Anyone who uses Facebook as an individual has probably noticed how few of your friends show up in the News Feed, and what a weird assortment of pages appear. And certainly anyone who manages a Facebook page (or 10+, in my case) can tell you that Reach and Engagement is all over the place, to the point that metrics are essentially meaningless. Users and page owners are not FB’s customers; we are the product they sell to big advertisers.
I’ve written about some of the goofy things Facebook has done in the past, but to pretend that I can keep up with them as well as blogs like AllFacebook.com or InsideFacebook.com is folly. Facebook will continue to tweak algorithms and every aspect of their ecosystem until they hit a magic combination that drives their stock price.
However, I can give hotels a quick list of suggestions for Facebook in 2013.
1. Watch your negative feedback. In the fall of 2012, Facebook announced changes to the EdgeRank algorithm. (Here’s an explanation of EdgeRank.) Among other things, they’ve said that negative feedback now plays a greater role in EdgeRank. What this means in English is that the more often your page or a post on your page gets negative feedback – hidden or unliked – the lower your EdgeRank score. And, the lower your EdgeRank score, the less likely it is that your fans will see the content you post. You can find your negative feedback in the Insights section of your Admin panel.
2. Think about calls to action. You’ve probably seen the cheesy posts on Facebook that illustrate this point. A picture of a puppy is posted, and the text reads, “If you don’t click *LIKE* on this picture, we are going to drown this puppy.” OK, maybe they aren’t that extreme, but data shows that including a specific call to action in a Facebook post makes it much more likely to get clicked or commented on. And, as you know, the more action the posts on your page get, the better. Try to include a (non-cheesy) call to action in most of your posts; using the same line in every post will render the call to action null.
3. Build in some kind of conversion method. Despite our greatest hopes from the early days of hotel marketing on Facebook, it’s pretty obvious that no one’s booking guestrooms on social networks. Although you can’t count on Facebook as a booking channel, you can use it to fill up the very top of your sales funnel. Build a custom tab where visitors can sign up for your email marketing list, and link to it in every 10th post or so. This segmented list should be just for social media fans, and you can send them special offers that acknowledge that. Other ideas are to link to products you sell (like your bathrobes) or to create a landing page that allows social media audience to get a discount on meetings business. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that you are probably not going to convert a ton of revenue, but you can get people started in your sales process.
We’ve built a zillion custom tabs for our clients, and the email list has had the best conversion rate. If you’d like help implementing this for your Facebook page, send us a note here.