Facebook hits 'one billion daily users' milestone

With Facebook having reached a new milestone last week – one billion daily users – it would be foolish not to exploit the thriving social network to market products and engage customers.

On Thursday 27 August Mark Zuckerberg, one of Facebook's most famous co-founders, boasted of the platform's success on his personal profile.

"For the first time ever, one billion people used Facebook in a single day... 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family," he wrote on his personal profile.

He added: "This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it's just the beginning of connecting the whole world."

With potentially the whole world as your audience, it would be fair to say the decision to hone your Facebook skills is a no-brainer.

Carrie Finley-Bajak, social media expert, agrees. Writing for Travel Weekly, she says agents should continue to invest resources in marketing activities on both Facebook and Instagram.

"There are enough people who use Facebook to justify spending the time it takes to build relationships and the resources it takes to develop ad campaigns," says Finley-Bajak.

Try sharing personal experiences related to travel, as well as trying out various types of content such as video, she advises.

Zuckerberg himself has spoken of the power of video. "Video continues to be some of the richest and most engaging content for people and publishers," he said.

And with the launch of Facebook Search – part of the firm's continued commitment to the user experience, announced during its recent earnings call – it's more important than ever to provide useful content to users.

Travel consultants should keep updates full of keywords to provide context, and use hashtags can help categorise posts, Finley-Bajak says.

According to Fortune.com, Facebook is using its new search function to help keep people on the social network for longer stretches of time – meaning more time to serve ads to community members.

The search works by displaying results based on the user's connections to people, places, things and what he or she is able to see on Facebook.

Although no-one knows the exact science behind the search algorithm, it makes sense to make posts as relevant as possible.

Also discussed during Facebook's second quarter earnings call at the end of July was its desire to grow the number of marketers on the site. One way of doing this is to make ads more relevant and effective.

New ad formats discussed by the social media network include link ads, dynamic product ads, expanded carousel ads and lead ads.

Facebook's focus for the future is on helping its existing communities and businesses reach their full potential.

More than 968 million people worldwide now use Facebook daily and 65% of its monthly active users are daily active users, so it's essential for travel marketers to grasp the opportunity to build brand awareness, connect with clients or reach prospects via the platform, adds Finley-Bajak.

In our next post, we'll see what advice Carrie Finley-Bajak has on another attention-worthy social media channel – Instagram.