Looking at your Facebook reach figures can be a bit like looking at the scales after your annual holiday… pretty depressing.
Surely those numbers can’t be right? Surely the machine is broken?
Nope. Sadly they speak the truth.
I can’t speak for your bathroom scales, but Facebook organic reach is lower than it has ever been, averaging anything from 2% to 6% (if you’re lucky) so most of the content you slave over for hours gets missed by the majority of people who have liked your page.
So is Facebook a waste of time?
Of course not.
It’s still the world’s biggest social network – not just because it has over 1.6 billion users but because most of those users log in every day – most of them scroll through their newsfeed, ‘like’ updates and publish their own posts for over 40 minutes a day.
So although Facebook organic reach is low, there are other ways to connect with those billions of engaged users….
Facebook advertising is one of the most powerful tools available right now to reach the right people with your marketing message so let’s look at how this can work in practice.
If you offer holiday accommodation, you’ll be familiar with the frustration of having empty rooms – such a wasted opportunity.
Facebook advertising is a highly effective way to get your last minute offer in front of the people most likely to book with you.
For this type of Facebook advert to work, you need to know your audience – what age are the people who book with you? What are they interested in? Which area of the country do they live in?
All this detail can help when you’re choosing who to target.
Once you’ve chosen your audience, you can create a tempting last minute break ad with a clear message – book now and save.
This campaign only needs to run for a few days but it could generate a lot of additional income for your holiday business.
People come on holiday for all sorts of reasons – some like to explore the local area, others want to relax, try local foods or experience new things. This is where your holiday business can stand out.
As well as offering just holiday accommodation, what extras do you offer for guests?
Perhaps you could partner with another local business to offer cookery classes to your guests. Or speak to a local spa and offer a luxury pamper day as part of their holiday.
Launch your new service with a Facebook advert that shows off all the benefits that guests will enjoy – a video ad would work perfectly for this type of message.
Love it or hate it, TripAdvisor shows us the power of testimonials – a glowing endorsement by a previous guest could be the difference between securing a booking and losing a potential guest to a competitor.
Build the reputation of your holiday business by running a video ad featuring a delighted guest sharing their experience.
Ask questions that invite your guest to share the best memories from their holiday, including where they visited, what they did, who they shared it with and what they enjoyed the most.
Many accommodation providers in my local area run events through the peak Summer season – family fun days, festivals, craft fairs, and themed breaks are all regular events designed to attract the crowds.
Create a slideshow in your Facebook advertising dashboard to show off a collection of photos from last year’s event to catch your audience’s attention.
When booking a holiday, families are looking for things to do – whatever the weather – so your event ad could provide the incentive to book that they needed.
Video is huge on social media right now – no more so than on Facebook, where live video is easily seeing ten times the organic reach of other types of posts.
When you’re marketing your holidays on Facebook, you’re selling a dream – the dream of perfect weather, beautiful scenery, happy families and magical memories to be treasured.
The easiest way to paint that picture of holiday happiness is through film. Show your audience what they could be missing by creating a video that captures the local area, the beaches, the luxury of the accommodation and the atmosphere.
Video advertising is as big now as it’s ever been, so take advantage before the algorithm changes again!
One of the most powerful features of Facebook advertising is the ability to retarget.
Have you ever visited a website, viewed a product, and then seen an ad for that exact same product every time you visit Facebook for days to come? This is retargeting in action.
By placing a small piece of code on your website, you can ‘tag’ anyone who visits your site, so you can then show them a specific ad based on what they were viewing on your website.
For instance, if you have a web page that promotes October half-term breaks, you could show an ad promoting an October half-term holiday to all people who visited this page within the last month.
You already know they are interested in what you’re offering, so keep them interested by maintaining a presence in their Facebook newsfeed and reminding them to book now.
If I relied entirely on Facebook organic reach for my business, I would be in trouble.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest change all the time, introducing new features and updating the algorithm which affects what users see when they log in.
This constant march of change can be unsettling, but if you’re using social media to move people into your email list, you’re less dependent on the individual platforms for your web traffic and bookings.
Instead, you have your own list which you control.
Run a lead ad on Facebook to build a list of email subscribers – you can nurture this list by sending regular emails packed with holiday inspiration and special offers.
Even if Facebook shut down tomorrow, you’d still have your valuable database of email subscribers who have opted to receive information and deals from you.
So although Facebook organic reach might be lower than the average Summer temperature in the UK, there are still plenty of opportunities to connect with the huge engaged audience using the platform every day.
Are you inspired to try Facebook advertising for your tourism business? Join the waitlist to get notification when the course next opens.