Facebook shows about 20% of the potential 1,500 stories that the average Facebook user could see in their news feed.
The regular eye that quickly glazes over its news feed and skims stories wouldn’t recognize any layout changes on the news feed. However, just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there. The algorithmic changes Facebook implemented to its news feed dramatically impacts everyday users and brands alike.
The days where a brand can grow its consumer reach organically are dwindling. This is a brave new world for how organizations interact with their consumers. And while there’s obviously no sense in giving up on Facebook because of the power it still holds, it is necessary to assimilate to the changing culture.
Over the course of the past year, Facebook has been unveiling a series of algorithm updates, and redesigning the layout to act like a personalized digital newsletter. Similar in structure to Google’s Panda 4.1 algorithm update, where they cleaned up spam and rewarded high quality content. It essentially studies the user’s patterns and adapts the news feed according to what they like and what’s most relevant.
Facebook essentially changed their math and overall mindset for how brands can use the social giant. Organic reach for brands is declining and the expectation is that Facebook will eventually cut organic reach for brand pages down to zero. This is mainly due to the fact that there is so much content being produced daily that it is nearly impossible for any brand to gain exposure.
It used to be a platform for fan acquisition, content reach and engagement whereas now it’s progressing more towards the advertising model of pay for views.
Hotels have to adapt to this new model or risk being pushed off the social media grid completely. Here are some tips on how you can tell a better story for your hotel through Facebook and capture the capability of this revamped medium.
How Can Your Hotel Adjust?
- Look at your Facebook analytics tool and see what posts have been working since the changes have been implemented and adjust accordingly. Post different types of content at various times of the day, analyze what your users are interacting with, and note the time of day you receive most traction. Keep producing quality and informative content that demands attention and motivates people to indulge further.
- Embrace a multi-network strategy. By running cross-network campaigns you can tie Facebook, Twitter and Instagram audiences together and amplify your content using hashtags. You can even take it one step further and enable sharing via email and Pinterest. The Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming created The “Stealth Stache” contest to launch and promote their on-property gastropub “The Handle Bar.” They challenged consumers to capture, share and submit photos of their own Stealth Stache through Pinterest and Facebook for a chance to win a vacation for two to Four Seasons Jackson Hole.
- Share your Facebook link to Google+. Google+ is integrated with Google Search, so it has unbelievable Search Engine Optimization capabilities to help with your page rankings and to index your content. This goes back to revamping your overall SEO strategy to align with the new algorithm implementations.
- Photos and videos tend to perform well on the new format and are more likely to earn a “like” or “share.” This is a great opportunity to showcase your hotel’s story by using images on your Facebook page and really stand out in a news feed. Text-only status updates from pages are shown less and the total number of comments and likes on a post also can impact its visibility.
- DO NOT provide a call to action that come in the form of ‘like us’ or ‘share our page.’ Facebook tends to punish those that try this ‘like-bait’ strategy to gain a broader audience.
- Make your posts timely and relevant, build credibility and trust with your audience. And as a general rule, ask yourself, “Would people share this with their friends or recommend it to others?”
Don’t think for a second that you can trick big player algorithms like Facebook and Google into cheating the system and finding ways to beat their new templates. It is outlined quite clearly what the inevitable future for brands utilizing Facebook will be. Instead of trying to defy these changes, it’s time to just play the game and reap the rewards for doing so.
Learn how your hotel can dramatically benefit from Facebook by checking out our Cheat Sheet: How to Tell a Compelling Hotel Story on Facebook: Cheat Sheet for Hotel Marketers.