ResorTime.com is a membership based travel site that offers exclusive nightly timeshare rental deals at popular resorts around the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. On May 3rd, 2012 ResorTime.com was given an opportunity by Facebook to use the new “Facebook Offers” program for business pages. The offer went viral within 72 hours and unfortunately due to an overload of complaints had to be shut down.
What Happened: The Facebook Offer began spreading to all of ResorTime.com’s fans and friends very quickly. Within the first 24-hour period the offer had been claimed more than 300 times. The offer was posted on anyone’s wall who clicked “claim offer” and their friends were able to see and click the deal. The offer spread like wildfire and within 72 hours over 200,000 people had received the offer in their email.
What Went Wrong
- Location of Offer: The title of the offer was limited to 90 characters and ResorTime.com did not include the location of the deal which led to people being confused where they could claim the offer for. This posed to be even more confusing because ResorTime.com’s registered address with Facebook is in Carlsbad, CA which was viewable in the offer email, leading people to believe the offer was for Carlsbad instead of Lake Tahoe.
- Claiming the Offer: When a Facebook user clicked “claim offer” with only the intention of viewing more information, their wall was automatically updated showing that they had indeed “claimed offer” and their friends began seeing the post in their own feeds. Users wanted a way to see more information without publishing it on their wall.
- No Delete Option: Many users complained that they were not able to “delete” the post from their wall or feed. This means it was not properly tested by Facebook because all posts are supposed to allow a “hide” or “delete” functionality.
- Complaints: Because of the offer seemingly forcing itself onto people’s Facebook feeds and their friend’s feeds, many people began complaining that ResorTime.com was spamming or scamming them. A common complaint was that ResorTime.com was attempting to gather email addresses which may have seemed like the case since users received an email about the offer when they clicked “claim” but in actuality the email was from Facebook and there is no way for ResorTime.com to access those user’s personal information including email address.
What Went Right
Not everything was bleak for ResorTime.com, there were some very positive results that resulted from publishing the Facebook Offer for just a few days.
- New Likes: 4,838 new likes resulted from the Facebook Offer
- Publicity: Over 200,000 people clicked “get offer” to receive more details
- Web Traffic: 271% increase in web traffic to ResorTime.com compared to the week prior.
For the complete case study please visit the ResorTime.com Blog.
In business since 1999, ResorTime.com continues to grow to its portfolio of quality timeshare rentals. The company has affiliate partnerships with the leading timeshare companies around the world, including Diamond Resorts International, Grand Pacific Resorts, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Grand Monarch Vacations, Breckenridge Grand Vacations, and Starwood Vacation Ownership. ResorTime.com is located in Carlsbad, California. For more information, visit www.ResorTime.com
–by Hansen Hunt, ResorTime.com Online Marketing Manager
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