As a hotel or restaurant owner you may be aware that Facebook is in the process of rolling out big changes for business pages this month. Since Facebook has been a great marketing resource in the past for the hospitality industry, we wanted to help shed some light on the upcoming changes.
Beginning this month, if Facebook deems your business posts too “promotional”, they will not be served up to your fans’ News Feeds unless you pay. That’s right Facebook is now officially Pay to Play!
Surprising? Not really.
As Facebook continues to look for ways to generate additional revenue, we can expect more of this type of “User Experience Improvement.”
Regardless, here are a few things to consider for your 2015 Social Media marketing plans in light of the changes. Remember these are specific to organic or “free” outreach. (A future post will address changes to paid Facebook outreach).
1. Choose Photos over Marketing Graphics: Anything that looks or sounds too promotional or marketing may get nixed. Instead of paying your graphic designer to make a slick looking image of “Today’s Food Special – Try Our Burger for 20% off.”… take a photo of that tasty burger and share the ingredients or recipe.
2. Be a Resource, not a Marketer: This has been the advice of social media experts for nearly a decade, but now Facebook is forcing the issue. Consider how can you help your customers through your Facebook page instead of what marketing messages can you push.
3. Focus on Retention Instead of Acquisition: Look at Facebook as a way to solicit and share information with your existing fans instead of focusing so much on new client acquisition. A dramatic shift for many owners, this is actually a great retention strategy.
4. Diversify: If Facebook has been your go-to platform for customer acquisition and awareness, now would be a great time to invest in other social media platforms and tools like your blog and email outreach. In addition to more changes for Facebook, we anticipate other social media platforms will actively explore their own “pay to play” models as everyone looks to monetize their platforms.
2015 will be a year of big changes for social media marketing, but they don’t have to catch you and your restaurant or hotel off guard. We are available to help align your business goals and existing efforts with the changes to ensure the time you invest in marketing isn’t wasted.
Additionally, we will continue to provide specific updates for our industry as we see more clearly how Facebook is enforcing these changes throughout the first quarter of 2015.
See Facebook’s full explanation on 2015 changes to News Feeds here: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/update-to-facebook-news-feed