Irish Start-up Travelshake Launch Apps for Hospitality Businesses to Capitalise on Sociall Networks Growing Web Presence
Irish start-up Travelshake.com, which gave us the world's first social media website for consumers to plan their holiday destinations, is now taking advantage of Facebook's growing popularity as a web destination by launching an application that allows tourism, travel and hospitality businesses to offer their "fans" the ideal travel shopping experience on the social network.
According to a recent report by travel industry research authority PhoCusWright, Facebook referred more than 15.2 million visitors to hotel websites in 2010, a 35% increase from 2009, and a 428% jump from 2008.
The Travelshake app, which has a custom colour palette to create a branded skin, is embedded into a business's own Facebook page and can even be set as the default landing page. It includes a video player, photo galleries, a map that sends the business's location to an iPhone (using the technology of another Irish start-up, Pinpoints) Twitter feeds, offers and a lead generating contact form.
Travelshake's Marketing Director, Laughlin Rigby, who co-founded the company with his brother Fergal, said the Facebook app offers the user a cleaner, more inspiring experience, combining many old tab features into just one. Rigby claims that recent case-studies continue to prove that a branded landing page with rich media can not only double the number of Facebook "Likes", but also increase conversion by 25%.
Laughlin explains: "With Facebook now commanding up to 38% of total internet traffic, travel businesses are beginning to give more attention to their Facebook presence. However, many are still underutilising their pages and some are installing booking apps without giving their visitors any reason to book with them."
He continues: "Our app addresses these problems by providing facebook visitors with inspiring rich media and content that will increase fan engagement and help convert lookers to bookers. We even have a direct booking link on the app to allow companies let their fans book directly with them."
One example of a company using the Travelshake Facebook app is the Cliff Bar Academy on St Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland's first bartender academy (see Youtube above). Irish bartenders are renowned and sought the world over, and the Cliff Bar Academy use their Facebook page to explain their range of courses and show videos on how to make popular cocktails. See the Travelshake Facebook App Cliff Bar Academy
Since launching Travelshake.com in Ireland last year, more than 1,000 travel firms in 77 countries worldwide have adopted it, and in Ireland there are over 500 tourism and hospitality businesses alone using the both the website and its microsites to promote their businesses.
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