Tourism Tribe expert Caolan O’Connors 6 takeaways regarding Facebook’s most recent announcement.

Recently the Tourism Tribe hosted a webinar to discuss the recent announcement made by Facebook. Caolan O'Connor one of the Tourism Tribe experts sat in on the webinar and provided this excellent summation. With his permission we are providing this information to a wider audience, so they may benefit from his wisdom.

Recently the Tourism Tribe hosted a webinar to discuss the recent announcement made by Facebook. Caolan O’Connor one of the Tourism Tribe experts sat in on the webinar and provided this excellent summation. With his permission we are providing this information to a wider audience, so they may benefit from his wisdom.

You’ll find all his contact details at the bottom of the post.

“Hi, Caolan here and I wanted to take a moment to recap my 6 takeaways from the Tourism Tribe Expert panel call today about Facebook’s most recent announcement.

For starters… if you’re not sure what all the buzz is about here’s the 10sec catchup…. Last week Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement that (in short) said posts from business pages will have a heavily diminished presence in the Newsfeed, over posts from your family and friends. Over the last three years we’ve seen average reach of posts drop from 20% to 4-7% to <1%. For all those tourism businesses that rely on building an audience on FB and sharing valuable content with them, staying front of mind, and driving sales… their reach will dwindle further over coming weeks. See the actual post here.

So what was discussed in today’s Tourism Tribe Expert panel call? Here’s my quick summary.

1. Be wary of building your audience on “rented land”.

This has been mentioned time and again, but building an audience on only FB, or Insta, or SnapChat, (or any platform) is at the whim of that platform’s changes. While it’s really important to “be where your audience is” (and there are lots of your customers hanging out on FB) its important to have a strategy that ultimately brings customers back to a platform that YOU control. An email database and your own website are critical elements that you should be leveraging to do this. Top tip: think of ways that you can take your warm leads and communicate regularly with them via email.

2. Remember that Zuckerberg is more interested in people developing relationships.

In his post you’ll find words like “connected”, “relationships”, “relevant”, “meaningful interactions”, “communities”, and “personal connections”. Stop the blatant promotional posts. Use FB to listen to your audience and find ways to genuinely add value to someone’s conversation. Think about increasing the quality of your interactions, even if that means a reduction in the quantity of your posts. If you’re going to post then make sure it’s super valuable and worth sharing.

3. Do more of what works!

Your time is precious, and so is the available space in the Newsfeed. Look at the kinds of posts that generate the highest engagement (use your insights/analytics) and do more of them. Cut back the kinds of posts that had little/no engagement. While there was mixed dialogue around it I honestly feel that you should cut back the number of posts (yep, breath a sigh of relief) but make the ones you do more meaningful. I suspect that FB would prefer to see do 3x great posts each week than 15x poor posts (in fact 15x posts with little/no engagement might be penalised even further in the Newsfeed as you would appear to be a poorly performing page).

4. Develop your video strategy.

Live video is still generating 6x more engagement than pre-recorded video, but both of them are still going to get you more traction than written posts. Consider your content, discover new angles and stories that people find engaging, take people behind the scenes of your business, become “relatable”. And remember to repurpose your video content on other platforms like YouTube where (if tagged appropriately) is great for SEO.

5. Groups are still a great way to generate niched/targeted engagement.

Perhaps build a group around your business. If you’re a winery then a ‘wine appreciation’ style group might work. But don’t forget existing groups too. We know the VFR market is the biggest driver for our region, so consider sharing appropriate information in a group for your town/location and educating locals about ways that they can “discover your own backyard”.

6. Lastly, experiment and get creative.

No one is completely sure how this change will impact businesses. Perhaps you can try posting more as your personal profile, rather than your business page, especially if the two are intertwined. Perhaps you can find ways to empower and showcase more brand advocates. Use events, Messenger, groups in different ways. Stay abreast of what your competitors are doing and copy what works.

So, that’s my six takeaways from the Tourism Tribe Expert panel call. You can watch the entire call here

Of course if you have any questions, comments or other suggestions of how tourism businesses in our patch can continue to best leverage Facebook then please pop them in the comments below as we’d love to continue the conversation.

Cheers, Caolan”

About Caolan

As a coach with more than 20 years experience developing young leaders in regional areas Caolan also brings business development and project management skills to the table to help business owners develop systems using simple digital tools that work.

He focuses on WordPress websites and helping business owners manage these themselves, as well as interrelated business productivity tools (such as marketing automation and cloud storage) and creating the digital systems that connect these tools. In his role with the peak tourism body – Goulburn River Valley Tourism – He has had several years experience developing the tourism industry.

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