Facebook “City Guide” — What You Need to Know
In early March of this year, Facebook released its newest attraction — “City Guide,” a review and travel feature that your business just may find useful. The overall theme of Facebook’s City Guide is similar to the popular Four Square app; however, it feels more personalized for the user and more practical for businesses like yours. And once it’s fully rolled out to all users… and extends beyond just the largest metropolitan cities… it could be a nice boon to your marketing efforts. Here’s what makes it different and potentially awesome.
City Guide for Hospitality
Facebook City Guide is smartly designed around the logic that people searching for a hotel, campground, spa, etc. are more likely to trust recommendations from friends over strangers. With that in mind, City Guide showcases a list of cities along with profile icons representing which “friends” visited each city. When you tap on the city, it reveals locations based on where those friends checked-in. There will also be a recommendations list from locals that may include a quick description pulled from reviews. For instance, La Reserve Paris Hotel in Paris, France may say: “People talk about the impeccable property, beautiful spa and attentive staff.” There you go — someone is planning a trip to France, friends have stayed at this hotel, the overview is impressive and boom — that hotel has a solid booking lead. The app is also capable of taking that lead one step further by directing potential guests to your page, where you will soon have the ability to add a Book Now or Contact button.
Finally, a Functional Purpose to Likes & Check-Ins
If you have a Facebook business page (as you should!), you know that the rulers of the hospitality game have the most Likes and regular check-ins. Those numbers reflect your business’s credibility in a big way and building on that base is a priority on the social media scale. Especially when it comes to City Guide. Remember, likes and check-ins determine whether or not you’re included in the City Page results. Make no mistake, if City Guide’s popularity grows as expected, you want to be ready. That means boosting your Facebook numbers by keeping your page current and engaging, while encouraging guests to like and share their compliments.
More About That Booking Feature
City Guides can help with direct bookings by seamlessly guiding users from City Guide to your page’s Book Now or Contact Us button, which is something Facebook is still rolling out to businesses. To see if you can access this feature yet, go to your page’s cover photo and look for “+ Add a Button.” If you see that option, click it, choose Book Now (or whatever call-to-action you need) and type in your business website’s online reservation URL. Next, click “Create.” If the buttons aren’t available to you yet, keep a look-out because this feature can be a great convenience.
Is Facebook City Guide groundbreaking? No. But the simple fact that it’s accessible through one of the most powerful social media platforms in the world means it has huge potential. Plus, it’s still evolving, so more capabilities and features could be available in the future.
Our advice? Keep your eye on this one — and be ready to put your business’s Facebook following to work for you.