What Facebook’s Latest Algorithm Changes Mean For Hotel Marketing

Tuesday 8th May 2018


Seen a dip in your hotel’s Facebook reach and engagement over the last few months? In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced a big shift in the way Facebook publicises content, giving more weight to updates from family and friends than businesses and the media.

In his official statement posted on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg said:

“Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do –  help us connect with each other”

What prompted the change?

Ahead of this change, Zuckerberg and the rest of the team at Facebook faced widespread criticism, with some suggesting that Facebook facilitated the proliferation of misinformation – in other words, ‘fake news’.

With the rise of ‘fake news’ and use of platforms like Facebook as a political tool throughout 2016/2017, the main takeaway from the 2018 algorithm updates is the emphasis on ‘meaningful social interactions’.

What are “meaningful social interactions”?

According to the latest updates, meaningful social interactions can be defined as Facebook users engaging in conversation with one another. Seems pretty simple in theory, but it is much more nuanced than you may first think.

Some examples of meaningful interactions on Facebook include:

  • Conversations within comments on your posts
  • People tagging others within comments on your posts
  • People sharing your posts and tagging others in them
  • Comments on the shares of your posts – especially those that create conversation

What does this mean for your hotel?

On the top level, it means your organic Facebook posts will be seen by fewer people.

The more cynical hotel marketers may see this as a way for Facebook to increase the need for paid advertising on their platform. But, before you reach into your marketing budgets, here are some ways to generate the meaningful social interactions Zuckerberg is looking for.

The main takeaway from the 2018 algorithm updates is the emphasis on 'meaningful social interactions'.

Focus your content on your guests, not your hotel

For many hoteliers, social media has historically provided a fantastic source of traffic into your website. While this is still possible, it is important to focus more on what your guests want to see than what you need to market.

Next time you schedule a post on Facebook, ask yourself “when I browse through social media, would I engage with this content and why?”

Share articles and information about the local area

It can be all too easy to forget that guests aren’t simply visiting your hotel for the hotel experience. Celebrate the successes of nearby businesses, share articles about local history, and show your guests why the location of your hotel is such a great place to visit.

Sharing information from other sources also shows your guests that others are invested in the same things you are, which is a great way to encourage conversion and conversation.

This can also work really well in keeping your locals (frequent restaurant, bar, and spa guests) engaged in your content.

Share inspiring imagery and quotes about your location

While blogs about the best things to do in your area can be a great way to drive traffic to your website, don’t be afraid to share quick articles from local news outlets, bloggers, and other sources – particularly those with inspiring imagery.

Stock imagery, when paired with catchy, conversational content, can be a fantastic way to leave your guests lusting after a trip to your location. For an extra helping hand, see our previous post about the best websites to find license-free imagery.

Next time you schedule a post on Facebook, ask yourself when I browse through social media, would I engage with this content and why?

Encourage guests to tag their friends and significant others

Before we get into this one, I want to preface it by advising against the standard “tag a mate who…” type of posts. It works well for pages like LadBible who share 10-20 articles a day, but, in the luxury hotel business, things need to be handled a little differently.

Say, for example, your hotel is offering two cocktails for a set price, as in the example above. One of the most effective ways to market this offer and encourage the meaningful interactions Facebook favour is to add content along the lines of: “Who is coming with you?”

The natural reaction will be for guests to tag their friends without you having to ask/tell them.

Invest in a solid social media strategy

Social media strategies are a great way to ensure everyone involved in producing content for and managing your social media accounts is on the same page. Not only will this improve the authenticity and consistency of your brand online, it will enable you to continually follow best practices. These will need to be regularly updated as new algorithms, features, and regulations are brought into play across the platforms you use.

Want a hand with or advice about your social media strategy or management? Get in touch with our team on 01242 682050.