The Smart Hotelier’s Action Plan to Capitalize on Facebook City Guides
March 23, 2017 12:52pm
By Victoria Hsia
Facebook recently began rolling out a new feature that further positions the platform as a travel planning tool: City Guides. Available on the mobile app, City Guides serve as Facebook-curated destination guides, complete with recommendations of places to go and things to do. This functionality was first launched back in December, but is now being rolled out on a larger scale.
How Do Facebook City Guides Work?
There are two ways to access a City Guide: by tapping “City Guides” in the app menu or by searching for a particular city in the search bar. When you access City Guides through the app’s menu, you will see various cities listed and friends who have been there. At this time, only some major international cities have a City Guide, but this could change if Facebook continues to build out the feature.
When you tap a City Guide, you will see at the top an image of the city with the current temperature, weather, and time. Next you will see a list of places within the city that your friends have visited, along with their star rating and reviews. For some places, Facebook also highlights a few key attributes and features that many people mention regarding the place. For example, next to a restaurant it might say “People talk about best place for oyster, friendly service and happy hour.”
Beneath “Places Your Friends Have Been” is a section called “Places The Locals Go,” which offers popular, highly rated spots. Here users can also see at a glance if any of their friends have visited. The last section of each City Guide is “Popular Attractions,” which showcases things like famous landmarks and tourist attractions. With City Guides, you can easily save a city or a specific place to reference later by tapping the bookmark icon to the right.
How Can Hotels Capitalize on Facebook City Guides?
How do Facebook City Guides Compare to Google Trips?
While some may see Facebook City Guides as an answer to the new Google Trips app, a key advantage for Facebook is that users can easily click through to a hotel’s website and book a room. Additionally, users on Google Trips cannot see if their friends have checked in on Facebook, an action that is becoming increasingly common as the social media giant’s user base grows. On the other hand, Google Trips provides a different benefit by allowing users to sync and access their travel plans offline.
Overall, Facebook City Guides are a useful tool to aid potential guests throughout the travel planning journey. Not only do potential guests have access to content and recommendations from their peers, they get an all-access preview of where the locals love to go– a very popular mantra of travelers today. As the travel ecosystem continues to evolve, it is crucial that hoteliers utilize the tools that will best achieve their business objectives. By doing so, they will be able to remain competitive and drive more revenue from the direct online channel.
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Victoria Hsia is Manager, Digital Marketing & Creative Strategy at HeBS Digital. HeBS Digital, founded in 2001 and headquartered in NYC with five additional global offices in Las Vegas, Europe, Singapore and Australia/New Zealand, helps hoteliers around the globe drastically increase direct bookings and lower overall distribution costs by deploying industry’s best-of-breed guest acquisition suite, including the smartCMS® website technology platform, Smart Personalization Engine, Smart Data Marketing, and full-stack digital consulting and marketing solutions (www.hebsdigital.com). The firm is headquartered in New York City and has offices in Las Vegas, Europe, Singapore and Australia/New Zealand. HeBS Digital’s technology, website design and digital marketing services have won more than 400 prestigious industry awards, including World Travel Awards, HSMAI Adrian Awards, Stevie Awards (American Business Awards), W3 Awards, WebAwards, Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards, Summit International Awards, Interactive Media Awards, and IAC Awards. A diverse client portfolio of top-tier major luxury and boutique hotel chains, independent hotels, resorts and casinos, branded properties and hotel management companies, convention centers, spas, restaurants, DMO and tourist offices across the globe are all benefiting from HeBS Digital’s cutting-edge guest acquisition suite of technology, consulting and marketing solutions. The HeBS Digital team is comprised of hospitality industry thought leaders, a truly diverse team of experts comprised of over 33 nationalities speaking over 22 languages. Contact HeBS Digital’s experts at 1 (800) 649-5076 (North America), +44 (0) 7730 779 213 (London), +64 (0) 9 889 8489 (New Zealand, Australia, South Pacific), +65 9005 1589 (Asia), or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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