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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

How AirBnB Maximizes Social Media

August is going to be AirBnB month as dannybuntu.com would be focusing on one thing: getting someone to go here and book via AirBnb!

Despite the growing pains that AirBnb has been experiencing, very few have taken notice of how much it uses social media to its advantage. To its credit, AirBnB has the complete retinue:




The Pièce de résistance 

The most compelling and convincing feature of AirBnB would have to be its tight integration with your social connections in social networks (primarily facebook).

AirBnb is a breakthrough for both the hospitality industry as well as social media in that it was able to capitalize upon the most integral factor in social networking and commercial decisions - trust!

AirBnb recommends spaces based on who your friends are.

It really must be mentioned that most people's recommendations on social networks are almost always tinged with special interests:

  • Your friends invite you to play Zynga games, so that they could achieve in-game perks. 
  • People "like" a business page because of a promo
  • Friends recommend a promotion that a friend is doing because of 
    • commissions
    • shared values
    • shared benefits
    • to develop the relationship, etc.
AirBnB masterfully applies their knowledge of Facebook's open graph by linking the profiles of people you "trust" (at least in social networks) to your searches. 

So for instance, if I am looking for a place to stay somewhere in Barcelona, one of my friends who has a friend there, would automatically be included in AirBnB's social listing. 

It's a de-facto recommendation that I don't think most people who participate in social networks know. 

Implication 1: Even if you're not participating in AirBnb, but if you have a friend on facebook who is, AirBnb will recommend a space using your profile to a third party who is also a friend who's would be interested in finding a place nearby. 

Implication 2: Privacy concerns. 

From a marketing stand point, it is a stroke of brilliance on AirBnB's part. 

In this regard, it would seem that having plenty of friends on facebook would really be advantageous if you're an AirBnBer. Moreover, it gives people a chance to connect with their guests on social networks.