Would Facebook users buy your last-minute travel inventory by simply telling them to type their booking order into the comment section of your Sponsored post or product posts on your Fan page?
Example: A Sponsored post for the Ace Hotel in New York City shows up in my news feed for 45% off 2 nights lodging on Aug 16,17. To book the room I just type “Book It, firstname.lastname@example.org, 2 adults” into the comments section underneath the ad.
Just typing BOOK IT, SOLD, RESERVE or any actionable sales word with your email address is all it could take to sell your last minute travel inventory or travel product or service to Facebook fans and users.
Seem to good to be true?
Possibly but stay with me as I’ll prove to you that this is working in Facebook and it’s very effective.
Have you ever seen Lolly Wolly Doodle?
Go here to view their Fan page on Facebook.
Cruise around their Fan page and look at their product posts.
Read the “How to shop” page.
What do you see?
Now look closely in the comments section under each product post. (Red arrows are my annotations.)
Facebook fans type in the quantity, color and size they want then add their email address.
Here are the steps Lolly Wolly Doodle takes to sell clothing to their 900K Facebook fans.
1. Lolly Wolly Doodle posts a new product for sale on their Facebook fan page or runs a Sponsored post advertisement.
2. Facebook users buy by typing in the size, color and any other options and include their email address.
3. The Facebook admin for Lolly Wolly Doodle then emails the Facebook fan a Paypal invoice to pay for the product.
4. Upon payment Lolly Wolly Doodle ships the product.
You might be thinking that this is old school selling and your right but Lolly Wolly Doodle has a 85% conversion rate on orders placed from people that type their order into the comment section of the product post and leave their email address. They also raised $20M in VC money last summer and now have automated the sales process by scraping the sales data off their news feed to quicken the process.
This is the most effective way I’ve ever seen to sell on Facebook.
• The buyer doesn’t leave the news feed to take the first step in buying.
• The sales process facilitates impulse buying and makes us feel good, like we are really not even buying.
• Removes the “Buy Now” button from the entire e-commerce process. No clicking a button and then going to an order form.
• The Order form is the comment section in the news feed.
You don’t even know it but you are actually already in the order form.
This is brilliant.
If you’re a heavy Facebook user you know that the news feed is now part of our daily lives. We spend minutes and for some people hours each day scrolling, looking at our friend’s posts, liking their posts, clicking, commenting, and sharing.
The Facebook news feed is our friend and sanctuary.
Its where we go to seek a little joy and a place we go to alleviate our emotional pain.
What we type in the comment section of the news feed has meaning to us.
Would we ever betray what we write in the news feed?
I don’t think so.
I believe many merchants including travel companies will start testing this approach when utilizing Facebook as a sales channel. I can easily see a hotel using this technique as well as travel companies that are selling inventory that is last minute.
I see the argument that this technique won’t work for travel and its possible that this is correct. Lolly Wolly Doodle is a retail clothing company and maybe this sales technique will only work on retail based products with a large fan base.
I believe there is opportunity to innovate here and develop technology and or sales techniques that enable travelers to buy from within the news feed. My guess is that we will see more innovative breakthroughs and new ways of selling within the Facebook news feed.
If you have successfully sold travel via Facebook and would like to share your story please leave a comment below or send me a private email at email@example.com