For years, critics have been prognosticating the downfall of Facebook, with many so-called "experts" predicting that the platform's user base would dwindle, and its relevance would fade. However, despite the numerous claims that Facebook is dead, the social media giant continues to thrive, especially when it comes to advertising and marketing within the hospitality vertical. In this post, we share our thoughts on why Facebook remains the top platform for marketers, thanks to its powerful ad targeting and ROI tracking abilities.
The Failed Predictions
The Decline of Facebook's User Base:
Many experts had claimed that Facebook's user base would shrink, with younger generations turning to alternative platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. However, Facebook has consistently maintained a growing user base, with over 2.96 billion monthly active users (MAUs) as of late 2023.
Decreased Time Spent on Platform:
Some pundits predicted that users would spend less time on Facebook, leading to a decrease in user engagement. But contrary to these predictions, Facebook has reported steady growth in daily and monthly active users, which indicates that people continue to engage with the platform.
The Rise of Competitors:
While the success of platforms like Snapchat and TikTok cannot be denied, they have not been able to dethrone Facebook as the king of social media. Facebook has managed to adapt and maintain its dominance, partly due to strategic acquisitions like Instagram and WhatsApp.
Then Came Cambridge Analytica
In 2018, when Cambridge Analytica scandal came to public attention, for many, it confirmed that Facebook’s death was imminent. While the scandal really started in 2014 when Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of millions of Facebook users without their consent, using a third-party app called "This Is Your Digital Life." The data was then used to create targeted political ads during various election campaigns, including the 2016 US Presidential election. The full extent of the data breach and its implications became widely known in 2018, leading to significant public backlash and regulatory scrutiny for Facebook.
However, despite the criticism Facebook has continued to remain a powerful marketing platform for hotel marketers and its relevance is undeniable. This could be attributed to its wide userbase and global reach, with over 2.96 billion MAUs worldwide. It is also easy to use and understand for most people, making it ideal for hotel marketers to connect with their target audiences.
In 2012 META Platforms acquired Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock. While the $1 billion acquisition price was seen as high at the time, it has proven to be a wise investment for Facebook. Instagram has become a significant revenue driver for the company. The platform's revenue growth has been fueled by its strong user base, high engagement levels, and effective ad products. According to Insider Intelligence, Instagram generated $43.2 billion in ad revenue in 2022. This is a slight increase from 2021 when the platform’s ad revenue amounted to $42.1 billion.
Key Findings from Marketers
A recent 2023 survey conducted by Social Media Examiner revealed that Facebook is still believed to be the main social media platform for generating sales by 34% of marketers. Instagram came in at 25%, LinkedIn at 20%, and YouTube at 19%. TikTok was found to generate sales by only 15% of marketers, while Twitter came in last at just 10%.
According to the survey, 76% of marketers mentioned Instagram as the most effective platform for increasing exposure, followed by YouTube and TikTok tied at 73%. 69% of those surveyed chose Facebook.
Why Facebook Remains the Best Social Media Platform for Hotel Marketers.
Unparalleled Ad Targeting Capabilities:
Facebook's ad targeting tools are among the most sophisticated in the industry, allowing hotel marketers to reach their desired audience with precision. With options to target users based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and connections, advertisers can create highly relevant and engaging ads.
Robust ROI Tracking Abilities:
Facebook offers comprehensive reporting and analytics tools, making it easy for hotel marketers to measure the performance of their ad campaigns. By tracking metrics such as clicks, impressions, and booking conversions, marketers can optimize their campaigns to ensure maximum return on investment.
Massive User Base:
With 2.96 billion MAUs worldwide, and if you include Instagram’s 2.5 MAUs, Facebook (aka META) offers hospitality marketing managers an unrivaled reach to potential customers. Additionally, META’s ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp further expands the potential audience for advertisers.
Despite the many predictions of Facebook's demise, the platform continues to prove its resilience and maintains its position as a powerful marketing tool for all hotels. With unmatched ad targeting capabilities and robust ROI tracking abilities, Facebook remains the top choice for hotel marketers looking to reach their target audience and achieve their marketing and sales goals. Thus, despite the claims of "Facebook is dead," the truth remains quite the opposite - Facebook lives on!
If you'd like to explore past predictions, often made by reputed experts, feel free to visit the links below: