2 Ways to Increase App Downloads Using Facebook

Creating a mobile app for your hotel is only the first step. The next and most critical step to app success is getting your app in the hands of your current and potential guests. There are many ways to increase app downloads, especially at the property level. Outside the property, online advertising is a great way to encourage downloads, and we discussed this in a recent blog: using online advertising to increase app downloads. But in this blog, we’ll specifically look at how Facebook can help increase app downloads.

1 – Facebook Mobile Retargeting

You’ve likely invested a lot of resources into building your website, and you may receive a lot of monthly visitors. So why not make use of all that traffic to encourage app downloads? Facebook allows advertisers to send app download ads to your previous website visitors on their Facebook iOS or Android app.

This is best illustrated using an example. Let’s say a potential guest visits your website on his desktop, tablet or smartphone, but then decides to leave your site and not book a room. Later in the day, your potential guest goes onto Facebook using Facebook’s iOS or Android app. The potential guest then sees an ad encouraging him to download your app. Better yet, you’ve offered him a free perk if he books a room through the app as to better encourage downloads. It’s truly a great way to tap into the number of visits your website generates and into the power of Facebook.

We should note that the ad has to be served through the iOS or Android Facebook app and cannot be served if the user goes to Facebook on their mobile browser. Although, we do have the ability to do cross-device retargeting. Meaning that the user being served the ad didn’t need to visit your website on the device on which the ad was served. He or she could use a desktop to visit your site, then pick up his or her iPhone and see your add in the Facebook iOS app! Note here as well that in order to track the user from desktop to mobile, the user has to be logged into Facebook on their desktop.

2 – Facebook Custom Audiences

We’ve previously discussed Facebook custom audiences as a whole (link to blog). Facebook custom audiences works by identifying Facebook users using things like their e-mail address to send them targeted messages. So if we have an e-mail list of past guests for instance, we can enter those e-mails into Facebook and create an ad for that group if the e-mail address we have is associated with a Facebook account. You can begin to see why this would be a very powerful tool.

So image having an e-mail list of guests that have booked a room within the next 30 days, then using that list to send them an ad on Facebook’s iOS or Android app encouraging them to download your hotel app. Apps are a great way to enhance a guest’s stay, and we’re sure they’d enjoy the extra convenience that would literally be in the palm of their hands.

Better yet! Imagine using an e-mail list of past guests, people who may have signed up for a newsletter, etc. to target them on Facebook with an app download ad. You could even offer them a perk or discount for downloading and booking through your app.

One of the other facets of Facebook that we haven’t yet discussed is the social factor. Users have the ability to “Like” ads and comment on them, extending the reach of your ads beyond your defined audience. It’s a lot to take in, but I think we can all agree that Facebook is clearly a powerful tool for encouraging app downloads. There are various options for tapping into this potential, two of which we highlighted in this blog.

The next time you’re challenged with getting an app into the hands of your guests or potential guests…think Facebook!


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