As Facebook has evolved from a simple stream of updates to a one-stop hub for catching up with friends, reading the news and shopping, some might argue the evolution has had an even bigger impact for businesses.

First, managers had to learn the in’s and out’s of setting up a Facebook business page and then figure out how to use it effectively and with purpose. Now that Facebook has been around long enough, there still remains a constant learning curve as algorithms change and new trends emerge.

And while we can expect these things to change again soon, if you’re wondering how to captivate your Facebook audience, there are a couple of tips that will stand the test of any tweak in the algorithm.

Engage Their Interests Outside Your Brand

 It’s natural to fall in to the rhythm of only posting things related to your venue, hotel or business, but that’s the quickest way to put a halt to the engagement with your followers.

Yes, it’s important to post news related to your business as well as content from other industry leaders, however posting content that is unrelated to both of those things will open up more conversations with your fans.

This strategy may seem counterintuitive to keeping your content focused, but your followers won’t care if what you just posted is unrelated to your brand as long as it resonates with what they like.

Don’t post unrelated content just for the sake of posting it, but if you tap in to the other topics your followers are passionate about (sports, cooking, etc.), you’ll establish an engaged connection that will keep them coming back to your page when they are specifically looking for a service your business provides.

Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu has a great example here where it shares a post on International Beer Day, resulting in more interaction than other hotel specific posts.

HIR Vanuatu Image courtesy of Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

Get Personal and Be Human

People have an inherent sense of what constitutes a sales pitch or an advertisement, and just like with TV, if they see that on their news feed they’ll scroll right past it. Be genuine and be authentic in what you post. After all, there is a real person behind all the content on business pages and your followers want that personality to be apparent.

Some of the most engaging content on Facebook business pages are posts that show behind-the-scenes looks at what goes into your business, celebrating your employees as well as giving your followers the inside scoop with coupons and giveaways.

Responding to commentary on your page and not always being in “page manager” mode is another way to be personal. Respond in the same way you would hope a manager would respond to you when you’ve given great feedback or criticism. Acknowledge it in a timely manner and don’t give canned responses.

Get Fans Involved

Facebook is not a megaphone. Your goal is not to scream over others to have your message heard, but to have your message be compelling enough so people want to join in and talk back. Better yet, have your customers be the one to start the conversations by participating in one of the biggest trends this year, user-generated content.

InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa does a great job of captivating their audience by having customers bring content straight to them with specific hashtags and location-based tags. Not only does this provide for an opportunity for the resort to directly connect with a customer by posting their content, but it also opens the doors to engaging with all of those customer’s connections as potential future guests.

Intercontinental FijiImage courtesy of InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa

The more questions you ask and opportunities you provide for your Facebook friends to speak their voice and get involved, the more engaged and captive audience you’ll have.

Whether you realize it or not, every time you talk to someone face-to-face you have the intention of finding out a part of their story. How was their day? How did they end up here? How are they feeling right now? What’s causing them to feel the way they do?

Finding out your audience’s interests, having personality as well as getting involved in a two-way conversation are all things that we need to do online to establish that same feeling of connection we get face-to-face.

And once you put those tips to use you’ll notice those online conversations turning in to real-life connections, also known as sales.


This post was contributed by Natalie Athanasiadis. Nathalie is a PR and digital marketing guru at hotelmarketingWorks. When she is not scouring for the newest social media trends you can find her playing with her dog Devito or feeding her online shopping addiction. Get social with her on Twitter @natalieathana or Google+

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