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July 17, 2014 / BSP Marketing

Five Ways the New Facebook Layout Affects Hotels

Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool, but hotels should be aware of how recent changes will affect their performance on this social media site.

Facing Facebook ChangesAny hotel that is committed to growth understands the potential of Facebook. Because of this, some recent changes to Facebook are of great importance to hotels. Although some of the changes may seem dramatic, it is essential to understand the nature of the changes and their full scope. To help make sense of things, here is the breakdown in five simple points.

1. Feed layout. One of the most visible changes is to the content feed. This is the main part of any Facebook account, where users can post their own content. Previously, the content feed was broken up in order to provide different outlets for posts and status updates. In the updated version, however, all this content has been streamlined into one column. This shift makes the page less cluttered. Now users will be able to see all content, including posts, videos and photos, in one centralized location.

2. More contact information. The left column has always been reserved for personal information at a glance. However, with the new layout, there is more space for information. In particular, hotels can now include a full address and phone number in addition to their hours of operation. There is even a map feature, which can display the location. Other information that can be displayed includes likes, visits, posts from other users and more. This long list of possible customizations makes it easy for hotels to pick the items that are most relevant to their overall marketing plan. Part of this redesign means that the apps tab has been relocated from the top to the left side. This can make it harder for users to find, but its new location on the expanded left side is very intuitive for most visitors.

3. Updated header design. The top of the page has also received an overhaul. Buttons are now included on the cover photo to make it fully interactive. The information on the header now includes the hotel name and industry. Users will also have the option to use “like,” “follow” and “message” buttons on the cover photo. There is also a new drop down menu to give users other options, which can include a review, apps and more. Because all of this is now located on top of the cover photo, it is important to choose your picture with even more care. Look to see where these buttons appear in order to avoid a photo with too much detail in that area.

4. New administrative options. There is also a new range of administrative tools that can be better employed by hotels on Facebook. Now it is easy to see more information about your page with minimal effort. In particular, hotels can use a handy administrative panel to see how many likes and other notifications they have received. Private messages and unread posts are also visible in this area. These tools can give administrators the power to see how well ads may be functioning on the page. There are even more ways to see who is visiting your page and where they are from. All of this information can show how effective the Facebook page is, which can lead to future changes and more effective marketing strategies.

5. Advanced tracking capabilities. The updates also allow hotels to track other users more carefully. It is now easy to monitor as many pages as desired, which can give hotels the opportunity to stay up to date with other hotels on Facebook. This is more than just reading the posts of rival hotels, but actually includes details about how many posts they have published and how many likes they have received. This analysis can show what works and what does not, giving hotels even more ideas to help their own marketing development. This feature is included under the Insights tab, and other users will not know they are being watched.

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