Humans are social creatures, and when we travel it’s often for social reasons – going from A to B whether alone or together – in order to see or be with people who are not at A.
So using social technology to facilitate the social activity of travel makes sense: And some smart brands are making real sense with social technology, using Facebook to power social commerce. Here are three of our favorites:
1. Delta Air Lines. Delta made a splash with ‘Ticket Counter‘ in 2010, a Facebook ticketing app enabling travellers to research, book and pay for flights all within Facebook. This year Delta has added a new ‘Away We Go‘ group-travel app to help people plan, promote and share travel plans within Facebook.
2. Topguest. Making those Facebook Places check-ins pay, Topguest is a travel service that rewards users with loyalty points and perks for virtual check-ins (and photo-sharing) to hotels, airlines and travel destinations. Hotel groups such as Viceroy, Standard, and Kimpton use Topguest to offer guests cocktails, spa treatments, and free room upgrades. Is this the future of loyalty programs in the travel industry?
3. Airbnb. The oh-so-hip B&B marketplace with a $1bn valuation, Airbnb has integrated its site with Facebook Open Graph to personalise and de-risk the booking experience: You get to see B&B hosts around the world who are – or have been rated by – your friends and friends of friends. Real social utility. And of course, you can search and book from within Facebook too. Smart.