Facebook IQ recently released the 2019 Topics & Trends Report, their review of the conversation topics on Facebook that grew in 2018 and predictions of what might be relevant in 2019. The report covers trends across several categories including Travel and Leisure noting that “as people scroll through their Facebook and Instagram Feeds, many find inspiration for their next travel destinations.” That’s hard for hotels and restaurants to ignore.
While Facebook may have faced some company challenges in 2018, it is still the most widely-used of the major social media platforms, and its user base is considered the most representative of the population as a whole. According to Statista, around two-thirds (68%) of US adults use Facebook. Among U.S. adults who use Facebook, around three-quarters (74%) visit the site at least once a day. Worldwide, Facebook Monthly active users grew to over 2.2 billion at the end of 2018. There’s no denying that your target audience is using Facebook, so it is important to consider the effect of Likes and Shares on this important social channel.
Consumers Trust Peer-to-Peer Recommendations
Peer-to-peer recommendation was key in 2018 and will continue to be important to your business growth in 2019. Hootsuite’s 2018 social trends survey showed that two-thirds of consumers consider a company’s social media page as more believable than advertising. Consumers continue to trust a friend or peer’s recommendation – a person they consider to be like themselves – more than they trust a product or a brand’s representative.
So, you can see that engagement by current guests or potential bookers on your social media sites with “Likes & Shares” are both important. Millennials and Gen Z are uniquely influenced by Social Media and are more likely to choose a Hotel or Restaurant based on the experience of a peer rather than sales or discounts. Keep in mind, only 4% of online conversation mentions branded “products & services” so there is a huge opportunity to stand out whenever someone mentions your brand.
Why Are Page “Likes” Important for your Hotel & Restaurant?
Similar to subscribing to an email list, “Liking” a Facebook page is a form of permission that gives you the opening to keep talking with people. Likes are the beginning of a relationship that you can build upon and are a social endorsement that friends of your new fans may see in their newsfeed. Keep in mind that once you have someone interested in what you have to say, you have to keep up the momentum by sharing good content or you’ll lose their interest quickly.
Why Are “Shares” Important for your Hotel & Restaurant?
A “Share” is a stronger social endorsement and is better than a “Like” in several ways. If someone shares your content or your page, it is an unspoken recommendation that shows they like your content enough to share with their friends. A page is far more likely to get noticed when it’s in your newsfeed because a friend shared it. This is what is called a strong “network effect” in social media channels such as Facebook – the more friends you have on the network, the more useful it is, compelling still more friends to join. Users discover and consume content created by others on the network. As more users come on board, adding more valuable content, this leads to greater value for everyone in your community.
It’s easy to see that there is significant value when people actively tell their social media world about the great experience they had at your Hotel or Restaurant. Facebook shares usually include a photo and a comment from the person sharing, and with Facebook’s new Timeline, this content can really get noticed. In addition, it has a much bigger impact on the EdgeRank algorithm - which is the term used for Facebook’s algorithm. This algorithm determines which posts will be seen by a user depending on his or her activity, making it more likely that they will see your comment in the future.
Why Do You Need Both?
”Likes” are the beginning and “Shares” are the endorsement. Both play a role in helping you start a social relationship with your target audience and are the building blocks of a long-term relationship that can result in increased business. By continuing to produce great content or offers that are relevant to your audience, you will be able to increase the “Likes & Shares” which continue the cycle of Social Media awareness that can lead to more bookings or reservations.
Courtyard Hotel Case Study
To illustrate how this can work, we analyzed engagement during a 31-day period for a Courtyard Hotel where we helped manage their social media accounts. The hotel wanted to increase awareness of its location and amenities to stand out from competitors in their geographic area. We worked closely with the hotel team to create engaging content, manage postings and frequencies. At the end of the month, the results showed that engagement increased with more conversations taking place, there were 680 ”Likes" of posts and over 90 "Shares" with peers, resulting in 82 new fans for this Courtyard.
Need Help with Your Facebook Management?
Are you overwhelmed by the thought of creating all of the posts yourself? Hiring an in-house social media specialist or doing social media on your own is not your only option. Many hotels choose to outsource their social media to a partner such as iResponze to create and implement a crafted strategy specific to their hotel. We collaborate with you to create custom content, post it on social media and promote it with paid ads if you desire. Flexible packages are available posting 1x a week to 5x a week. Contact us to receive a free quote.
See the latest statistics on Facebook "Likes" and "Shares" below. Download PDF.
For more information on this topic, watch our webinar Facebook Likes and Shares - How Do They Affect Your Business.