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Facebook is it still attractive for tourism businesses?

Updated on May 1, 2016

The news is not always tender with Facebook the most known and popular social networking sites. The natural range of publications is declining. Competition intensifies with new mobile applications in line with the new uses of social networks including Snapchat, Instagram, Viber and even Google+. Paid visibility solutions to development more to accompany the IPO of Facebook and generate profit for shareholders. Managers Pages have become more and more experts in animation and Facebook must logically do the sorting for not drown its users.

Facebook is it still an interesting vector for tourism businesses?

To answer this, I am pleased to welcome Mathieu Vadot, e-tourism consultant.

Mathieu Vadot marketing consultant and tourismeCette question needs to be asked because you have heard here and there that Facebook was in decline, soon see death? He would be replaced by Google+ or the need to pay for visibility.

All of these are more or less based. The purpose of this article is firstly, to shed light on these and other, to reframe the debate on the value of Facebook for tourism businesses.

If there is one point on which everyone agrees: Facebook is now the social network "Main Stream" or that everyone is present and "active".

98% of French present on social networks are on Facebook! Source: Social Media Attitude 2013 - SNCD

The graph below shows the evolution from 2009 to 2013 the proportion of French internet users listed on major social networking sites.

social networking users change

Recall fundamental for tourism businesses that use Facebook for promotional purposes:

It is mandatory to use a Page (not profile) to communicate as a "structure" as specified in the TOS (Terms of Service) of Facebook.
The communication on Facebook must be adapted to support. Facebook members use Facebook to communicate with their relatives. A company must seek first to create affinity with fans, keeping in mind that the purpose is to sell its services. What is far from clear!
The visibility of the publications of a Page on Facebook is very much related to the interactions that it has with its fans. Indeed, unlike Twitter or Instagram, publications of a page are not displayed automatically in chronological order in the news feeds of the fans who have "liked" the page. This is Facebook which decides the different display for each user according to an algorithm called "EdgeRank". The most important element of this algorithm is the interaction history (click on publications, "likes", comments, shares) between the user (profile) and Page.
The regularity in the publication frequency is important. Publications lined the news and quickly Periment son, irregularity penalizes the "EdgeRank". It is recommended to publish at least 3 times a week and no more than 2 times a day.
Facebook is not declining, but rather mature!

The number of active users (those who go online at least once a month) not really increased. End of 2012, Facebook had just over 25 million active users in France and the end of 2013, there were 26 million. This growth (4%) is quite low compared to some social networks like Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter progressing much faster. But they also go much further!

Alongside this fact, the young generation the most active on Facebook say "weary" of the network (without leave). Some studies, particularly on American adolescents did not sound bad about it. They actually show that the level of use of this public falling on Facebook (see this article published last year). Adolescents begin to find Facebook "has been" and to lose interest, precisely because Facebook is a common social network, mature, with many users, including their parents and grandparents. Without leaving the network, they manage more of their communications on Facebook and invest other networks like Instagram or Snapchat as an escape and a new forum where they find themselves a little between them, as it ' was the case with the debut of Facebook.

That may be the combination of these elements gives the impression that Facebook is declining. What is certain is that Facebook has more competition there 2 years ago. Clearly this competitive situation is bound to change that in the coming years.

Google+ He will replace Facebook?

Perhaps. No one can really know at best make predictions based on current events. This sure is that Google has largely afford to worry Facebook! Google+ is very similar to Facebook at features (profile, pages, groups, post) and it is also very "general" as is Facebook. So it is reasonable to think that it is likely that within the relatively short Google+ can steal the market leader Facebook.

Listed company, Google has just activate some levers to massively engage all companies on their social network. Google has already begun to merge its directory of businesses in Google+ Places (now Google+ Local) while highlighting the Google+ Pages in Google search results (see image below).

Yelloh Village Google

But next user, Facebook still has a good head start. Google+ certainly many users due to the integration of most Google services in the ecosystem Google+ (Youtube, Google Places ...) but the majority of its users are not yet very active. Beware, however, nothing stays the same, especially in this area!

Less visibility on Facebook without paying?

organiqueC'est reach the big complaint that more and more brands and companies make to Facebook. Indeed, the "natural" visibility (or scope "organic") Pages Publications is becoming weaker.

It was even divided by 2 since October 2013 according to some studies (see graph below cons).

On average and without resorting to advertising, publications of a Facebook Page affect less than 10% of people who love this Page.

10% is not a very good result if we compare the scope of a publication in the Facebook open rate of an email.

Should we conclude that Facebook is no longer an interesting support for tourism businesses?

No, I think not, but what is certain is that it becomes increasingly difficult (if not impossible) to develop a professional and effective action on Facebook without using advertising solutions offered by Facebook !

Provided the Facebook advertising solutions are only a means to win the hearing, not an end in itself. What matters most of all is the ability of tourism businesses to create the commitment (I like, comment, share ...). In tourism there in particular that most companies have a "loyalty capital", the more they have the best conditions to develop effective actions on Facebook. It is ultimately quite logical if you go back to the fundamentals of Facebook: with whom do you most on Facebook?

In conclusion, so essential to a tourism business to be well ask the following questions in order to measure its potential on Facebook:

My structure (or my business) she has a "capital retention" important enough that my customers will want to follow it on Facebook?
Do I have the resources (time, skills, content, style) to relevant publications.
Have I thought about my editorial to develop a communication who created affinity and commitment, but also the turnover?
Do I have a budget to invest in advertising solutions for Facebook?


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