Last week Facebook announced big changes to the News Feed. This can mean good things for hotel and marketers looking to get their message in front Facebook users. According to Facebook, the new News Feed has removed the clutter with ‘vibrant new visuals to bring the News Feed to life’. Here are a few tips to help hoteliers optimize your content for the new Facebook News Feed:
The Cover Photo
Of all the changes, we’re most excited about the change to the ‘Like’ story format. This is a prime opportunity to expand your reach each time you gain a new like and deliver strong visual messaging to a large audience. It also makes your cover photo and profile image more important than ever because it will be displayed more often.
Each time a Facebook user likes your page, their friends will see a much larger image of the page in the story, including your cover photo and profile image as shown above. This is intended to drive higher engagement with fans and friends of fans on the story and through page likes.
Implement these action steps to improve your chances of gaining likes:
- Ensure your cover photo is engaging, vibrant and tells a story about your property or business
- Make sure it will mesh well with the text placement and color in the final rollout Facebook deploys. Test it in several views. (Your home page view, a user’s page view, etc.)
- Test your profile image placement against your cover photo to ensure important elements are not hidden
- Check the categories to which your page is associated since they will now be displayed below your page name
Page Post Changes
In the new News Feed, page posts that feature photos promise larger images that bring the News Feed to life. From a marketing standpoint, this will also deliver more ad space and room for ad copy in your creative, though Facebook is not exploring that topic yet. For practical purposes now, hoteliers can keep these tips in mind to optimize their posts for the new Facebook News Feed:
- Create images using the new width of 552 pixels wide
- The post text will be overlayed on the photo in white requiring a little more thought when selecting the image to be used.
- A dark gradient will be applied so the white text will stand out against the image. Select images that will not be affected by the dark background across the top quarter of the image.
- Be judicious about the amount of text used in the post copy so you don’t overrun your image with text
Places Will Also See Changes
During the News Feed update announcement, Facebook indicated Places will also see changes. Julie Zhou, director of design at Facebook explained, “We’re giving places the prominence they deserve with a map that tells you where they [the places] are and information about the place that allows you to dive in.”
From what we’ve seen, when a friend checks into a business or store on Facebook, their friends will see additional information about the place in their News Feed and larger map pictures than before.
This is exciting news as we have always seen the check-in as a big area of opportunity for hotels to connect in a more meaningful way with guests and potential guests. Make sure you’re ready by optimizing your page for places. Not sure how to do this? Contact All Things Hospitality for a free Facebook page analysis.
Upcoming Events Display
When creating events, consider character count limitations for the new layout:
See the Changes in Action
Facebook is famous for on-going tweaks, so you’ll want to watch for minor adjustments here and there. Click here to be added to the waiting list to have your personal page converted to the new layout so you can see your changes on your page and how they’re translating to your fans’ News Feeds.
Not everyone appreciates change as much as others, but, overall we’re excited about the new Facebook News Feed and the opportunity for hotels to make the best use of the changes. We think Facebook is a fantastic medium for connecting with family & friends and for hotels to connect more deeply with their guests and potential guests. Any refresh that reinvigorates or excites users is a good thing and this design shift could help keep Facebook moving in the right direction. A few tweaks to the way you create your content will help ensure you take advantage of the new Facebook News Feed to keep you connected to your guests and potential guests.by