nightsbridge – the South African booking engine that’s designed specifically for local guest houses and B&Bs – recently launched a booking app for Facebook which allows users of the wildly popular social networking site to book on line: without having to navigate away from the page.
“It’s important to understand the difference between pages and profiles on Facebook – and to know that Facebook’s terms of service require business to have pages, and individuals to have profiles,” said nightsbridge co-founder, Theresa Emerick.
The fundamental difference, of course, is that you can ‘like’ a page – and thus become one of its fans – but you have to ‘friend’ a person via his or her profile.
“But there are other differences, too – one of which is that you can add apps to pages, but not to profiles,” said Theresa. You can also draw stats from a page, and optimise it for the search engines (there’s an interesting article on SEO for Facebook here. And if you want to know more about why you should set up a page – and not a profile – for your business, read this article).
Theresa pointed out that the beauty of having a page on Facebook – rather than a profile – is that it acts like a web site of its own: one important feature being that all the information on pages is always visible to all viewers, whereas users of profiles often hide certain of their information from many of their viewers.
Intrigued, I logged into Facebook, found nightsbridge, and went to one of its clients – Kogman & Keisie Guest Farm (which is in Montagu in the Western Cape), and Liked their page. Then I found their ‘Book Now’ Button (it’s on the left, under their photograph), and did a dummy run – sure enough, my desired dates came up as available, and I was given my choice of any of three cottages (Thatch Roof Cottage, Mountain View Cottage, or Farm View Cottage – which seemed like the one for me). Having made my choice, a final (before booking) screen came up with a confirmation of dates, prices and the required deposit.
It couldn’t have been easier.
(And by the way – there’s an ‘Enquiry’ feature, too, so you can e-mail the accommodation provider directly off the Facebook page).
The Kogman & Keisie people found the application easy to use, too – as they posted on the ‘Reviews’ page of the Nightsbridge Book Now app: “Easy to install if you follow the instructions step by step. Easy to use interface for clients just like the normal ‘Book Now’. This application brings social media networking for establishments to the next level!! Thanks NightsBridge :)”
For more information, search for nightsbridge on Facebook – or go to http://www.facebook.com/nightsbridge (another benefit of having a page on Facebook – you can opt for a ‘vanity URL’ – that is, a URL that contains your company name – if you have 25 fans or more.) Or call nightsbridge direct on +27(0)21 790 9910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.