Travel companies are being urged to think carefully about their presence on social networking site Facebook.
The message comes from Irish social media specialist Travelshake.com which has developed a Facebook application for tourism and travel businesses.
The app lets business owners offer their Facebook fans the “ideal travel shopping experience” on the online social network.
The app, which can be set as the default landing page, includes a video player, photo galleries, a map that can send a firm’s directions to an iPhone, Twitter feed, offers and a lead generating contact form.
Travelshake marketing director Laughlin Rigby said: “With Facebook now commanding up to 38% of total internet traffic, travel businesses need to give real thought to their Facebook presence.
“However, some travel businesses are putting the cart before the horse on Facebook; they are installing booking apps without giving their visitors any reason to book with them. It’s like creating a website that only has a booking engine.
“Our app addresses this problem by providing visitors to Facebook pages with inspiring rich media and information that will help convert lookers to bookers. We even have a direct booking link permanently on the app to facilitate this.”
Rigby said the app will offer potential customers a “cleaner, more inspiring” Facebook experience, combining many old tabs into just one.
“Studies continue to prove that rich media can increase conversion by 25% and that a branded landing page can more than double the number of Facebook likes, so with our app you are increasing your conversion rate and the likes to your Facebook page.”
Travelshake launched its social media microsites on Travelshake.com last year, which are now used by more than 1,000 travel firms in 77 countries. They enable companies to incorporate content onto their Facebook pages.
Businesses can sign up for a free basic microsite and smartmap app or can get Facebook apps with an enhanced microsite for $25 a month by downloading it from the Travelshake website.