Travel Marketing the Social Media Way

Travel Marketing the Social Media Way

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By Ilya Albert, Published June 27, 2014

You would have looked for their advices on going to places they suggest and booking the accommodation there that they would tell you to be the best for you. The advent of the social media seems to have changed this concept completely.

Making Travel Plans from Social Media

As many as 40% of the travelers use social media for travel inspiration and 42% use it for planning their trip, says Trip Advisor. But what seems to be an important information provided by this travel website is that an overwhelming 76% seems to use social media platforms for sharing their travel experiences, Almost 91% of the travelers who take social media into account post photos there. Besides, many others also use social media platforms to post videos or write ups to share their online friends. Therefore, these experiences are surely going to impress others and influence their decisions in future while going for a trip.

Finding the Best Accommodation on Social Media

Worried how to find the perfect place to stay during your trip? Social media can help you in this process as well. Hundreds of hotels and timeshare companies are advertising on Facebook and other social media platforms. This provides you with the option of finding the best options for staying, which can make your trip an enchanting one. While you can go for luxury hotels, there are also budget options, such as timeshares and bed & breakfast inns, which can help you complete the trip within a short time. Check out different social media platforms for advice from the people who have already treaded the route you are planning to travel.

Social Media as a Travel Best Practice

According to LinkedIn, the integration of social media in the travel industry for marketing has been one of the best practices. More and more travel and tourism companies are engaging these days in the process of social media marketing. In fact, different governments are also engaging in advertising the places in their territories as the perfect travel destinations. Besides, these governments and also a few travel companies are providing different types of offers to the travelers. This is driving more and more people with every passing day to use these social media platforms for making their travel plans.Social Media becoming Important Travel Marketing PlatformTravel companies have already started taking the social media platforms seriously. They are planning special marketing programs on these websites. Many of them are creating pages of their own on social media sites, such as Facebook. They are using these pages to provide information about their offerings. Besides, they are also providing images and videos of these places to make the tourists more interested in them. Hence, many of these companies are finding that a large number of their customers are being mobilized from the social media platforms.

Marketing in the Social Media Groups on Travel

Have you already joined a social media website for making travel plans? Are you worried how to start with the process? You will find quite a few groups, which are engaged in discussions about travel. Join them. You can even ask questions to clarify your doubts or finding the best destinations. This is why many travel marketing companies also join these travel groups on social media. They find these a perfect place to market their plans. When you ask a question, they can answer it and, at the same time, publicize their offerings as well. This is likely to help them increase their business revenues significantly.Like any other process, travel marketing was also growing and transforming over the years. As social media became an integral part of the life, it entered almost all the industries. The travel industry was no exception as well. Social media has been utilized significantly. Hence, it has helped to take the process of travel a significant step forward.

via Travel Marketing the Social Media Way.

Content marketing key for travel businesses leveraging Google – TTG Asia – Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News

Travel Distribution Summit Asia 2014, Singapore, May 29,

2014 TRAVEL companies must begin to think of themselves as content publishers to survive Google’s landmark shift to a semantic search algorithm.

Speaking yesterday at the EyeforTravel Travel Distribution Summit Asia 2014, Bronwyn White, director of MyTravelResearch.com, said: “Search is the one constant tool that travellers use in every stage of the path to purchase. “Semantic search is an algorithm that uses true meaning, intent and context to identify and prioritise websites with relevant content to the user.”

Google

Google (Photo credit: warrantedarrest)

Google now does this by drawing on a user’s personal information including geographic location, previous search history and social media behaviour. “Because search results are now highly personalised, we’re no longer chasing the holy grail of page one on Google, but people who are potentially really interested in what we say and do,” White noted. “If your content is likeable and shareable, Google says: ‘Hey! You must be an expert on your topic, we’ll trust you.’ Search engines will increase your authority ranking and will more likely present your page when users are looking for a related topic,” she elaborated.

When asked how travel companies should respond, White told TTG Asia e-Daily: “You’ve got to get the basics right. So make sure your website is structured right, your Google accounts are linked, your social media profiles all have the same website address associated with your company, so there is consistency in your social signals. “From there, just keep creating interesting content. Be clear about who your customer is and who you’re going to be talking to, then gear your content towards that. Create little personas.”

Talking about things that are related would also provide context and take advantage of the “serendipity of search engines”, she added.Companies that do not have the funds to conduct large-scale research could also drill down to a fundamental principle of the industry – talking to the customer. Said White: “There’s no harm asking your customers as they come through the door what they want to talk about, what interests them. “It’s not expensive and the thing is – there are a lot of unemployed journalists out there looking for work. There are also content marketing agencies, but for smaller operations, practise doing it yourself.”

It’s also important to know where the market is, she emphasised. “Where do your customers hang out on social media? Are they on Facebook, Twitter?” “For time-poor travel industry people, work on one platform. Get it right! Do one and engage properly rather than spreading yourself thin because that’s going to increase the quality of your content,” she advised.

via Content marketing key for travel businesses leveraging Google – TTG Asia – Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News.

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Why Travel Brands Need To Be On China’s WeChat – Skift

wechat logoThe rise of WeChat has been well-documented this past year, but many brands might wonder how a messaging app affects their business. In addition to letting users talk privately and in groups, WeChat bridges social media and travel with the way it allows users to use information and recommendation from their social networks to research and book trips, even pay for them, via WeChat. This article offers a closer look into other reasons why WeChat is important for the tourism industry and your business.

First is obvious: the numbers. The sheer amount of actual (last reported to be over 300 million active monthly users) and potential WeChat users (a steady, if not increasing rate of users registering), that this is something people are using, so if you want to attract this market, you need to be on WeChat. The rise of social media has shown us the desire people have to keep in touch with friends and family from all over.

Second, WeChat offers a lot of innovative services on its platform that are perfect for those in the tourism industry. Like Sina Weibo, in addition to facilitating researching and booking trips, WeChat provides a direct channel for tourism brands to update followers with the latest tourism news, promotions, events, and guides with official information: a new way for them to provide service for citizens and visitors. Unlike Sina Weibo, however, WeChat allows a degree of data mining to acquire more intelligence.

Other unique features include the “Look Around feature,” which uses a location-based service (LBS) to let users find other users or locations nearby (LBS is also a fast-growing sector in its own right in China) and the QR code, which lets people scan a code with their smartphone to do everything from entering contests and receiving coupons to connecting with brands on social media and buying products, which WeChat has revived.

Its success in China is probably due to the fact that China is the world’s largest smartphone market, and since many people are more accustomed to mobile Internet, using a phone to scan a code is far more convenient than going home and remembering to visit a specific website. Some netizens even use personal QR codes to identify themselves on social media. However, as with any sort of marketing campaign, QR codes don’t work unless the creative is good and people have an incentive to scan them.

via Why Travel Brands Need To Be On China’s WeChat – Skift.

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2014 Top Social Media Trends for Travel Marketers | Adventure Travel News

By Jennifer Pemberton

Three months into 2014 and we’re past making predictions of what the year in social media will look like. We’re living it. The ATTA is focusing on four major trends this month that will shape online life this year — highlighting the ones that will be most relevant for the travel industry, from how to find travelers on social media and speak their language to how to organize your office to best engage socially with your customers.

via 2014 Top Social Media Trends for Travel Marketers | Adventure Travel News.

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Abu Dhabi hotel ratings to go social in 2014 | HotelierMiddleEast.com

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 | HotelierMiddleEast.com.

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Qatar Airways soars above competition with social media award | TheMoodieReport.com

Qatar Airways soars above competition with social media award | TheMoodieReport.com

Qatar Airways took home first prize for the Best Emerging Airline/Airport on Social Media at the fourth Annual SimpliFlying Awards, which were held in Amsterdam recently in conjunction with the EyeforTravel Online Marketing, Mobile & Social Media in Travel Europe 2013 conference.

The recipient of the award was decided by a public vote and a panel of judges from the travel marketing industry including Airlinetrends.com CEO Raymond Kollau, MMGY Global Vice President of Content and Social Strategy Robert Patterson and Yelp.com Business Manager Rosie Akenhead. The awards, which were launched in 2010, were developed to recognise the best social media practices by airlines and airports.

via Qatar Airways soars above competition with social media award | TheMoodieReport.com.

Hotel Think Tank for Hotel Digital Innovation

The 2013 Digital IQ Index®: Hotels report assesses the digital performance of 48 U.S. Hotel brands in the Economy, Midscale, Upper Midscale, and Upscale categories across the dimensions of Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media and Mobile

via Hotels | L2: A Think Tank for Digital Innovation.

How Social Media Marketing Can Boost a Destination’s Business Profile | International Meetings Review

Marketing Challenges International (MCIntl) recently released a white paper that outlines the social media marketing landscape for global destinations in the meetings and conventions industry. Digital and social media are now complementing and, in some cases, replacing traditional marketing strategies due to cost-effectiveness, expansive reach, and the ability to target specific audiences based on preference.

“The market is evolving so rapidly that we have to keep monitoring it”, said Michel Couturier, President, MCIntl. “We took an in-depth look at the social media landscape and extracted strategies for our global clients. We know that research and face-to face meetings are key to success for a destination, but applying effective social media tactics can also enhance the marketability of a destination.”

Using social media as a marketing tool for global destination promotion is standard practice for the leisure market, he said, but convention bureaus have been slower to adopt these new tools. In a phone interview with International Meetings Review, Couturier noted several destinations that have done well with implementing social media with their convention marketing.

via How Social Media Marketing Can Boost a Destination\\\’s Business Profile | International Meetings Review.

New PhoCusWright Amadeus report on the airline industry calls for customer-centric

AmadeusLas Vegas, NV, United States & Madrid, Spain, 5th September 2013:A major independent global study released today appeals to the airline industry to take a fresh look at the age-old frustration of delayed or cancelled flights, in order to drive loyalty and reduce the impact of irregular operations on its customers, both now and in the future.
‘Passengers first: Re-thinking irregular operations’, written by Norm Rose of travel industry research authority PhoCusWright, and commissioned by Amadeus, a leading technology partner for the global travel industry, aims to provide airlines with practical strategies to improve responses to irregular operations, urging airlines to place a greater focus on the impact of disruptions on each passenger’s trip experience as part of operational decision-making during times of disruption.
Deliver a standard service approach to disruptions: Airlines should consider incorporating a standard service approach to deal with passenger itinerary changes. When severe events occur, airlines with such an approach in place merely extend their processes to a larger number of travellers rather than attempt to implement a new, reactive process.

·         Offer ‘intelligent re-accommodation’: Automated re-accommodation technology may provide efficiencies for the operational staff, but it does not always solve the underlying passenger itinerary disruptions. Airlines may want to implement an intelligent one-click solution that empowers passengers to choose alternatives most relevant to their needs. Airlines should also consider investing in systems to gain a greater understanding of each passenger’s preferences and reasons for travelling, including passengers who book through indirect channels. 
·         Provide transparent communication: In every market surveyed, except China, insufficient communication was cited as passengers’ top frustration with irregular operations management. Introducing an integrated, cross-departmental approach to customer service will enable airlines to provide authoritative, personalised, proactive communication – and lessen the need for travellers to rely on third-party sources. 
·         Moderate delays hurt the industry more than big ticket disruption: One of the greatest challenges facing airlines is not major weather or force majure events, such as the volcanic ash cloud that disrupted travel across Europe in 2011, but rather the far more regular moderate delays of 1-4 hours that matter most to customers. In all markets at least 50% of travellers have experienced a moderate delay on one or more flights in the past 12 months, with this figure highest in China (74%) and Brazil (67%). Instances of significant delay are far less common.
·       Travellers are increasingly venting frustration via social media: Globally, around one third of travellers surveyed said they had posted comments about delays to their friends on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, with higher numbers sharing experiences amongst their immediate family or friendship groups using other means. The study calls on airlines to shift social media strategies from promotional activities alone, and to embrace analytical tools that help them to understand the impact of social comments made in relation to disruption. By following this analytical approach, airlines can practice social mapping to better understand the impact of disruption on their brand as well as the sentiment of their customers.

via New report on the airline industry calls for customer-centric. approach

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

Medium

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.