Adding a FaceBook Like Box and Wall Stream to an Accommodation Website

We’re setting up a new website for Swansea Motor Inn in Tasmania. We’ve built this accommodation website using WordPress on a template made with Artisteer.

Accommodation in Swansea TasmaniaSwansea is a popular destination and this accommodation has some really attractive features such as it’s location on the beach and proximity to some really great natural areas. FaceBook will be easy to manage because they can make casual posts about seeing dolphins from the window, bush walking in the area, fishing and whale watching and what’s happening with local events.

Swansea Motor Inn has been able to hit the mark of 25 FaceBook Likes pretty quickly, which will help them to create short urls and improve their marketing. Adding the Like Box stream means that people on the website will see new content and may with one click get posts from Swansea Motor Inn added to their FaceBook wall. They can also easily remove it if they like.

Face Book Like Box as a WordPress Widget

From your FaceBook Page, you’ll see links to promote your page (https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like-box/). Essentially, you copy the url from your FaceBook Fan Page into the box for Face Book Page URL, and then tick the box for what you want to display. You’ll get 2 snippets of code that you can use. Both seem to work, but I prefer XFBML to the IFRAME version. Once you’ve got this code, go to your WordPress Dashboard and go to Widgets. Select a ‘Text’ widget and drag it to your sidebar. Then, paste the Face Book code and save. If you want to adjust the width or height of the Like Box, I recommend you change it in the code as it is really obvious.

Is FaceBook a Real Marketing Tool for Accommodation?

Today, there are over 500,000 people on FaceBook and more than 48% of Australians are using it regularly. So, getting a business started on FaceBook seems like an obvious thing to do. Clearly using FaceBook is different than set up a website and forgetting about it. Not everyone feels able to manage an ongoing and ‘interesting’ dialog. But, posting to FaceBook is pretty easy. You can post photos, statements and links to things you find interesting.

I recommend you set a reminder and 1 or 2 times a week add something… anything. Once you get started and see what people respond to you may be surprised.

Setting Yourself as a Local Business on FaceBook

Don’t assume the only Likes and traffic to your FaceBook Page will come from your website. You can set your business as a Local Business meaning it has a marker on the map. So, when people search on FaceBook for your area you will show up. You may also find that links to iPhones and Smart Phones will soon have a Check in App that promotes locality based businesses to FaceBook users.

I don’t think there is any advantage to wait – get a FaceBook Page for your business now. Even if it is dormant, I think it is better to have one started and see what happens with it than to wait. FaceBook promotes your business for FREE. Why not do it?

You hear so much about Face Book – both over promising and under promising. I suggest you just try it. It’s not that hard and really…. there is no single solution. What works for you may not work for others.

About Mark

Founder of Web Reservation Systems, focused on helping businesses in the Australian Accommodation travel sector get more value from Internet Marketing. Originally, we opened up in 2001 as a supplier of Front Office Software linked to Online Booking facilities. That allowed motels and hotels to add booking buttons to their websites as well as sell through Global Distribution Systems. You could say this was an early 'Channel Manager' because it allowed the property manager to simply control price and availability for a diverse array of wholesale and retails websites. Next, we started building websites to profile our customers (Australian Holiday Guide). That lead to building websites for customers as a favour. Now do about 80 websites a year using BurgundySky and Joomla. For small businesses I recommend using BurgundySky as it is very easy to start and manage. Joomla is also great, but harder to install and maintain for a small business. Our web design business is based in Byron Bay, NSW. Byron Bay is a great place to live and work. I have 2 kids (15 and 17) who are both born here and my wife, Shobhan Oliver) is a successful artist.
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