Facebook is striving to be the go-to channel for the whole customer experience for business travelers.
One of the patterns I have seen over many years and that often mention in various forms is how the Hotel and small business communities are ecosystems that feed on our commonalities and connectivity. It is driven by its own unique culture.
If we look at China WeChat has been very successful in implementing a multitude of functionality for their user base that allows the eco-system to support the whole customer experience.
Facebook is not there yet but is not due to lack of efforts. We often tend to pay attention to changes that are visible and draw attention within our circle of trusted sources.
And Facebook at times rolls out new features very quietly to learn how influencers respond to these.
A lot of the new features is community driven and supports people helping people to achieve their goals. Basically, the community is helping each other to form their customer experience.
This is where Hotels and small businesses need to really start to pay attention.
With a Little Help from My Friends
Not sure if Facebook has the famous Beatles song “With a Little Help from My Friends” in mind when they introduced the new feature Recommendations.
But the principle behind this feature is to get things done with a little help from your friends. The idea is for people to use their connections to discover new things in the world around you, decide what to do or where to go, and connect with local businesses in easier and faster ways.
When you write a Facebook post looking for recommendations on local places or services, you’ll have the option to turn on Recommendations for that post. If you turn on the feature, your friends can comment on your post with suggestions, and you’ll see all of them mapped out and saved in one place.
Discovering Local Events
Facebook is really making their Events function a prominent feature for Hotels and small businesses to utilize. Embrace your creativity and enjoy the ride.
Events is a really great way to generate some local awareness. The first part works as a calendar for the user informing me about events I marked interested in or going to. Therefore, it is so important for Hotels and small businesses to start to educate their customers on what type of behavior they prefer for their Facebook eco-system.
As you see here Facebook provide several options for events. Users can check events that they been invited too, events saved, events they are hosting or past events.
Call to Action
Facebook also introduced last year some Call to Action options to get more out of your local business interactions.
- Order food
- Request an appointment
- Get a quote
- Get ticket to movies and events
These are some call to actions Facebook been rolling out. And they will continue adding more features that will make it easier to get things done, make decisions and communicate with local businesses.
Facebooks latest feature City Guides will show you a list of cities and which of your friends visited, along with various recommendations of places to go and things to do.
This feature is a perfect opportunity to ask your friends for ideas what to do in a new city where you have not been, but they have.
Obviously, this is a feature that is extremely valuable when you a large network of either leisure or business travelers.
I can easily check out places where my friends have been, or if I scroll a little more down it will tell me places where the locals go.
All these features will take Social Travel planning to a new level.
Hotels and small businesses really need to start to look at the bigger picture here. This is so much more than Likes. Your Facebook Page is becoming an important part of your Storyboard. You need to implement storytelling that support Facebooks’ ecosystem and make it part of the customer experience.
This illustrates the importance of Hotel and small business Communities. Building a Community is centered on basic foundational principles:
- Build a quality network. Strategically develop your Hotels Social Profiles with the focus on the right mix of the target market, customers, peers, and resources.
- Provide quality content. It is important to focus on all content as part of your strategic mix. Meet your customers need by providing excellent, relevant information.
- Be consistent. Develop a reputation for being the trusted go-to source for the Hotel Industry by showing up regularly.
- Be genuine, authentic, passionate, and caring. Demonstrate in actions how much you care about your community.
From the foundation, Hotels need to identify new ways to connect with the Influencers within their Community. The influencers will help them build the pillars that will take your Hotel and small business to the next level. That is when the real ripple effects of your efforts will start to show.
Learn how to nurture your influencers and the Community.
If you need assistance then contact us and learn how a Hotel Social Media Consultant can help.
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