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Facebook is undoubtedly one of the most popular social networking sites worldwide and in particular for tourism, its role and importance is growing substantially each year. Consumers and travellers worldwide share images, videos and experiences from daily lives and holidays on the social networking site. However, there is still a big difference with regards to the level of engagement of tourism related businesses and Facebook. Depending on the tourism business, the content that is shared on the social networking sites can differ hugely both in quality and also with regards to the impact this content has on the social network. Having a content strategy is often not enough as the level of content engagement on social networks differ and is highly complex in itself (Searchenginewatch 2013).

CONTENT ADVICE

Traditionally, marketers were recommending a 60/30/10 formula to use when trying to provide great content that makes consumers interact with a tourism business, particular product or service offered. 60% of the content should be designed in a way that entertains Facebook users, 30% of the content should be inspirational and the remaining 10% should focus on promotional content. However, this approach is not as efficient when it comes to providing content that really engages users on Facebook.

BRAND ENGAGEMENT

What is really needed to trigger brand engagement? What is the secret behind powerful content on Facebook that engages users and makes people talk about your destination or tourism business? Research has shown that brand engagement does impact on the way in which consumers behave on a daily basis and the way purchases or decisions are being made in favour of a brand.

PERSUASIVE CONTENT

Persuasive content has the highest engagement level. This is not a surprise, as the content is really aimed at working on a relationship with the consumer, building an emotional bond through the use of emotional content. Posts shared on Facebook that address an emotional bond between user and consumer is very impactful and is highly recommended.

INFORMATIVE CONTENT

Informative content does impact negatively on engagement. This is a very important point for tourism businesses to consider, as content such as price, deals, product feature do have a negative impact on consumer engagement. All messaging by a tourism business aiming to cater the consumer with informative content, needs to be reviewed carefully as it might impact negatively on engagement.

BE CONCISE

When posting content on social media and Facebook in particular, less is sometimes more. Long posts that contain a read more link might be off-putting, as not all content can be read on Facebook but on an external site. Therefore, it is important that shorter messages are being provided, that engages users straightaway still on Facebook and not on an external site where they are forced to go back before engaging with the content. Interactivity is also another factor that should be considered when posting on Facebook , as these drive engagement with users. A call for action also does the trick, along with usage of powerful images.

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