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Social media for the travel industry

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The travel and hotel can use social media marketing with complete confidence to boost brand awareness, user engagement and loyalty and create brand advocacy across all channels.

The travel and hotel can use social media marketing with complete confidence to boost brand awareness, user engagement and loyalty and create brand advocacy across all channels.

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Social media for the travel industry Social media for the travel industry Presentation Transcript

  • Social Media for the Travel Industry<br />These lessons and videos help you understand and escalate your tourism efforts.<br />What is this social media stuff, and who cares?<br />Explaining blogs and microblogging (Twitter)<br />Explaining Facebook, Flickr and YouTube<br />Video: How a city gets started in social media<br />Video: How a communications director monitors Twitter<br />Video: The benefits of Flickr photo-sharing<br />Lesson 1: How to Listen<br />Google listening tools<br />Listening on Twitter and Facebook<br />Alltop, plus more free and paid listening services<br />Improve and refine your listening<br />How to respond to what you hear<br />Video: How @SeattleMaven monitors Twitter for Seattle tourism<br />Video: Morning coffee with @SeattleMaven<br />Lesson 2: Building a Home Base<br />Tips for a better website<br />Building a better blog<br />You’ve started a blog, now what?<br />Why you need a Facebook page<br />Using images, video and audio to enhance your home base<br />Video: Blogging lessons learned from Becky and Sheila<br />Lesson 3: Intro to Outposts<br />Twitter for tourism: why and how, and an introduction<br />Twitter starter pack: ideas for two weeks of tweets<br />Best ways to use Flickr photo sharing for tourism<br />Best ways to draw visitors with YouTube and online video<br />Other outpost services you can use to reach visitors<br />Video: How the Lynchburg, Virginia CVB uses outpost sites<br />Lesson 4: Building your online champions network<br />Where do you find your online champions?<br />Building stronger online relationships<br />Bringing online relationships offline<br />Easy ways for your champions to help your destination marketing<br />Video: Learning to navigate the blogosphere<br />Video: Strategies for finding and pitching bloggers<br />Lesson 5: Promoting special events<br />Building up to your event<br />Social media promotion during events<br />Keeping the buzz going afterward<br />Video: Facebook promotion for a special event<br />Video:  Mobile tech for festivals<br />Video:  Using social media to crowdsource an event<br />Charter member Billie Yahne said this was the one thing she learned from the course that gave her the best results: promoting special events with Twitter.<br />Lesson 6: New ways to do tours<br />Audio tours and programming<br />Video tours and basic video techniques<br />Easy ways to get mobile-friendly<br />Connect to the web with your personal (fam/press) tours<br />Interview: Better blogger/PR relationships and press trips<br />Finding time to do it all<br />Of course, your life and work don’t stand still while you’re taking this course. That’s why you get a full four weeks to work on each lesson. This way, you don’t fall behind if you’re gone for a week.<br />The first week of the month, you’ll get the newsletter to start you thinking about critical questions.<br />Then in week two you’ll be reminded to see a set of lesson pages, often with video or audio included to help you get the important concepts.<br />In week three you can catch an interview with an expert in social media and tourism.<br />Finally in week four you’ll get a takeaway/checklist document to help you and your organization to focus and move forward.<br />Throughout the month, you can share ideas in the Forum, ask questions and see how other folks are doing it.<br />Of the travel giants that have dabbled in social media, @Jetblue, @VisitBritain, @BootsnAll and @c_valenciana have established themselves successfully , and are the few ones who get the power of social media.<br />Besides offering special airfares on Twitter, @Jetblue is providing prompt and personal services to its clients. Some travelers say that they get faster responses from Jetblue on Twitter than from agents on the phone or at the airport. Tourism boards like @VisitBritain and @c_valenciana tweets on new attractions, ticket discounts and festivals happening in town. @BootsnAll shares the best travel deals as well as intriguing travel tales and articles.<br />But not everyone gets Twitter. It’s not just a platform to market products and share monotonous updates. It’s a conversational platform and an excellent communication tool, in fact, one of the most powerful these days.<br />So in light of this “cry” for tactics, I will suggest the following ways that the travel industry could use social media to better meet the needs of their customers. They are as follows:<br />1) Flickr - Hotels, condos, cabins, and resorts could have a Flickr account where they publish photos regularly (perhaps even seasonally) , and encourage guests to upload and tag their personal pictures as well. Since guests want to know how things are “really like”, these user generated photos will ensure that 1) picture of the hotel wasn’t taken in the 70’s, and 2) the place really exists. Geotagging is also a nifty feature as well.<br />2) Blogs (Area blogs, cabin blogs, etc) – Blogs are a great way that individual and large hotels can start communicating with their audience year-round. For instance, when I was looking at places in Idaho, I found a blog written by an area local. Not only did it show me what life was like day to day in Tetonia, but the archive showed me a wealth of information about the area in different seasons, activities in the nearby areas, and just random local facts. This can be an excellent way for hotels and local area tourism to leverage their resources such as the area’s “best kept secrets”, and the “hole in the wall” restaurants.<br />3) Video Tours – Many franchise hotels have paid to have a “virtual tour” created for their hotel. While these can be effective, low-cost video tours could easily be created and published to a YouTube channel for a fraction of the cost. This would also give an opportunity for additional, frequent coverage that a virtual tour wouldn’t provide.<br />4) Custom Google Maps - Creating a custom Google map for a specific location could be a way to promote an entire region or city. This “visual itinerary” could provide guests with a visual map of lodging, nearby restaurants, museums and parks, shopping, and other areas of interest. It would also provide guests with easy directions.<br />5) Twitter Updates (Deals, Specials, etc) – Twitter could be a way to update travelers of current specials and promotions, especially during the off-season. On the local level, it also could be a way to promote local events to area or in-state residents. (If this tactic were implemented, a good bit of caution would have to be made regarding the frequency and quality of this content.)<br />6) Location Services - Facebook Places, Foursquare<br />These are just a few that immediately come to mind. Can you think of other applications that would work? Please share – as I hope this industry will learn and embrace social media in its marketing efforts…<br />