Facebook has three different social offerings; Profiles, Pages and Places. Each option has different functions. This can get a tad complicated and confusing, but I’ll explain it as simply as I can. The two options that are good for your hotel are Pages and Places. Here are the differences:
Profile. A Facebook Profile is designed specifically for people, not businesses or brands. With a Profile, you can add and accept “friends”, list your family members, tag friends, play games with people and create groups and Pages. You should have a Profile for yourself, but you should NOT use a Profile for your business. You must register with Facebook and create a Profile in order to go further and create Pages. Think of a Profile as an “administrator” account for what is really important: your Page.
► Why do you need a Profile? Because it allows you to create your hotel’s Page.
Page. A Page is like a little social spot designed for brands, companies and celebrities. A Page can be “liked”, but a Page cannot add friends. If you create a Page, you can add photos, install buuteeq’s Facebook application and control what your fans and guests say and post on your Page’s wall.
► Why do you need a Page? Because guests will use your Page to connect with your hotel and share it with friends and family.
Place. A Place is designed for physical locations, accessed from mobile devices. It is identical to Pages in every way, except that it adds the ability for guests to “check-in” from their mobile device.
Now, by “check-in” I do not mean that it allows guests to check in to your hotel. Instead, “checking in” is just a fun social game that many people play on Facebook and sites like Yelp and Foursquare in order to show their friends where they are and where they have been.
► Why do you need a Place? You don’t. A Page is sufficient. However, Places offers two things Pages don’t—check-ins and Deals—which may be important to some of your guests.
Making a Profile is easy. Making a Page is also easy. Claiming a Place is much more time consuming. Here’s the skinny:
- Go to facebook.com. Fill out the form on the front page and click ‘sign up’.
- Enter the security code and click ‘sign up’.
- Facebook will now send you an email. Go to your email account, open it, and click the confirmation link found within.
You’re done! You can complete your Profile if you want, or move on to creating a Page for your hotel.
- Related: Converting a Profile into a Page.
- Go to facebook.com/pages/create.php.
- Click the big “Local Business or Place” button.
- Fill out your hotel information and agree to Facebook’s terms. Then click the blue “get started” button.
You’re done! You can now fill out your hotel information by clicking the “edit page” button.
You can also sync up your buuteeq BackOffice with your new Facebook Page in order to integrate your hotel photos, rooms and maps. Go to our Facebook Application page and click the “install now” button to do so.
» How to Make a Facebook Place
There are two ways to get a Place—claiming an existing Place, or creating a new one. If your hotel is in a business directory or yellow pages, then it most likely already has a Place on Facebook and you will have to claim it.
In order to create a new Place, you must have a Facebook application installed on a mobile device, such as an iPhone or Android.
- Open the Facebook app while standing near your hotel.
- Tap the “check in” button.
- Facebook will search for locations around you. Scroll up or down until you find your hotel. If you find it, move on to the “how to claim a place” section of this guide. If you can’t find it, try searching for it in the “find or add a place” search box.
If your hotel does not exist as a Place yet, you will see the option “add” next to your search query.
- Tap it to create your new Place.
- Fill in your hotel’s name and a short description.
- Tap “Add”.
- Next, “check-in” to your new hotel Place by tapping “check in”.
- Now, go to your computer. Log in to Facebook, and you will see that your new “check in” notification is on your wall. This happens automatically when you check in to new places on Facebook (unless you have turned this feature off in your privacy settings). Click the name of your hotel.
- You are now on your new Facebook Place. Next, you have to claim it.
- From your Facebook Place, click “Is this your business?” on the left.
- A pop-up message will appear. Check the box indicating that you are an official representative of your hotel and then click “Proceed with Verification”.
- Fill in your hotel’s information and click ‘continue’.
- Now for the hard part. Facebook asks you to authenticate your ownership using one of two ways. The first and easiest option is to simply type in your BRANDED email address. This email address MUST be the same one you used to register your Facebook Profile, or it must be an address you have added as a “secondary” address to your Profile. For example, if you have a company email address, type in YourName@YourHotel.com.
Facebook will see that your email address matches the name of your hotel and is associated with your Profile, and they will verify you. The other alternative is to scan some official business documentation that includes your business name and address, like a phone bill, and upload it to Facebook. Click ‘choose file’ and browse for the file on your hard drive in order to send this documentation to Facebook.
Regardless of the method you choose, it will take a day or two for Facebook to verify this information. You will receive an email once Facebook has approved your ownership of your hotel Place. Once approved, you can edit it just like any other Facebook Page, and you can offer Facebook Deals (depending on Facebook’s support & availability). You can also now sync up your buuteeq BackOffice with your new Facebook Place in order to integrate your hotel photos, rooms and maps. Go to our Facebook Application page and click the “install now” button to do so.
Complicated? Yes. Annoying? You bet. But it will be worth the effort once you start seeing your guests checking into your hotel Place. After all your hard work, be sure to promote your new Facebook presence on your website (which buuteeq makes easy for you) and at your hotel!