Facebook is great for many reasons, and as with any other social media platform, developers always strive to improve the user experience by adding new features. One feature that is supposed to do just that is Facebook’s recommendation feature. It was introduced in October of 2016 and is gaining popularity with time. This feature lets Facebook users ask their network of friends for endorsement of businesses in various categories that range from dining to professional services.
This feature is simple to use and can be part of a social media strategy for hotels. Facebook users create a status update and a map auto-populates to show the places their friends recommend. What differentiates ‘recommendations’ from any other post is the wording the users choose. Facebook will pick up on phrases like “I’m looking for ___”, “Any recommendations for ___?” and “Where can I find ___?” With this simple feature in place, rather than navigating away from their favorite social network, users can find exactly what they are looking for from the people they trust most using word of mouth.
With this feature hotels can take advantage of “check-ins” and reap the benefits of user generated content. To incentivize this at their hotel, management should promote a special discount or promotion for users who check-in on Facebook. Since the check-ins will be visible to the user’s friends, it’s free promotion and that 5% off the booking price can go a long way in reaching a broad audience; plus the hotel check-in stays on user’s profile timeline unless removed which means that you hotel could be reaching new people for years to come.
It’s also a plus when users create a post about their day or have other interactions to go with their check-in. This activity will show up when friends search for recommendations based on location. Facebook will shows you which of your friends have checked-in at a destination in the past and it also shows you their activity from that location. That sells the area, and as much as we would like to believe that travelers come to our hotels for the fabulous amenities, that is not the case. Travelers want to explore an area, to see something new and what better way to share their experience with their loved ones than to put it on Facebook for the whole world to see? Anything from visiting a monument, dining at a particular restaurant and even checking into a hotel can all be displayed on search results, and not just for one friend, but for all of their friends who have visited that destination, and that is without users even having to like your page! Talk about vacation planning at your fingertips!
Hotels can also appear as recommended places for users. Your hotel’s page can be prominently displayed and ready for a user to click on it. Users have the option of clicking over to the profile, liking the page and even checking availability for their travel dates. Needless to say, it pays to play.