What Do the Changes to the Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm Mean to Your Tourism Business?

How many articles have you read since the latest Facebook Newsfeed algorithm change was announced on 11 January? I have read heaps of them, they all say the same thing, literally! So here is my take on why this latest Facebook change could be the biggest opportunity for tourism businesses.

1. Social Media & Tourism, A Match Made in Heaven

Have you ever met a person who doesn’t like talking about their latest holiday? Remember the days when you had to sit through your family and friends holiday snaps. Never underestimate the “boastable” value of travel experiences.

Just think about it, who posts awful photos on Facebook? No one, we are all busy trying to make our lives look perfect!

Here is your first opportunity – set up some Google Alerts for your Business Name, Tourism Area, Town or whatever else you like. Each time someone talks about one of the subjects you have set up you will get an email alerting you to the information. Hop on to Facebook and add a personal comment on the persons post.

2. Fewer Competitors for Your Facebook Audience

There are a ‘gazillion’ tourism operators out there with Facebook pages. Not all of them put the same level of priority on their social media as others, there are a lot of mediocre Facebook pages out there! With the new Facebook algorithm, the tourism operators that provide low quality, unhelpful and promotional content will become invisible.

Here is my second gem – get your content strategy in order. Hundreds of tourism operators are about to become invisible on Facebook. Fill that gap by ensuring that you are posting high quality, helpful and non-promotional content. Focus on quality visual content, tell a story and keep it personal – Facebook is all about person to person interaction.

3. Convert Facebook Fans on to Your Email Database

I hear tourism operators all the time talking about the number of fans they have on their Facebook pages. I even get people asking me to get them x number of fans in a certain time frame. Sure, I can do that, but what value are fans to your business?

No matter what social media platform you are on, no matter how many likes or followers you may have they will never be as valuable to you as a subscriber on your own email database. Why, because they trusted you enough to give you their email address and people buy from people they like, know and trust!

This algorithm change is a great opportunity for you to get your fans from Facebook on to your own email database that you have control over.

The most effective way I have found of doing this for a tourism operator is to run a competition where you collect your fans email address on their entry. When you announce your competition on Facebook boost the post and target your ideal clients to collect even more data.

Once you have the email information you will be able to connect with your clients on your own terms.

4. It’s Not About You!

That’s right it is not about you! You must change your content so that it answers your potential customers or follower’s basic need of “what’s in it for me”! One of the sure-fire ways of dampening your fans enthusiasm for your brand is to talk about yourself! Users will ignore you unless you think more about them.

Before I start working on any social media strategy for my clients I always take the time to build a client avatar of their ideal client. I name them, described them, I know where they live, what jobs they have, how much they earn, how many children they have, what their interests are, and most importantly what they want! This gives me a way to connect to potential customers and when I write blogs or social media posts I talk directly to my client avatars.

Considering the new Facebook changes this is more important than ever – this is all about connecting with people on a personal level. Take the time to build your client avatar and keep them in mind every time you post so that you are delivering value to them.

5. Quality over Quantity

We have been obsessed with the optimum number of posts we should put on Facebook in a day or week. We must now change our focus on to the quality of our posts rather than the quantity.

One highly useful and engaging post that is commented on and shared will have much more visibility on Facebook with the new algorithm than 10 mediocre posts.

There is a lot of panic out there about the latest Facebook change but let’s face it change on Facebook is a given. Business pages that are overly promotional and don’t deliver value should panic, they will become invisible unless they pay for ads. I truly believe this is a golden opportunity for good, customer focused operators who deliver an exceptional client experience to surge ahead of the crowd.