Is Facebook sending your clients to your competition? | TravelResearchOnline

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Is Facebook sending your clients to your competition?

Last week, we had a large boat show in our town and one of my favorite restaurants posted a photo with some sailing social media influencers who were in town grabbing a burger on their Facebook page. I was interested so I clicked on the image to enlarge it and got a surprise!

 

There it was, and when I wiggled my mouse over the photo, up popped Facebook’s recommendation to check out the competition.

As the saying goes today… WTF?

I dug a little deeper to see if this was a one-off issue, or if it was more widespread. I ventured over to Chuck Flagg’s Cruise Planners page (because I know he is on the ball and would have updated content) and grabbed the first image I saw.

And here it is.

Give the mouse a little wiggle and boom. Five recommendations fro Facebook to leave Chuck’s page and visit a competitor’s.

I am not sure, but I am guessing the pages that are suggested are ones that are somehow paying Facebook via promoted posts or outright Facebook advertising. I reached out to Facebook, but that is as simple as getting in touch with George Washington.

Oh, and in case you were wondering—it does it on mobile as well. The suggested pages are below the image (so not as obvious).

The easy solution is to not post photos. But that is not a viable solution when we work in an image focused industry.

Videos seem to be fine for now, as do regular posts. As best I can tell, they are analyzing your page (not the particular image) and using similar pages. When I went to an image on Chuck’s page that was not specifically travel related (because you should be doing that on occasion), I got the same thing.

I have always said that this industry is notorious for throwing fastballs at us and somehow we keep swinging and hitting them. I am not sure how to handle this (or really how much of an impact it may have), but it is something to which you need to be aware!   Thanks for nothing Facebook!

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