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Travel Reviews, Facebook Live and Fall Foliage

Travel Reviews, Optimizing Content and Fall Foliage

The most important parts of travel reviews

We’ve known for some time that reviews are incredibly important, but what is it in reviews that people look for most – especially when it comes to travel reviews? A new study set out to find out what that was and examined a number of factors in reviews for casual travelers, romantic travelers and business travelers. People were asked to read reviews and then select a property to stay at based on a number of pre-selected factors. The findings? Cleanliness is big across the board, but comfort and amenities are major factors for frequent travelers.

Some of the other big findings were:
Family travelers focus on the room, with comfort also scoring high. Wifi was a fairly important feature and food scored the highest for travelers in a party.

Facebook Mentions Live

Credit: Keir Simmons, Facebook

Facebook Live lives

Facebook’s version of a live-streaming platform, Facebook Live, is now available to people with a verified account and not just celebrities. The function will allow people like reporters to post content, report from a scene and even respond to questions people ask. Right now, the Live is only available through Facebook’s Mentions app, meaning the content being put out won’t show up for everyone to see – which could be beneficial when a journalist wants to avoid spamming newsfeeds with updates.

Catch the fall colors

If you’re looking to travel this fall and want to see some spectacular fall foliage you may want to start planning now – depending on where you are or want to go. In some places the colors are already turning! Check out this map to find out when the peak times to go before you’re too late.

Facebook M and the Importance of Customer Reviews

Facebook M and the Importance of Customer Reviews

Facebook M

Credit: Facebook

Facebook launches Siri, Cortana competitor

A select number of users were greeted this week with a new feature when they opened their Facebook Messenger: a virtual assistant. Called “M”, the new tool allows you to make restaurant reservations, shop online, suggest and then book travel getaways – among other uses.

So, how is M different from Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana? M actually utilizes both artificial intelligence (like the others) as well as people, called M trainers, who work behind the scenes to ensure requests and questions are correctly answered. If successful, Facebook’s Messenger app will obtain more traffic and may even eventually take a cut of transactions it helps obtain. Right now, the feature is only available to a small number of people but, if successful, will begin rolling out to a wider audience. Wired has a great article on M you can check out here.

Customer reviews are more important than you probably realize

We all know that it is important in this day an age to cultivate good customer reviews and ratings online, but did you know that a whopping 87% of potential customers won’t even consider a business with low ratings? That’s according to BrightLocal‘s 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey.

Also notable is that the survey reported 92% of respondents saying they read online reviews when it comes to local businesses. Stats like these continue to drive home the importance of good customer service and a good online presence to help curate brand advocates.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the report is that 73% of those surveyed indicated they still read reviews on their desktop or laptop. That’s compared to 38% who read reviews on mobile.

"Nearby" Traffic, Facebook Restaurant Reviews and a Social Infographic

Nearby searches double

Credit: The Next Web

“Near Me” Traffic Doubles Year-Over-Year

Users are increasingly using Google to discover local businesses and locations. Google reports that searches with the words “nearby” or “near me” have doubled year-over-year. Understandably, 80% of those searches came from mobile.

This new data only reinforces the importance of businesses and locations registering and ensuring they show up in Google searches.

Facebook Testing out Critic Reviews of Restaurants

An interesting new move by Facebook will bring critic reviews of select restaurants to the platform. Previously, user reviews were already available, but this recent change is the first time anything “official” will appear for reviews of restaurants.

While Facebook says the change is due the the social nature of the platform and providing users with a better experience, it could also be inferred that the move could be designed to take traffic away from other review sites, like Yelp.

Ideal Photo Sizes for Social

While it isn’t necessarily breaking news, a new infographic indicating the ideal photo sizes for the major social networks was published this week. Many businesses and people struggle getting a photo that is the right size published in their posts and on the profile pages. Utilizing the information in this graphic and a photo resizing tool, like Pixlr, can guarantee you’re publishing content that is sized correctly!