The problem is that organic reach on Facebook business pages has been on a constant decline for years. That means, guests and fans who like your page have an ever decreasing chance of ever seeing the posts.
First some handy definitions...
FACEBOOK ORGANIC REACH IS THE NUMBER OF UNIQUE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY SEE YOUR CONTENT ON FACEBOOK - BECAUSE THEY LIKE YOUR PAGE, OR ARE CONNECTED TO PEOPLE WHO DO.
While potential reach could in theory be greater than your total number of followers, it very rarely gets anywhere close to this (unless in rare occasions where contents goes "viral").
So that carefully crafted post may not be reaching as many people as you think, especially if the post is promotional in nature and considered "spam" by the Facebook bots.
The news is no better over on Facebook-owned Instagram where they "tweaked" their algorithm earlier this year to make posts there "more relevant" to users.
This is precisely why its is often farm more valuable to build a email subscriber list that you actually own rather than relying on the whims of Facebook and an algorithm you have no control over.
Building an audience of followers on Facebook can be thought of as building an audience on "rented land" because you are literally at the mercy of your Landlord (Facebook). And Facebook as a public listed company is of course, at the mercy of their shareholders.
Reducing organic reach means you will have to boost more posts to reach the audience you fought so hard to build up...
The Reasons for Declining Organic Reach
Firstly, there is more content being generated out there all competing to get people's attention.
Secondly, Facebook has a vested interest in serving relevant content to their users to encourage more time on Facebook (more time = more profit from Facebook Ads).
Finally, and most controversially, Facebook has an obligation to its shareholders to increase profits, and reducing the organic reach indirectly encourages more Facebook advertising revenue through boosted posts.
Those are three pretty compelling forces working against your attempts to reach your audience organically on Facebook.
So what are the solutions to counteract declining organic reach?
1. Get Our Your Credit Card (With A Caveat)
The conclusion that Facebook probably wants you to reach is that the only reliable way to reach a larger audience is to pay for Facebook Advertising. And that, unfortunately, is the bottom line.
But rather than desperately "boosting posts" you should probably adopt a more carefully considered Facebook reach strategy that is an alignment with your business objectives.
Locus Focus recommends a "dip your toes in the water" approach to test what the audience is actually interested in. Whether that is special offers, special events or member/loyalty offers depends entirely on your hotel brand and its audience and what they respond to.
There is absolutely a place for Facebook Ads for hotels but the potential for success will depend on what you can "offer" the audience that is sufficiently enticing.
Any decision to start advertising an offer on Facebook for your hotel should be considered in the context of opportunity cost. Or in other words, by choosing to advertise on Facebook and dedicate those time and resources, what isn't getting attention it deserves?
Don't underestimate the marketing, technical and analytical skills required to do Facebook Ads right. Even if you are doing everything right, there is no guarantee of success. That is not being negative, its just a reflection of the reality.
At Locus Focus, we believe that successful hotel marketing is first about branding, guest experience and online presence supported with amazing media.
We believe that Facebook Ads should only be attempted by most hotels (especially independent hotels) when you have your "house in order" in terms of those three pillars of hotel marketing.
2. Publish Timeless Content
Another way to help is by publishing content that is timeless. That way people will comment and share the content much longer. You can also go back and repost this content at a later date because the chances are people didn't see the post in the first place!
For a hotel, the type of evergreen content you may want to post on Facebook are things like video reviews of local attractions and any entertaining, educational or inspiring content that resonates with your audience and is relevant to your hotel.
3. Consider Targeting your Organic Content
This will only work if your hotel has thousands of likes, but you can target your organic posts to fans based on things like age, gender and interest.
Remember to compare the engagement with your weekly engagement rate to see whether this is working for your audience (to improve reach).
If it isn't interesting to your audience i.e.—don't post it, and that includes saturating your hotels Facebook page with special offers, promotions and marketing hype.
Encourage interaction with posts by asking questions, asking for comments and generally engaging your audience - it is social media after all!
4. Create Great Content & Ask for Engagement
The best way to ensure that organic reach is maximised on Facebook posts is to create and post engaging, interesting and valuable content. The emphasis being on create—or in other words, something original and unique!
The more likes, comments and shares your post generates—the more organic reach boost it will get naturally.
5. Get Involved in the Discussion
One of the main factors for increased organic reach is engagement and that includes your comments on the page. So respond and reply to comments you get on your Facebook page as quickly as you can.
6. Optimise Your Facebook Page Profile
Ensuring all the elements of your Facebook page are appealing, reflect your brand identity correctly and have the correct dimensions and resolution are a good way to encourage further engagement and interest in your page.
Paying for Facebook Ads or boosting posts is now the only reliable way to get meaningful reach to your audience, and organic reach to your fans will likely decrease further over time.
But there are better ways to reach your audience anyway... your email subscriber is even more valuable, because it doesn't cost you anything to send emails, and your reach is guaranteed.
Chris Jack is the editor of Locus Focus and a professional hotel photographer based in Brisbane with over 20 years experience in digital marketing. He also hosts the weekly "Sharper Hotel Marketing" podcast.