Resorts, inns and hotels that use Facebook- I have a question for you? Have you noticed a drop in your Facebook interactions lately? It is getting more and more difficult to get seen in social media and in the searches for free. Why would that be, you ask? Facebook has again changed what they display in the feeds of their users, now showing only about 20% of the potential 1500 stories potentially available to Facebook users.
As Facebook steps up their efforts to monetize (aka make more money), opportunities for organic (free) exposure are scarce. It is becoming vital that lodging professionals understand and take the steps that more fully engage your audiences and appease the Facebook algorithms. Sounds a bit ominous, doesn’t it?
Here’s the latest steps on what you can do –and some you shouldn’t do.
1- Tell your story well. Be sure that your online presence is complete and accurate.
2- Create posts that are interesting and relevant to your lodging property. They should be based on things your guests would be interested in seeing. Ask yourself if your audience (past and potential guests) would like to see it and hopefully share with others?
3- Watch your Facebook Insights page. Track what type of posts have been working well, are getting lots of likes, shares, views, etc. and repeat. Note the time of day your users are engaging with your page.
4- Make your Facebook posts count by sharing exclusive content users won’t find anywhere else. Publicize flash sales, special discounts, contests, etc.
5- Here’s where it gets a little tricky… Run a campaign that crosses over a few of your best channels. Create a campaign (think- online game or promotion) that has various features of the campaign using several networks. For example- A brand-based treasure hunt requiring a user to find a post in Facebook, a certain tweet in Twitter and a photo on your Pinterest page or Instragram would engage your audience and be hit with the Facebook behind-the-scenes wizards.
6- Get comfortable and strategic on using hashtags across all networks.
7-Use more photos and videos. One of the most popular mediums online is the use of photos. Hoteliers are lucky that they have the opportunity to visually present their properties with imagery. Take advantage of this, it’s your secret to success.
8- Link your social media channels as often as you can. Share your Google+ link on Facebook and vice versa. Doing this will increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ability. Do what you can to bring all of those channels back to your website, where potential guests will browse your website and hopefully book a reservation.
9- Ask your guests to ‘like’ your Facebook Page when they are at your hotel, via an email promotion or other ‘non-Facebook’ methods where their all powerful algorithms cannot see you (yes, it’s still possible).
10- Never spam. What is spam for Facebook anyway, you ask? Facebook considers any ‘direct call to action’ spam. For example, Facebook posts that say ‘like us’ or ‘share our page’ are considered spammy.
As Facebook is probably the best avenue for connecting online with your past and potential guests, it is still important to maintain a daily presence on the network. BUT it’s time to step up your game. Be sure to create value, represent your brand well and engage with your guests!