How to get better reach on Facebook for your events business

As hospitality consultants, we get asked daily how to get more reach on Facebook. Last year, when Facebook made changes to its news feed, events businesses were up in arms about the noticeable decrease in organic reach. There is a general feeling in the events and hospitality industries that Facebook is ‘being greedy’ and forcing businesses to pay for reach by deliberately decreasing their ability to achieve organic results.
 
There is a sense of anger amongst catering and events businesses and this anger stems from a general misunderstanding of the purpose of Facebook marketing for events businesses.  This can be seen in the recent rumour that was perpetuated on social media that Facebook would allow high reach on business page posts that included the word Facebook multiple times. Businesses failed to realise that in pleading with their followers to engage with the post, and by speaking to their fans on a highly personalised level, they were engaging their fans via a call to action on a personal note. Rather than obtaining high reach because their post included the word Facebook multiple times, it was their fans engaging with that post that caused the high reach. This is the basic principal that hospitality and events businesses need to apply to their social media marketing ongoing.
 
Here are some quick tips on understanding reach and how you can attract more of it for your
hospitality or events business:

 

Stop Selling

Overly promotional posts and pages will be penalised. The main change to Facebook’s algorithmically ordered feed was to stop overly promotional posting by business pages. Simply, if you are clearly selling – e.g. including your business phone number, constantly posting ‘visit my website to buy a, b and c’, your reach will be blocked. Facebook is a user experience and will continue to adapt its algorithms to ensure a better experience for the user. Facebook does not want to see overly promotional or direct sales posts. Your social media strategy needs to highlight what value you will be providing your followers through your social media marketing. Tell a story. Paint a picture. Provide some kind of value to your followers.
 

Links / video / images

Links, followed by videos, followed by images will attract reach (in that order). To make your link post stand out, you can change the thumb nail image, as well as the preview wording and heading. Always include a well worded caption that entices people to click through.
 

Creating content

Hospitality and events businesses need to create their own content – weather it be videos of Chef’s creating a signature dessert (with DIY instructions so that the viewer can create the dessert at home) or interesting advice articles about wedding style trends or helpful hints on how to organise a successful event at home.  
 

Use hashtags

Experts widely disagree on this point, however many suggest that using 2 hashtags relevant to interest groups or specific areas (e.g food, cafes, weddings) will create higher reach on posts. It can’t hurt to try. Humorous or multiple hashtags (like on Instagram) are not relevant to Facebook.
 

Tagging

Tagging your event partners e.g. venues, event managers, caterers etc. that were involved in the event/wedding/conference/ project will give you higher reach. This is also just a great way to credit those involved.
 

Don’t boost for no good reason

Don’t just boost a post because you weren’t happy with the reach. You can’t win them all. Each post is a part of an ongoing program/ strategy and you need to highlight in your strategy which posts will be boosted and why. Boosting random posts on an ad hoc basis will cause some bad metrics to occur such as hide posts and lost friends. 
 

Check your stats

Report regularly on which posts are being engaged with and which aren’t. You can adapt your marketing to suit. Use the free Facebook analytics tools to your advantage and if something isn’t working, fix it. Marketing is all about trying new things – but trying new things is pointless if you don’t measure the outcomes and adapt your offering.
 

Conclusion 

Engagement as a metric, continues to be an afterthought, however it should remain a critical success factor, especially if you want better reach with your Facebook marketing. 
Every time one of your fans engages with your posts, your reach spreads to their friends also. Reach is but one of many important metrics that you need to focus on and analyse regularly.
Facebook is all about the user experience – so if your business page is providing consistently valuable, interesting and exciting content that is being engaged with, your organic reach will soar.
 
 

Guest post by Lauren Lacava | Black & White Marketing

Lauren Lacava has over 18 years’ experience in sales, marketing and management and is the Fearless Leader of Black & White Marketing, a Melbourne-based consultancy and marketing agency that provides real advice and effective marketing solutions to help events businesses grow.