February 07, 2013

Facebook ramps up hotel industry presence

In an interview with HotelNewsNow.com, Lee McCabe, newly appointed head of travel for Facebook’s global vertical marketing team, said his initial goal is to provide “far more clarity” to the hotel industry on the company’s plans and to teach hoteliers how they can benefit from Facebook’s powerful reach.

McCabe, former senior director of market management at Expedia, said Facebook thus far hasn’t done a good job with communication.

“We haven’t communicated exactly what (hoteliers) do to work with Facebook,” he said. “We already work well with all the major brands, and my part is to make it easy for independents, too. I want to make sure we start off well.” Until now, Facebook hasn’t had an executive focused on “tying it all together about what Facebook should mean for travel,” McCabe said. “There’s been no internal direction.”

“My goals and challenges are offering clarity in distilling the message,” he continued. “When I was at Expedia, always hearing Facebook speak at events, it was always a generic message. I want to go out there with a travel-specific message. Not just growth but exactly what it means to travel.”

McCabe isn’t ready to unveil any long-term plans just yet. Asked whether Facebook will eventually sell hotel rooms, McCabe said the company “hasn’t got that far yet.” “We need (the current) products to work as best as they can, and that’s our emphasis now,” he said. “Once we’re at that stage, we can think about monetization.”

Get the full story at HotelNewsNow.com