Is Facebook working for your business – are your posts relevant engaging and, most importantly, driving sales? Tom of Mangoes Marketing suggests that many businesses in the Australian travel industry are not making the most of the world’s favourite social media platform…
You only have to take a walk down any Australian main street to know we are a nation of social media junkies. And, while the likes of Instagram, Google+ and Twitter are popular, Facebook has more users than the other three combined. In the world of social media Facebook is king. According to Dave Cowling of Social Media News, at the start of this year: ‘Facebook has reached 15 million users in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there are now approximately 24 million Australians. This means 62.5% of the total Australian population has a Facebook account.’
Facebook is no longer just for the under 45s. The latest statistics from Facebook suggest that there are over 5 million users over the age of 55. We really are witnessing the ‘rise of the silver surfer’.
Facebook marketing isn’t easy
So it is safe to say that Facebook is here to stay and most companies have identified that they need to be on it. But, to be honest, not a lot of tourism industry businesses are doing it particularly well. I think there is a danger of people thinking Facebook marketing is easy. Because someone uses Facebook every day to follow the news and gossip and share photos they think promoting their business will be just as easy. The temptation is to ‘play around’ with it rather than have a clear Facebook strategy that is integral to your business and marketing plans.
Your Facebook strategy has to be in-line with your branding messages. Sadly, there are plenty of pages filled with dull, error strewn text and ordinary images. Second rate Facebook posts will damage your brand – it’s that simple. Posts have to be
c) there for a reason.
If a post is not all of these things; then don’t bother posting it.
Don’t just post for the sake of it. Social media users are a fickle bunch – if you consistently post uninteresting and poor material you will quickly lose your ‘friends’ and Facebook will stop listing your posts in news feeds. It is even more important to use high quality images – and increasingly video footage. Quality posts will generate far better engagement (likes, clicks, comments). The more engagement you get; the greater your audience and the more Facebook will place your posts in news feeds. The more your posts are seen then the greater the engagement and so on.
Great content and consistency
It is no good having quality content if no one is aware of it. I see pages with regular, potentially engaging posts – some that have been going for years – but they have no more than 50 followers! These page owners spend hours each week creating content but wonder why they are getting nowhere. I feel for them; I really do because they are actually not doing anything wrong – they just need to know how to build an audience. All it takes is some targeted interaction with other pages/users and groups plus a couple of hundred dollars or so on some targeted Facebook post promotion/advertising. They will soon see their audience build and those quality posts will pay off.
As with any marketing communications to get the best out of Facebook – you have to know what you are doing. Just because you drive a car everyday doesn’t mean you know how the engine works – this is the same with Facebook. Either take the time to learn how to manage your page effectively or engage someone who can do it for you. If you don’t you are not making the most of this incredibly powerful communication tool, you are almost certainly losing business and quite possibly you are damaging your brand and hard earned reputation.
About the author
A marketing all-rounder, Tom has over 20 years’ experience in tourism marketing in the UK and Australia. Tom started out in Public Relations; going on to run a full service, marketing agency in London for 10 years. Over the years Tom has adapted and developed – as communication and marketing channels have changed. Today, Tom’s skills range from online and social media marketing to website, magazine and brochure production. Probably his greatest ability is helping companies to recognise their target market and then enabling them to communicate with that market in the most cost effective way.