Facebook’s rulebook is constantly changing, so it’s important for your tourism business to ensure its social media content is actually getting seen.
In a nutshell, organic reach on Facebook is no longer prioritising you the way it used to. The social media mammoth is changing the way we play the game constantly, and what used to be a relatively free and open network is now well and truly pay-to-play. Nowadays, your organic reach is probably only hitting a disappointing 2-10% of your Facebook followers, and based on the travel industry specifically, experts guess it’s at about 29%, but declining rapidly. This change came about when Facebook’s algorithm began to adapt to fill users’ timelines with more ‘relevant’ personalised content, meaning that in order to squeeze your content into the much sought after news feed ‘real estate’, you’re going to have to pay.
Facebook gets absolutely bombarded with content on a daily basis. Back in 2014, a study showed that each day around 1,500 stories are shared on your timeline, but you only see about 100 on average. In the past three years since then social media content has become even more competitive, so it’s pretty safe to assume now that your tourism business’ posts are almost guaranteed not to be seen organically. However, there are ways of leveraging this pay-to-play model, which we are going to outline for you below.
Adapt to the Changes
Basically, the core challenge is finding a way to balance organic and paid elements to maximise your reach and engagement. It’s about finding the sweet spot, where you have well targeted ads that don’t cost a lot yet still ensures your tourism business gets its content where it needs to be- on the news feed of your followers and potential customers. Boosting posts and running ads are the most effective and (relatively) straightforward methods of hiking up your reach and connecting with new audiences in different regions.
Optimize Content to Make it Shareable & Engaging
- Create Awesome Visuals
The Facebook news feed algorithms reward unique, relevant visuals- this type of visually stimulating content is what tends to garner more reactions, comments, and shares. Exciting visuals are the difference between scrolling right past something, and actually stopping to read it, click the link, and engage. The more potential engagement the algorithm sees in your content, the better your tourism business’ reach will be.
- Video Promotions
If a picture says a thousand words, how many does a video say? You can convey so much information in such a short space of time using a video, which is why these days video postings are more effective in terms of engagement and reach than text and photo posts combined. Thanks to all of the content our brains are flooded with everyday, human attention spans are dropping at an unprecedented rate, and therefore fewer and fewer people will maintain the attention needed to read a long article. If you can convey your message in a short, snappy video you will most likely see an increase in engagement on your posts.
Facebook’s live feature, when used wisely, can also be a powerful tool for tourism businesses to employ when looking for new ways to reach your audience. Consider using it to highlight events, or to communicate exciting news updates.
- Create Relevant Content
Simply pushing content out is not enough. For your content to have any value it needs to be relevant to the audience and appeal to their needs and desires. Find a way to create valuable content, for example an educational video or article about a destination your tourism company is involved with. Generally, you can sort your content into one of three categories when defining what your audience wants: educate, entertain, or inspire. Use a variety of mediums at your disposal like videos, slides, photos and text. Alternating styles and mediums can only work in your favour in terms of keeping audiences engaged, because they feel the content they are receiving is fresh, original, and innovative.
- Repost Popular Posts
Identify posts that complement your tourism content, and repost those that have received high levels of engagement and reach. This will acts as a method of capturing the attention of audiences who may not have seen it the first time. If it’s something that garnered a lot of interaction the first time, there’s a good chance you can reap the benefits of some engagement by posting it through your page too.
- Use Organic Audience Targeting
Using Facebook’s Audience Optimization tool can allow your tourism business to direct its specialized content to an audience that is more likely to be interested in it. It can also help you to better understand the interests of people who do see your posts, so you know whether or not your targeting is working, and where to then focus your future efforts.
- Tag Relevant Pages in Appropriate Posts
If the content of your Facebook post mentions or promotes another business, tag the business in the description or narrative of your post. Your post will then pop up on the other business’s page, which is likely to draw their attention and result in a share, increasing the potential audience for your post.
- Call to action (CTA)
Creating a call to action in your post is important because it encourages your audience to achieve a desired action, it improves your conversion rates, and ultimately helps you to reach your tourism business’ goals. Keep it simple! Minimise your ask, and you are far more likely to achieve the desired results.
Prioritize Audience Engagement
It is called social media after all, so socialise! Take every opportunity to engage your audience because that’s part of what keeps them coming back for more. A perfect example of this would be when somebody leaves a comment, recognize that they’re starting a conversation and be sure to respond- let people know they’ve been heard. Acknowledge people who share your posts, hop on over to the shared post and hit one of the reaction buttons to let people know you appreciate their share.
Consider Using Multiple Platforms
Aside from Facebook, tourism businesses can benefit hugely from mastering these other social media platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram.
Using a mix of different social media platforms can be extremely advantageous, in that it allows you to spread your messages to ensure your tourism content reaches its target audience. Do consider modifying your content slightly and tailoring it for whatever specific social media channel you are planning to output on.