Ian Robinson / Tuesday, May 16, 2017 / Categories: Opinion Leveraging Facebook’s Recommendation Tool in the Hospitality Industry In late 2016, Facebook launched a feature called “recommendations”, the principle is simple: a tool to help you discover places, events, things to do and services in an area based on your friends recommendations. By now your interest should be high, but just in case you need a little more persuasion, consider these stats: 78% of users trust peer-recommended products while only 14% trust advertisements (Social Media Revolution, 2016). 58% of North Americans have an active social media account (We Are Social, 2015). 80% of social media users are more likely to try new things based on a friend’s suggestion (Social Media Preferences Survey, 2012). 92% of consumers view word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family as the most influential with regard to purchasing decisions (Social Media Today, 2016). So, not only do the suggestions of friends have a huge impact on the consumer purchasing decision, but Facebook, the world’s largest social network with over 1.6 billion active users, has created a tool for businesses to encourage buying decisions based on peer-reviews. As a business in the club or hospitality industry, much of your income is generated from tourism and experiential services so encouraging new customers is integral to your success. Your marketing efforts should target former guests while also attracting new clientele. With this in mind, we felt a blog discussing how the new recommendation feature works would be beneficial for the club and hospitality industry. We will start with the basics of the new feature followed by tips to encourage recommendations… Video on Facebook’s New Recommendation Feature Once you start getting recommendations via Facebook, people will find your business a number of different ways: 1. Recommended Places – With enough recommendations your business will be prominently displayed as a recommended destination to visit for other users on the location’s Facebook page. 2. Phrases – Facebook will start to track phrases like “Any recommendations for___” and “I’m looking for ___” and provide the user with suggestions based on what their friends have done. 3. Posts – If a user created a post about their visit to your business, the activity will show for the user’s friends should they choose to search the same location. Tips to Encourage Recommendations Getting users to endorse your business is easy, simply get them to create a status update and the app auto-populates to show that the business has been endorsed. You can encourage recommendations a number of different ways, here are a few of our favorite: Offer a percentage off discount on bookings after a recommendation. Use signage to remind customers to recommend your business. Always include reminders to recommend in database marketing Reward program for the employees – this encourages the employee to remind customers to recommend your business. Partner with a Charity – for example, you could offer to donate a dollar amount in exchange for each recommendation. With your business now recommended, the next step is to actually encourage prospects to execute with a call to action on your business page. Facebook has introduced new call-to-action buttons customized for specific industries which will send customer requests via Facebook messenger. If you’d prefer to drive traffic to your own booking engine (and you definitely should), have your call-to-action redirect to your website. With a strategy in place to leverage the new Facebook recommendation feature, you can encourage significant net new business for your organization. Tips to Sell More Banquet Event Orders Prepare For Father’s Day Early with These Marketing Strategies Print 2525 Please login or register to post comments.