June was a busy month for social media updates, and, as usual, Facebook was no exception.

An update in the news feed algorithm will affect how many users see posts from brands in their news feeds, while another update will change the way users share their vacation photos with one another.

A third update will have direct ramifications in encouraging cross-over between the on-site and on-line audience, which is important as we see a lot that, for hotels and restaurants, these audiences sometimes vary.

Hospitality marketers particularly should make note of these when strategizing what to post and bridge the gap between on-site patronages.

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News Feed Algorithm Update

Facebook tweaked its news feed algorithm again — this time to factor in the amount of time you spend looking at a post.

Previously, where a post showed in your News Feed — or if it showed at all — depended on how much your Facebook friends shared, liked, or commented on it.  But now they look at time, too.

“There are times when, for example, people want to see information about a serious current event, but don’t necessarily want to like or comment on it.

Based on this finding, we are updating News Feed’s ranking to factor in a new signal—how much time you spend viewing a story in your News Feed.”

So, hotels and restaurants should focus on creating stories that are engaging and that people are more likely to spend more time on, to increase that organic reach. A humorous photo may get a lot of interactions, but people may not spend as much time on it.

Now, it’s important to cultivate content that still acquires those same interactions, but also grasps the user to stick around and absorb the update as well.

A win/win option here would be to increase video content on Facebook. With this year’s earlier update, video is the most effective way to reach users in the news feed.

Native Facebook video drives more than twice as much reach as photo posts, videos also innately encourage a longer duration of time spent since it takes longer to watch a video than read a post or view a photo.

This also increases emphasis on the need to post regularly. Many brands post only every few days, but with time on posts now being a factor, upping the quantity of posts can prove beneficial as well.

Facebook Bluetooth® Beacon

Facebook is quietly rolling out Bluetooth functionality that allows brands to encourage social sharing among on-site guests.

Creating social experiences that transcend both on and offline can be tricky, and this will hopefully help bridge that gap.

How do Facebook Bluetooth® Beacons work? Using Bluetooth® technology, the beacons send a one-way signal to the Facebook app on your customers’ phones to help Facebook show the right information about your business during their visit.

Facebook Bluetooth® beacons help people see more information about your business whenever they use Facebook during their visit.

This functionality prompts visitors to link your page and check in; it shows relevant posts from your Facebook page; and shows people their friends’ recommendations.

They don’t collect any information from people or their phones or change the kind of location information Facebook receives, but rather, take your on-site visitors who are already using Facebook and enhancing their experience.

It may be worth noting that this hasn’t begun yet, and, depending how its executed, may turn people off if they’re not keen to checking into places on Facebook.

That said, I assume it will be done naturally, and if so, should be productive in increasing fanbases.

Introducing Moments: A Private Way to Share Photos

Facebook introduced a new standalone app called Moments. The Moments app keeps photo’s private and syncs to give to and get photos from friends.

Moments groups the photos on your phone. By using facial recognition technology, the photos are grouped by friends and where they were taken.

You can then privately sync those photos quickly and easily with specific friends, and they can choose to sync their photos with you as well. Now, you and your friends have all the photos you took together.

This is also perfect for travel since it allows friends to organize and reminisce about their vacations together. It allows group travelers to organize their photos internally before sharing publicly.

While these updates are new, they should productively change the landscape for social marketers, especially in the travel marketing space.

What do you think about these latest updates?

This post was originally written for Maximize Social Business.

Debbie Miller
Debbie is the Founder and President of Social Hospitality where she assists clients with social media and content marketing. When she's not online, Debbie enjoys spending time with her spoiled dogs; watching movies; reading; and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
Debbie Miller