Industry • Best Practice
How to Increase Your Bookings With Book Now Buttons on Socials
Dec.07.2023By Boulevard Staff
Adding a "Book Now" button for your beauty, health, or wellness business can make life easier for both you and your clients
Just about every successful business has a social media presence — including yours, in all likelihood. Facebook, Instagram, and similar sites can help you meet new clients and keep in touch with existing ones. But these huge, influential networks can do even more than keep in touch with potential customers. With the right tools, you can connect your social media page to your booking system seamlessly.
Using a simple app, you can add a "Book Now" button to your business's page on Facebook or Instagram. This lets your clients book appointments, join waitlists, customize service packages, and add credit card information, all without leaving social media. It's a fast, intuitive, and safe way to make your clients' lives easier, while potentially increasing your booking rates in the process.
How does a "Book Now" button work?
If you've spent any time scrolling through local businesses on Facebook, you've probably seen a "Book Now" button already. This blue button, with "Book Now" in bold white letters, is near the top of a business's listing. You'll often see a calendar or pencil icon next to it. Instagram offers this feature, too, albeit with black letters on a gray background.
Clients click or tap on the "Book Now" button, which lets them select a time for their appointment. This is where things can get tricky, as from there, you have a lot of leeway in how you design your booking procedure.
Facebook and Instagram offer rudimentary "Appointments'' tools. These let clients book a time slot, get automated reminders, and not much else. However, Meta (Facebook and Instagram's parent company) has partnered with hundreds of third-party developers to offer stylish and functional "self-booking overlays." These are essentially miniature versions of another website that run within Facebook or Instagram. The interface can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
For example, suppose you implemented a "Book Now" button using Boulevard's overlay. When a potential client clicks "Book Now," they see your business's logo; they can customize a service package; they can see recommended time slots for their appointment; they can join a waitlist if their slot is already full; they can input credit card details in advance. While Meta's Appointments are perfectly functional without a self-booking overlay, they're not nearly as stylish or robust.
The 3 main benefits of having a "Book Now" button
There are three major reasons to add a "Book Now" button on social media: visibility, convenience, and efficiency.
For "visibility," think about how much time people spend on Facebook and Instagram. According to DataReportal, the average person spends more than two hours every day scrolling through social media. A potential client may very well find your page, especially if you've built up a comprehensive social media strategy. A "Book Now" button is a clear sign that your business is both active and at least moderately tech-savvy.
Convenience is the biggest reason to implement a "Book Now" button. Imagine a new client, who's just found your page while scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. They want to book an appointment. They could visit your website — but that's an extra step where they could easily change their minds. They could call your business — if it's during working hours and they have the time.
Or, they could tap a single button and book an appointment in minutes, without any tedious intermediary steps.
That's where "efficiency" comes in. A self-booking overlay functions the same way whether it's on your website or on Facebook, so you don't have to maintain multiple online booking systems. A "Book Now" button also removes the need for most phone calls, which saves your clients and your employees a lot of time and busywork.
How to get the most out of your "Book Now" procedure
Aside from time and money, there are no real tradeoffs to creating a "Book Now" button. All other things being equal, having one on your Facebook or Instagram page is better than not having one. However, like any other piece of tech, what you get it out is directly related to what you put in. To get the most out of a "Book Now" button, you'll have to make sure people can find your page and navigate your overlay.
First and foremost, a "Book Now" button on Facebook or Instagram is useless if you don't have a meaningful social media presence. No one will use your button if they don't visit your page first. Building up your authority on Facebook and Instagram isn't necessarily a difficult process, but it does take genuine, sustained effort. Creating a bare-bones business page and occasionally "liking" someone else's photos won't cut it. You'll want to post frequent updates; take elegant photos; reach out to prospective clients; communicate with returning clients; join relevant community groups; and build your professional network. You may also want to buy targeted ads, which is a complicated topic in its own right.
Even assuming you have a thriving social media presence, you can't just add a "Book Now" button and call it a day. After you invest in a third-party overlay, it's still up to you to test and maintain it. You should go through the entire booking process, from start to finish. Does it work properly? Is the text easy to read? Are there any broken links? Is the process intuitive — even for people who aren't tech-savvy? Is the experience equally good across Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS?
Test the system once every few months — at least — to make sure that it's still working as intended. Remember: Your prospective clients will not tell you if the overlay is broken. They'll just book somewhere else.
A seamless social media experience
With a little legwork, social media can transform your business from "just another storefront" to "an integral part of the community." While a "Book Now" button can't be the backbone of your social media strategy, it can be a powerful addition to a healthy Facebook or Instagram page. Once your new clients book their first sessions, then it's on you to craft a personalized experience for them.