook, and even mark that they wish to see your posts first.
Change, especially in the social space, is usually a good thing, and it is up to us to embrace that change. These adjustments to Facebook’s News Feed will encourage more interaction between past and potential guests of your hotel if you position your content correctly, using our above tactics. Your hotel is at an advantage among consumers to market stories and experiences. After all, that is why people travel – for the experience. To continue to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing social media landscape, look to Blue Magnet Interactive for key tactics and top trends in the digital marketing space!
This post was written by Brianna Bresehars and Phoebe Svoboda.