If your social media manager hasn’t told you about this – they should be sacked.

In January 2018, Facebook shifted its algorithm monumentally, and yet it seems to have gone completely unnoticed by 99% of the hotel industry – especially the independent, boutique sector that DHM tends to operate in.

If you’re like me, algorithm changes are up there with drying paint and updated privacy policies on the excitement scale, but when something this seismic happens on a channel we all use for business and for pleasure, it’s worth taking note.

More importantly, not one hotelier I’ve spoken with in 2018 has been aware of this massive shift that came in at the start of the year, and are continuing to plough time, money and resources into social media practices that simply will not work.

To put this in perspective, DHM’s entire business model has changed as a result. If I haven’t made my point yet: THIS. IS. HUGE.

So, I’ll spare you the pretentious jargon and get right to the point – Facebook now prioritises “meaningful interactions” of its users, or to put another way it wants to serve up content on our news feeds that it thinks we’ll like based upon your browsing history.

Makes sense of course, but it comes at a big expense to those of us who have business pages – especially consumer-facing business pages. I.e. every hotel in the world.

You see, if you have 10,000 Facebook likes on your hotel’s page, but only 500 of those likers have engaged with your page or content recently, when you post that nice snap of the gin and tonic against the garden backdrop, or the stunning red-wine jus bordered lamb cutlet leaving the kitchen in all its glory, your potential audience is not 10,000, it’s 500.

The other 9,500 will not and cannot see these lovely posts because the algorithm would deem them irrelevant to them, owing to them not having “meaningfully interacted” with your hotel for some time.

HOWEVER – it’s not all bad. Video and groups are our saviours.

Video posts will always get a farther and wider reach because Facebook wants you to post video. Why? Because what it all boils down to is video keeps users on the platform longer, and of course longer dwell time on the site means advertising revenues go up.

Importantly too, when a Facebook user joins a ‘group’, posts from that group have a higher priority than standard posts from a business page, so encouraging your likers and your customers to join a “Priority Offers Group” or similar will ensure more of your customers see, engage and take action from all your hard-work that’s going into Facebook to promote your hotel.

Of course, ‘boosting’ posts and using one of the many Facebook advertising objectives can get you the reach you desire, and it should be used alongside a robust organic strategy too.

So, in short, if you’re a hotelier and you use an external or internal marketing person / company to manage your social media and are not posting video or using groups to engage with your following, or worse, aren’t even aware of this monumental change – they’ve royally let you down and are wasting your money.