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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 05, 2012

Forget 'Likes', use 'Were Here' for better travel metrics

A British budget-holiday website claims to be the first to utilize Facebook's 'Were Here' API to produce a ranking of the top 10 destinations that is more representative of user engagement than 'Likes'.

by Helen Leggatt

Lowcostholidays' newly launched app uses location-based data from Facebook mobile check-ins and tagged photos, images and albums. Using this data, which powers the 'Were Here' count, the app formulates a leaderboard of the most popular destinations.

Unlike 'Likes' the 'Were Here' count displays the number of people who have actually been to a destination. This is far more representative of a user's engagement with a destination or travel attraction than a 'Like', which could have been left as the result of a contest entry requirement or from random browsing. Having said that, checking in to a location isn't an indication that the destination was enjoyed.

Lowcostholiday's app will also show whether a user's friends have visited a destination, a key driver of destination choice for many researching a vacation. A "book now" option is also available, which takes users to a destination-specific page. The "take me there" option also appears to take the user to the same page as "book now".

Users of the app can select destinations or attractions based on various categories, such as couples, cultural, winter breaks or group getaways.

"As Facebook strategy for tourism marketing matures, the data that can be extracted from the platform via tools such as 'Were Here' is going to be increasingly important," said Justin Reid, Director of Destination Marketing at the 'Were Here' app developer, Betapond.

"This new app is a powerful tool for to connect with its Facebook audience, but it is also an indicator of the huge potential value in this data for destinations. Combine the number of mobile check-ins, people tags and photo location tags with your existing Facebook audience and you start to see how it is possible to extract an actual ROI from your Facebook marketing strategy."

Only companies that include an address on their Facebook Pages can see the 'Were Here' feature.

Tags: Betapond, destination marketing, Facebook, location-based marketing, mobile app, social marketing, social media, travel market

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