If you’ve noticed more updates from pals about their January diets in your Facebook feed this week – and fewer recipe videos and listicles about cats – then you are not alone.
Since last Friday, the social media behemoth has been prioritising content created by your friends and family over content created by businesses and media outlets. All part of Mark Zuckerberg’s new vision of making Facebook more “meaningful”, and reducing our endless scrolling through public content.
As a Facebook user (and one that’s used it less in recent years because of content overload), it seems a sensible move – and if it addresses the problem of “fake news”, so much the better.
But by Zuckerberg’s own admission, these changes mean people will spend less time on Facebook overall, and brands will see reduced engagement. This is worrying for the many travel agencies who, in the last few years, have worked hard to make Facebook a significant driver of enquiries and bookings.
It’s a little early to know how agents can adapt, but they may need to increase their modest (or non-existent) marketing budget to boost their posts instead of relying on followers to like and share them, to achieve reach. It might be easier for smaller agencies and homeworkers to drive engagement via a personal page, or to invite customers to join a “group”.
It’s likely though, that even with Facebook’s new algorithms in place, the number one rule of social media will still hold true: if you can create unique, engaging content which captures users’ imagination, then substantial reach could still be within your grasp (without having to pay for it).
Our sector is more fortunate than many, as travel-related content continues to outperform most others. So while we wait to see how the changes affect our businesses, keep creating exciting posts.
“Cats who love to cruise” is one listicle that does not yet appear to have been compiled, by the way. I’ll leave that thought with you.