Many hotels are looking for a possibility to install a Facebook booking app on their fan pages to enable their social followers to make reservations directly from the social network interface. The problem is that none of the available apps can do the job well enough for an accommodation provider that uses several booking sources and needs to have them synchronised in real time. The only solution is to have a real integration between your hotel PMS, the web booking engine, the online travel agents and other channels like the social media, and Clock PMS provides it.
Why it's worth having a Facebook booking app on your business page?
Facebook is one of the most preferable social networks for hospitality businesses to build their audience and engage with their customers. By connecting to other local businesses and communities, hotels and restaurants can promote not only their own specials but anything of interest in their area, thus giving more reasons for potential guests to come visiting and increasing the popularity of the whole area. This wealth of engaging and tempting information is precisely the place to introduce your "Book now" call to action button. In other words, Facebook will hardly become a major booking source for your business but it can still bring in some valuable customers.
The Clock PMS web booking engine and Facebook pages integration
The web reservation system in Clock PMS can help you a lot with Facebook marketing, for free. Below are listed the best ways to integrate your booking system with your Business page, thus creating the best Facebook booking app that really works, won't cause troubles and costs … nothing.
- In December 2014 Facebook rolled out the "Call to Action" button for pages. Annie Buck from Acorn Internet Services has provided a wonderful step-by-step guide on how to set up the new call-to-action button for your business fan page in this blog post. The given example involves a B&B's Facebook page, so it is straight to the point for our audience, too. You can use the new feature and place a "Book now" button right within your page's cover photo. Just take the link to the web reservation system from the Settings menu in the hotel management software and set it as a destination url of the button, choosing the "Book now" option when setting up the call to action (CTA) button. This will open a new page with your web booking engine ready to accept a booking.
- You can use a Facebook tab app to add a page tab and link it to the web reservation system. We have tried Woobox for our Clock PMS Demo Hotel page and it worked perfectly well. And it's free. The tab will appear on the left side of your Business page and in the tab bar under your header image. Right click on the bar and choose "Manage tabs" to rearrange positions. This will open the web booking engine within Facebook which means that your fan won't have to leave the social network to book. Woobox lets you add more tabs than one. And here is a little hint from Clock Software: link the CTA button in the cover photo to your web booking engine, then add it in the first tab, and create a second tab for your online gift voucher shop.
- The custom links that you are able to generate in the web booking engine of Clock PMS and lead to specific offers with their availability and rates are a perfect promotion instrument. You can create a great post about your special offer, explain the details and add the link. This will take those who click on it directly to the availability calendar showing only the dates and rooms that meet the rules of the particular rate. Any distraction and confusion on the way to booking confirmation are eliminated and the conversion rate of your sales action is increased.
- The bonus codes that are applicable in your web booking engine can be used to create a special campaign for your Facebook fans. You have many ways to communicate the code to your followers (and not only) - via private message, in a regular post, using Facebook Ads, as a prize to win in a photo competition…. you can add anything to the list.
In all of the above examples, you don't have to look for a special Facebook booking app to enable reservations from your Facebook page. You can just use the available free opportunities to integrate the web booking engine of Clock PMS with the social media. This means perfect synchronisation of availability and rates as they are taken directly from the hotel management system and there is nothing to map, or set up, or adjust, or anything else that could mean additional stress for your staff.
You can chose one or all of the mentioned techniques. One is sure, the more closer to your prospects' eyes a "Book now" button is placed, the more likely it is for them to click on it and book. And bookings are what it is all about, right?
Why the web booking engine integration is the best Facebook booking app?
Both the Call to action button and the page tab are forms of integration of the web reservation system you already use. This means that you simply connect the booking engine with its full functionality to Facebook and do not have to worry about anything else. Everything that is set for your online reservation system is working without further adjustments. In opposite, if you choose to install any third party application developed for Facebook, you will have to set it up, or find a way to export data to it, like availability and rates, then synchronise it and update it manually. The Internet reservation system that is a part of your hotel PMS does all of this automatically.
Visit the Clock PMS Demo Hotel Facebook page to see how the above examples really look like and work.