Social APIs integration helping travel booking portals and reservation software in travel domain.
Using Facebook integration for the purpose of driving website traffic for the travel agents is a very innovative idea that one can come across. This idea is not restricted to the travel domain and to the travel agents and travel agencies. The idea could be very well implemented for other domains as well, like the e-commerce website. Facebook has always been valued as a marketing channel for the travel agent.
This write-up is all about letting the readers know about leveraging the power of Facebook to increase the travel agency business and enhance credibility. Having your organizational present felt through the Facebook or advertising through Facebook will not be enough to achieve the level of success you required. This is because people will need to know that you as a travel agency provide an excellent service and is trustworthy at the same time.
The main reason for putting forward the idea of Facebook integration with your business website is for the meaningful utilization of your Facebook page. This technique will be helpful in acquiring new customers, increasing the revenue and retaining the existing customers. The last few years, Facebook has experienced a huge growth, which has changed its image of being a social networking site to a powerful marketing tool. This marketing platform is very effective in the areas like direct sales and customer segmentation. Facebook is being used by around a billion users each day, is capable of providing huge potential for the travel agents and travel agency companies in term of providing a platform for marketing their products and services to the global audience.
One of the most common methods of making the users visit your new site is through the process of search engine optimization or SEO. When an agency that has being conducting offline business upgrades itself to online, it will not be possible for them to make into the list of the high search ranking for the next few months. This is because the top slots of the search ranking are dominated by the large OTAs with big SEO investment.
One of the best methods for the offline travel agencies for acquiring new customers is through the existing ones. This includes the process of motivating the existing customers who are satisfied with your service, to share their positive experience with their friends through the most powerful marketing toll called “Word of Mouth”. The meeting tool of Word-of-mouth has a new definition at present and it is through social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Facebook integrated websites have lot many benefits, the foremost being the procedures used by the travel business for maximizing gains from the existing customer. One of the ways to do so is by rewarding these customers for sharing your deals and promoting the deals on Facebook. Implementing this procedure will eventually bring new customers.
Majority of the travel agents possess a business page on Facebook, or in case you don’t have one you should open it immediately. Along with a Facebook account, opening a Facebook booking portal that acts as a mirror portal for Facebook is also necessary. This portal acts as the mirror portal of the current Facebook, helping in selling flight, hotel and packages. This also helps in significantly increasing the look-to-book ration of your travel agency portal.
This would be the best opportunity when you have a Facebook page with a decent amount of fan base and most of the fans are your existing customers. The travel industry is very competitive at present and customer base is shaky for every company operating in the travel business. This situation calls for providing your customers with a strong reason to stay with you. The reason that could help in retaining your customer may include providing better products, providing more competitive pricing and providing superior service. The other way of retaining the customer is rewarding them.
You can use your Facebook page and business website for publishing deals. In case your business website is integrated with your Facebook page, it will enable your customers to share your products and deals with their friend and in turn you can reward them. You can also incentivize your current customers by allowing them to publish deals once or twice a month on their Facebook wall.
The whole idea of posting deals directly on the customer’s Facebook wall is the opportunity that you get by enabling the view of your deals by more number of people when compared to your own Facebook page. Your deal reaches to the entire friend list of your customer and in turn reaches out to more number of customers, and your customers are the brand ambassadors for the reason behind bringing more customers for your travel agency business.
One more important point to keep in mind is that the deals that you publish online should be deep-linked. Deep-links are hyperlinks on the web that will take the users to the specific page on your website in opposition to your homepage. By web we mean website, social media or any other site. The benefit associated with deep linking is that your customers sharing the deal on Facebook wall with their friends. Their friends like the deals and clicking on the deals will take them to the deal page, wherein they can book the deal instead of reaching your home page and searching for the deal there.
Many businesses make the mistake of posting their promotional offers on social media, which directs the user to the home page of the travel agency rather than directing to the specific page for purchasing the deal. When a user click on the hyperlinked deal, it means that they are interested to know about the specific deal and not any other packages deal or entire product that the business is offering. The users don’t prefer reaching your home page and searching for the deal that has caught their attention on the Facebook. This also provides the opportunity of cross-promotion, when the users enquire about the interested deal. You can provide them information about other similar deals and offers that you have in store.
One concept that could lead to success is letting your customer reach the page that they are interested in, rather than them landing in another page and searching for the deal. When a user is unable to find the deal or promotional offers that they want, they are likely to leave the page which will lead to high bounce ranking and in-turn affect your search engine ranking. Facebook integration is a way of measuring of the success of the deal accurately. You get the opportunity of knowing the number of times the deal was viewed, liked and shared along with the persons associated with the action. For every sale that you make, an additional reward could be given to the current customer who referred the deal.
You can choose different types of rewards. The rewards could be in the form of special pricing, discounts or points. This would be a form of incentive for the customers who are constantly sharing your deal and bringing business for you. This is the best way of acquiring news customers along with keeping your current customers happy, and all this is possible without spending a penny.
The next question that must be invading your mind is “what happens when a visit doesn’t transform into a deal”? I could relate this to the benefit of integrating with Facebook. When a user clicks on the promotion and lands on the web page of the deal, the user details gets captured by the software automatically and is stored in the system as new customer along with their interest. These customers get automatically signed in into the system with the help of the Facebook credentials. They also receive an introductory email, which welcomes to the website and in some cases there is a promotional code for making their first purchase from the website. The promo code in travel software is a form of cash discount that tricks the customers to make a purchase from the website.
One more advantage of capturing the customer data through Facebook is about getting a deeper understanding of their preferences and behavior. This understanding is of great help when it comes to creation of marketing campaign for a particular target audience, along with providing a better customer service. Facebook integration with the business website is beneficial for the users as well, which comes in the form of saving their precious time spent on filling the registration form and remembering the login details.
The benefits reveal the underestimating Facebook would be a big mistake, which is considered to be the largest peer-peer connection network. Majority of the people across the world is connected to their friends and relatives through Facebook. There is no better way to make the promotional material reach out to your friend and their friend and their friend than Facebook. This means that through this marketing strategy the travel agencies could reach out to the people whom they would have never through of reaching out to across the globe.
The reason behind Facebook and Twitter becoming so popular for marketing is the promotion through these channels costing significantly less. An interested piece of news content posted on the social media has the capability of going viral within minutes, which is capable of providing your business with excellent word-of-mouth publicity without any cost. Along with this tracking the success of ROI of the marketing campaign becomes much easier and is carried through online channels like Facebook.
A Facebook integrated travel website can bring about transformational change to your travel agency business by driving user engagement, providing instant credibility and providing your website with a true social outlook.