The fallout from Marc Zuckerberg's tweet and subsequent email to Facebook advertisers that organic reach for businesses would be dropping is still taking its toll with over $25 billion now wiped off the share price value.
I have been saying for some time that Facebook posts are basically a waste of time and effort for most hotels due to reducing organic reach, and this latest move seems to be the final nail in terms of reaching your Facebook fans without paying.
The problem I have with using Facebook for most hotels is that you are building an audience on a platform with continually eroding reach. That means there is nothing to celebrate if you increase your Facebook likes only to discover the percentage who see your posts is declining.
Those hotels and businesses such as restaurants and cafes for that matter that have gone "all in" on social media like Facebook are facing tougher and tougher times communicating with and getting in front of their audience.
While it is not time to ignore Facebook completely, it may be an area where resources and time can be spent elsewhere or re-purposed.
A far better strategy might be to focus on your email list which you can reliably control and own, and which you can also segment to target specific guest avatars.
What This Change Means For Hotel Brands & Pages
It means that less people will organically see your Facebook posts unless you play to pay and boost them. This change will not however, affect Facebook Ads which can still of course be purchased and allow you to target very specific audiences, with even more granularity than you would with simply your pool of likes.
It might be actually be a bonus for Facebook advertisers who will be competing with less brand posts. The problem for Facebook is that many brands and businesses were using click bait to encourage engagement on their organic posts to get more reach.
So now the only way to get effective reach to your page likes will be to boost a post or start a Facebook advertising campaign. for brands or businesses like hotels.
An interesting comment from Facebook related to how they want to see Facebook move towards more personal engagement rather than just entertainment or information.
Therefore, the takeaway for me at least for hotels would be to consider how you can personalise and humanise your posts more than just entertaining and informing, and try to encourage real engagement through commentary and discussion. Easier said than done!
And as for posting special offers and the latest specials on Facebook, I now see this as really only beneficial for those people who visit your page for the information it contains, rather than doing it with any expectation of reaching your audience on their news feed.
It also makes micro blogging on your website even more appealing, and a valid strategy for most hotels, instead of creating content exclusively for Facebook.