Facebook has gone Like crazy and TripAdvisor got in on the early action.
It’s been widely reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted yesterday that Facebook would serve around 1 billion “Likes” across the Web within 24 hours of launching the Like plug-in for third parties websites, and TripAdvisor.com was among the first adopters.
In launching the Like tool on TripAdvisor.com, the hotel-review site gave the Like tool some prime real estate on its hotel pages.
When you go to any hotel page on TripAdvisor.com — take the W New York Times Square, for example — “Like” and Facebook icons appear next to the hotel name at the top of the page, along with the following: “Be the first of your friends to like this.” It looks like this:
When you click on Like, it says “Dennis Schaal [or whoever you are] likes this” next to the hotel name on TripAdvisor.
So, as you share your fondness for the property with your Facebook friends, TripAdvisor gets two links — one back to the hotel’s page on TripAdvisor, and another to the TripAdvisor.com homepage.
Poor W – Times Square, of course, gets no direct links for all the Liking going on, but it may get some incremental bookings through TripAdvisor’s advertisers.
For example, the TripAdvisor Check Rates feature within the TripAdvisor W New York – Times Square page includes booking engines from Whotels, Orbitz, Booking.com,Â Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, 1800Hotels, Otel.com, Priceline.com, PerfectEscapes.com and TabletHotels.com.
There are some issues with the Like button and its, ahem, likely proliferation across the Web, including on online travel websites.
There is the potential that the W – Times Square — or any hotel, for that matter– could enlist legions of Likers for marketing purposes despite the fact that there is no requirement or verification that any of them actually stayed at the property.
And, social networking should not be just a bunch of happy talk.
Don’t your social networking friends also want to know about the hotels and destinations you disliked?
What about the properties where your experience was so poor that you would never revisit the establishment?
I hate to rain on the Like parade — but if you are going to share your hotel preferences with your friends, there should be a dislike button, as well.
But, that wouldn’t be very advertiser-friendly, would it.
TripAdvisor implemented the Like button, as did a host of other brands, including CNN, ESPN and a couple of dozen more.
TripAdvisor has not relegated the Like button to hotels only, but has installed it for cities, attractions and restaurants, too.
The Like button has been rolled out on TripAdvisor.com for now, and a spokesman says there is no news to report on expansion to any other country sites yet.
â€śIntegration between the worldâ€™s most popular and largest travel community and the worldâ€™s most popular and largest social networking site is a natural fit benefiting both brands,” says Adam Medros, TripAdvisor’s vice president of product. “We think our members will enjoy sharing their Likes across sites and with a wide range of their friends and connections. Additionally, theÂ hotels, cities, attractions and restaurants featured on the TripAdvisor site will also benefit from increased exposure.â€ť
You gotta Like it — or not.