Another “aha” moment on Facebook | Travel Research Online


Another “aha” moment on Facebook

Facebook has been in the news a lot this past week.  First they went public and made Mark Zuckerberg a cool $19 billion. Then Zuckerberg got married (smart move with his $19B earned before he married). And in much less important news, I had yet another “aha” moment with Facebook.

You have all heard it before—you need to be embracing social media. And for most of us, Facebook is the most important one. With nearly a billion users, it simply cannot be ignored.  If you like it or not, Facebook appears to be here to stay.  Your customers are likely embracing it in some manner. And if that is where they are talking, that is where you need to be to join the conversation. So, what was my “aha” moment?

Last week, I was in Las Vegas for the Home Based Travel Agent Forum to speak on a panel. But before I left, as I was walking my dog on Saturday, I realized I needed to get my hair cut—you can’t look shaggy in Vegas!  Well, the Yellow Pages was not available on my walk, so I pulled out my smart phone and planned on looking up the number of the local barber shop because I knew I had “liked” his page.

Did you see what just happened there? With so many resources at my fingertips-Google,, 411, etc. I chose to open my Facebook application to get the number!

But what really delivered the “aha” was that when I went to his page, there was a little green icon next to his hours of operation indicating that he was open at that particular time. Facebook used this information and melds it with the local time of your device!  And of course right there next to the hours, was his phone number. One single press of my finger on the number and I was connected!

After I thought about it, I realized that Facebook has really taken the place of many products— is all but gone, the Yellow Pages is history, and now directory assistance is on its way out as well.  Facebook is connecting us with the people and the businesses that we care about and with whom we like to do business.

I know I am not alone in reaching out to Facebook initially to get the information I needed.  People are on Facebook at their desktops and in their pockets. Do you have a page? Are you encouraging your clients and prospects to “like” you? You ought to be! Because the next time they need to talk travel, they are likely going to pull out their phone and either search for your name (if you are top of mind for them) or they will search their liked pages for “travel.” Were you aware of this functionality? Can you see the benefit?

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