Carolina Live: Facebook keeps you connected to not only your friends, but to potential hotel rooms as well. Fourteen Grand Strand hotels are now using the "Guestdesk Facebook" social booking engine on their Facebook pages.
Fuel Interactive, an Internet marketing company that specializes driving sales online, developed Guestdesk.
Stuart Butler, the CEO of Fuel Interactive, says "Consumers can research rates and availability without ever leaving Facebook, making it very convenient." Instead of having to be directed to a hotel's web page, all the research and actual booking can be done without users ever leaving Facebook.
Guestdesk also powers the VacationMyrtleBeach.com Facebook page. It allows users access to special deals and promotions, maps and property information for a variety of properties. With the Guestdesk system, users can also take advantage of the "Ask Friends" feature that allows them to get feedback from others posted right on their Facebook walls.
We spoke with Matt Klugman, with Caravelle Resorts in Myrtle Beach. He said, " We have the booking engine on our Facebook page and it really, with as many fans as we have, it allows fans to be able to go to Facebook, interact with friends and make their vacation decision right there on the page. They can learn about our properties right there on Facebook from friends, find out all kinds of information and be able to complete their reservation booking process right there." The Caravelle had 3,831 fans at the time this article was posted.
Klugman says he's expecting good things from the service. "We've had some early results. I think it's a brand new service, so it's something that we're still trying to figure out, but early on the verdict is very good and very positive."
About 14 million people visit Myrtle Beach each year.