Social Media and Travel Go Hand in Hand (Infographic) | SocialTimes

Social Media and Travel Go Hand in Hand (Infographic) | SocialTimes.

Social media has provided many opportunities for businesses in all categories. Customer service, marketing, and customer engagement have all emerged as useful tools for achieving your business goals. Social media can also have unintended benefits, as more users share on specific topics. According to an infographic from Internet Marketing Inc, travel companies can benefit a lot from this specific sharing.

Facebook is one of the prime destinations for sharing life events and travel related content. 52 percent of users surveyed said their friend’s photos inspired travel plans, and 76 percent post their vacation photos to social networks.

During vacation research, 55 percent of those surveyed liked pages relating to the trip they were planning. This is a very important touch-point for travel brands, as social media is an important research tool for vacationers. If a brand is able to present itself to a vacationer then it could influence those 33 percent that change hotels, or the 7 percent that change their destination.

Brands can also influence potential customers as they research their potential vacations. Humorous posts nudging readers toward taking vacations, posting breathtaking images, interacting with consumers who reach out, and creating brand advocates are all great ways to engage users and potentially push them toward your brand.

Leveraging the power of the types of content users choose to share on certain networks can give your business model a major leg up. Engaging with those consumers who are excited about the services you provide should always be the aim of your social media activity.


Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.

TripAdvisor will offer a million dollar digital marketing campaign to PATA CEO Challenge winners

pata logoEmerging tourism destinations have an unprecedented opportunity to boost their digital marketing campaigns, thanks to a collaborative venture between the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and TripAdvisor.

The PATA CEO Challenge offers two prizes, each valued at US$500,000, for regional, state and province tourism organisations, and secondary and tertiary cities that are able to demonstrate the uniqueness and authenticity of their heritage, customs, culture and natural beauty to local and international travellers. Awards valued at US$500,000 will be presented to the winners of each category: States, regions and provinces; and second-tier/third-tier cities.

Trip AdvisorThe winning organisations will work with dedicated teams from TripAdvisor to create unforgettable digital marketing campaigns that showcase their destinations to global stakeholders.“The PATA CEO Challenge is gathering momentum and we are receiving enquiries and entries from a very broad spectrum of new and emerging destinations. This is a remarkable opportunity to work with TripAdvisor’s digital marketing experts,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy. “We have received many enquiries from organisations in mainland China and to assist them we are accepting entries in Simplified Chinese.”“Travellers around the world are always on the lookout for places to discover and explore.

By participating in the PATA CEO Challenge, emerging destinations will have the opportunity to showcase their unique destination to TripAdvisor’s global travel community,” said Sarah Mathews, Head of Destination Marketing, APAC at TripAdvisor. “We look forward to receiving even more creative entries as the deadline draw near.” Deadline for submissions is Thursday, October 1, 2015. The awards will be presented at the PATA Aligned Advocacy Dinner in London on November 2, when the guest of honour will be UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai

via TripAdvisor will offer a million dollar digital marketing campaign to PATA CEO Challenge winners.

Travel Companies Ranked on Best Social Media Practices | TravelPulse

Engagement Labs, the technology and data company, has recently released the social media rankings of the top performing hotel chains, airlines, online travel agencies (OTAs) and metasearch sites.

The rankings are based on Engagement Labs’ eValue scores, which take into account three factors: Engagement, Impact and Responsiveness.

Travel Companies Ranked on Best Social Media Practices

The top three hospitality companies on Twitter are (in order) Hyatt Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Trump Hotel Collection. Hyatt was highlighted for using highly visual vacation-related content and the use of creative hashtags.

The top three Facebook marketers in the hotel industry are The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Country Inns & Suites by Carlson. Ritz-Carlton stood out based on its regular engagement with travelers and its posting of images and facts of its resorts.

“As social media is increasingly becoming an all-purpose communication tool, the hotel industry excels by providing real-time information to their customers on their social media channels,” said Bryan Segal, chief executive officer of Engagement Labs, via a release. “Companies like The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Hyatt Hotels utilize their social media channels to provide up-to-date resort news and industry information as a one stop shop for their audiences.”

American Airlines, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines led carriers in Twitter marketing. American Airlines also was No. 1 in Facebook marketing, followed by Island Air and Delta Air Lines.

On Twitter, American Airlines was adept at responding to consumer postings and weaving in topical news and events to drive interest, according to Engagement Labs.

On Facebook, American Airlines received a high eValue score for updating travelers on company information and relating major news and events back to the airline industry (to celebrate Women’s History Month, the major carrier asked Facebook followers to share stories about female American Airlines members who exemplified premier customer service).

In terms of the travel aggregators (OTAs and metasearch sites),, OneTravel and CheapOair were the top Twitter marketers (parent company Fareportal owns both OneTravel and CheapOair). was highlighted for using Twitter to dish out the latest deals and promotions, as well as posting travel tips and trivia to boost engagement., Orbitz Worldwide and Travelocity were the top three Facebook marketers. scored highly in large part because the site posted articles that included travel ideas, tips for things to do in particular destinations, and contests for their followers to win trips to different destinations.

Travelers on social media “want convenience, trusted brands and good deals,” Segal said. “Social media is a key resource to help consumers navigate the complexity of travel today. We see marketers optimizing social channels to enhance user experience, customer satisfaction and develop trust and loyalty with their audiences.”

Engagement Labs’ eValue Analytics leverages more than 300 conventional social media metrics to produce a single benchmarked score, analyzing more than 75,000 handpicked, verified brands that include marketers, advertisers, publishers and broadcasters around the world.

via Travel Companies Ranked on Best Social Media Practices | TravelPulse.

How Travel Brands Can Excel At Social Customer Care In 2015 12/29/2014

How Travel Brands Can Excel At Social Customer Care In 2015 by Jan Rezab, Media Post December 29

social-media21Social media has transformed the way customers speak with brands. Among its many benefits, social media has created a place for customers and clients to reach brands easily and quickly at any time of the day. With this great power in communication comes great responsibility for travel companies. That mass of people — which can turn into millions during a crisis — expects a response to each individual issue and question. But social isn’t, and shouldn’t be viewed as, a burden. It should be looked at as an almost-limitless end of possibilities.

Good companies continually show their customers they value them, and social media is a great place to do this. As customer care increasingly moves to public venues, it is blurring the lines between marketing, communications, and customer service. Digital marketers can use social to greatly improve the customer experience and build loyalty with fans like never before. Here are a few simple ways travel marketers need to be thinking about social customer care in 2015…

Actively Encourage Feedback

Social media gives you the ability to listen into a wide array of people — from your die-hard fans to your rarely vocal customers. In a way, it’s sort of like a giant focus group that you can access anytime.

Make it easy for your customers to talk to you. Most social customer care happens on Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, travel brands are making many mistakes when it comes to optimizing their profiles on these platforms to encourage conversation.

On Facebook, it’s imperative that travel brands open their walls in order for people to post on their timelines. This year, our data suggested that 30% of airlines globally still have closed walls on Facebook. A closed wall automatically makes it difficult for customers to voice their feedback and means a lot of missed opportunities for your brand.

On Twitter, we encourage travel brands to provide customer support from their main Twitter profile, instead of making a separate customer support profile. This allows consumers to easily direct their questions to the right place. Still, this can be difficult for many companies to do for a number of reasons, so if a company must create two handles, it’s important to list out the customer care profile on the main profile page. Turkish Airlines is a good example of a brand that does this by linking to their support handle, @TK_HelpDesk, on their main handle, @TurkishAirlines.

Be Prompt

For travelers, time is of the essence. Think of customers traveling by plane; a good chunk of their questions are going to be about their flight that’s coming up shortly. That means they’ll need quick help and a quick response from their airline should they post or tweet a question.

Unfortunately, not all companies are punctual in providing service on social. In fact, we found that the average brand takes 33 hours to respond to customer inquiries, if they respond at all. That’s a huge amount of time for customers who don’t have the luxury of waiting around for an answer.

Travel brands need to make sure they’re equipped to provide quick service. One easy way to prepare for this is to do an analysis of the type of questions your company is receiving on social media. Many times, companies will find that the bulk of questions are about the same recurring topics. Companies can then set up procedures on how to deal with these main topics, which makes responding to them easier.

For example, when we took a look at a sample of questions directed at U.S. airline brands, we found that one of the most-used keywords was “delayed.” This tells us that many inquiries were about flight delays, which means an airline company would probably benefit from having a quick procedure to deal with questions about delays.

Show Up and Respond

It’s important that your customers know you’re dependable. This means taking the first step to show up and respond. Leaving questions unacknowledged is a big problem for both customers and brands.

Some brands hold themselves accountable to a certain standard in customer care. For example, Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) provides an estimated wait time for responses on their Twitter profile. This gives customers a sense of when they can expect a response, and it holds KLM to their promise to provide that response as soon as they can.

In Q3 2014, we found that 10% of brands received 65% of all questions asked of brands on Facebook and Twitter. Customers start asking brands more questions and interacting with them more when they know that those brands will respond. The more companies respond, they more interaction and dialogue they’ll spark with their fans.

As the holiday rush slows down, the first weeks of 2015 provide a great opportunity for travel brands to look at what worked and what didn’t over the hectic holiday season and start the new year off on the right foot. Coming into the new year, it’s time for travel marketers to really get serious about providing optimal customer care on social media. The more activity marketers encourage with their customers, the more dependable the brand becomes for them. And in the competitive landscape of the travel industry, those that show their customers they care and build brand loyalty will win out.

via How Travel Brands Can Excel At Social Customer Care In 2015 12/29/2014.

Abu Dhabi hotel ratings to go social in 2014 |

Abu Dhabi skyline

Abu Dhabi skyline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feb 24, 2014

Abu Dhabi may soon become the first tourism authority to integrate social media ratings into its official hotel classification system, as the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) works to stress the importance of social media to the UAE capital’s hotels.

TCA Abu Dhabi, which has been working on a new set of hotel classification guidelines since the authority’s rebranding from the old Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) in February 2013, is considering monitoring hotel social media ratings and using them to hold operators accountable for bad reviews and negative feedback.

It has also revealed plans to introduce a new category for the emirate’s hotels, specifically for hotels and resorts which are deemed to be outside the normal five-star criteria.

When approached by Hotelier Middle East, a TCA Abu Dhabi spokesperson said: “TCA Abu Dhabi is currently revising its accommodation classification system and an upgraded version will be launched early in the New Year and social media use may form part of the criteria for some categories.

“As an authority we are fully behind the use of social media in promoting a destination and we are also in the process of compiling a guide to social media promotion for use by our stakeholders,” they added.

This potential move by TCA Abu Dhabi follows in the footsteps of the Organisation of German Hotels and Restaurants (DEHOGA) and Hotelleriesuisse, the Swiss hotel industry parent organisation, who have both used social media analysis to influence hotel star classification.

However, TCA Abu Dhabi would become the first tourism authority to adopt the same system and integrate social media reviews into an official classification system.

Social Strikes Back

The rising importance o

f social media and guests reviews in the Middle East hospitality industry has been mirrored by the increasing prominence of user generated reviews on social media sites Facebook and Google.

One recent change was the Facebook’s decision to move its user review and rating system for public places, businesses, and organizations so that it is visible just below each page title.

When approached by Hotelier for comment, a spokesperson from Facebook said: “Currently people can sort by star ratings when they are using the ‘nearby’ feature on a mobile. For example, if they are looking for restaurants close to their location they have the option to arrange by star rating.

“Currently page administrators can manage their pages and deal with spam comments by removing them and banning the posters. In the case of genuine negative reviews, we would advise companies to seek to address their customers’ complaints,” they added.

via Abu Dhabi hotel ratings to go social in 2014 |

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The Impact Of Social Media In The Travel Marketing Industry – Part Two – Forbes

This is icon for social networking website. Th...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CMO NETWORK | 2/19/2014 @ 11:48AM

About two weeks ago I scribed a piece entitled The Impact Of Social Media In The Travel Marketing Industry. The piece touched on some statistics re: the prevailing use of social media among travelers and on one campaign in particular from Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Naturally me being me, and always wanting to learn more, I set out to see what else was cooking in the world of travel marketing and its use of social media.

Virgin America launches first in-flight social network

That was the headline of an article on not long ago.

‘Wow, the first in-flight social network’ I thought to myself. This sounds cool and I need to investigate, which I did.

What I found was this new social media network, which will begin rolling out on all domestic Virgin America flights by the end of February, and will allow passengers to connect via their LinkedIn connections with passengers on their specific flight, guests on other Virgin America flights in the air, or fellow travelers at their destination.

In a shining example of a brand actually listening to its customers, Luanne Calvert, Virgin America’s Chief Marketing Officer, said the genesis of this idea came from passengers themselves.

“When we surveyed our business travelers, we were surprised to learn that the ability to connect with other Virgin America travelers in-flight or en route to a destination was a frequent request,” said Calvert. “ The best business connections often happen unexpectedly, and we’ve heard many stories of partnerships and start-up ideas being born on our flights.”

via The Impact Of Social Media In The Travel Marketing Industry – Part Two – Forbes.

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How U.S. Travelers Use Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC] | Travel Research – Industry Events – PhoCusWright Conference


Advances in technology and increasingly sophisticated social platforms have made it easier than ever for today’s travelers to engage online. From posting travel reviews to interacting with travel brands online and sharing trip experiences through their favorite online networks, travelers are making the most of social media. Now an integral part of the online travel ecosystem, consumers are not just participating, but are actively shaping the travel search, shop, buy and share experience.

Learn more with PhoCusWright’s upcoming Special Project, Social Media in Travel: Mayhem, Myths, Mobile & Money.

via How U.S. Travelers Use Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC] | Travel Research – Industry Events – PhoCusWright Conference.

Facebook Advertising For the Travel Vertical – Business 2 Community

Facebook Advertising For the Travel Vertical – Business 2 Community

As social media continues to grow exponentially in adoption, consumers will increasingly seek recommendations from their social networks on travel purchase decisions. The influence of customer recommendations on social media channels cannot be underestimated by marketers. According to PhoCusWright’s Social Media in Travel 2012, more than 75% of travelers use social networks to find some type of shopping-related deal, while 30% specifically seek out travel-related deals. It is clear that succeed in this evolving social ecosystem, businesses travel industry will need to cultivate positive customer experiences that can be translated into efficient marketing opportunities through Social Media.

Below are five quick tips marketers in the Travel vertical for how to use Facebook and other social media to turn your customers into your greatest marketing asset:

via Facebook Advertising For the Travel Vertical – Business 2 Community.

Digital Marketing – Can Travel Advisors Achieve Sales Through Social Media? | Travel Agent Central

Digital Marketing – Can Travel Advisors Achieve Sales Through Social Media? | Travel Agent Central.

Jet Set World Travel Owner Julia Douglas is a staunch believer in social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter and, increasingly, Instagram, the photo-sharing site. The Chicago agency actively maintains its own Facebook page and Twitter account, while its seven individual travel advisors have their own individual pages and accounts.

She and other agency owners have been pondering how – and whether – to make the jump from using social media primarily as an informational tool to something more aggressive, promotional and clearly intended to generate revenue. While they’re not opposed to producing more income, they worry that a more aggressive strategy could alter the style and culture of their agencies as they seek that delicate balance between soft sell versus hard sell.

Facebook travel marketing

Facebook travel marketing.

Posted by , Sr. Product Manager at Marin Software.

online travelOver the past year, signs of global economic recovery have brought optimism to marketers across key consumer-based industries. In particular, the travel industry has seen signs of growth from a number of trends including reduced unemployment rates, increased disposable income, and improved consumer optimism.