At the end of last year, Facebook were forced to change its algorithm due to updates to Apple’s iOS software and it has caused quite a stir among marketers. The social media giant announced that it will no longer allow users to target people based on their profiles and likes. This means that marketers will not be able to pay for ads targeting people who don't remember interacting with the social media giant. So what does this mean for paid social media advertising for your hotel?
What exactly are the Facebook privacy updates?
Let's take a look at the details. For example, I would often 'like' product pages or brands on Facebook so that I could keep track of updates and information about them. This means that marketers can use this personal data to pay for ads targeting me with offers about these products. However, with the privacy update in place, they will no longer be able to do that. My "like" data will not show in my profile or in their targeting options. Equally using data from my phone, Facebook were able to get a very good idea of what I would like or not like. This is obviously great for the invidivual, but it makes life more difficult for a hotel trying to find guests!
How will this change paid social media advertising for hotels
This change will make paid social media advertising much more difficult and expensive, as hotel marketers will now need to target people through other means. Marketers can still target people based on their interests, however, this is a more challenging way to reach potential customers, as people are less likely to be interested in products or services that they don't remember liking. Targeting based on interests also results in a much more broad audience - where we could once simply target those who have liked our page and are therefore familiar with our brand and primed for further advertising, we can now only select interests that are the most similar to our offering.
So how can we optimise budget on campaigns that are still highly targeted?
One way, as we have discussed, is to target broader interests rather than specific likes. Additionally, you can use lookalike audiences to target people who are similar to your current customers. This will help you to reach new customers who are likely to be interested in your product or service.
But is there a better way to make sure we're targeting people who are interested in and have engaged with our brand? Of course. A great way to do this is to run two campaigns, one after the other, with the second utilising re-targeting for potential guests. The first should be an awareness campaign to encourage engagement and should target those who are 'interested' in your offering. Make these ads exciting, creative and engaging! We don't need our audience to spend time reading any copy or considering prices, we want them to simply think "wow, that looks great" and like, click or share the ad. Video ads work brilliantly for awareness campaigns and have the highest engagement of any ad type. This campaign can be used to create an audience who have engaged with your brand and therefore may be more likely to convert.
Your second campaign should focus on conversions, whether that's encouraging calls, clicks through to a website or form completions. This conversion campaign should re-target the audience created from your awareness campaign. This audience is already primed for conversion, having recently engaged with your brand through the awareness campaign and therefore a higher budget can be put towards each conversion from this campaign. These ads can be more informative than your awareness campaign but need to remain highly engaging - think about what information is more important to encourage a conversion and focus on including that.
Facebook’s enforced privacy updates will make it nearly impossible to reach people without their consent. Campaigns that are still highly targeted, such as retargeting ads that reach an audience who have already engaged with your brand, should be the focus of your paid social media advertising. Utilising the cheaper awareness campaigns as a way to build a great audience that can be re-targeted means that your budget can be put to better use in your conversions campaign. As always, feel free to contact us today if you have any questions about how best to optimise your hotel's paid social media advertising.