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Using Social Media to influence travel choices


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Using Social Media to influence Arizona as a travel destination in tough economic times.

Using Social Media to influence Arizona as a travel destination in tough economic times.

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  • The tools may be, but the underlying foundation is not.
  • The very fact interactive marketing allows for TWO-WAY communication makes it possible for social interaction
  • It does not need to be about “blasting messages”. You can share information that is of interest and have people respond. When done correctly, email facilitates DIALOGUE between two or more people. This makes email a social media.
  • The device and technology have simply allowed people to connect wherever and whenever they want to. The underlying relationship must still be established. By providing people with the ability to converse, share and receive by way of a device, you are creating a social interaction.
  • People search to find things – information, people, products, services. When they find what they are looking for they have established a connection. Search engine marketing- at its core- is about connecting people with those that have what they are looking for. Social media helps connect people who share common interests and experiences.
  • The means by which a relationship is built and matures does not need to be reliant on a particular channel, marketing tactic or device. Channels,tactics and devices simple facilitate connections. To the users – they just want to communicate, share and build community – they don’t care if that is done with email, website, mobile phones or 2 cups connected with a string. We cannot allow our organizations to focus too heavily on the channels, but rather on the underlying, and more important, matter of creating, fostering and growing trusted relationships and communities.
  • Now for some stats on social media
  • Forrester 2008
  • US only
  • Forrester
  • Forrester
  • comScore
  • Forrester; Of the 40%
  • comScore; of the 40%
  • comScore; Of the 40%
  • comScore; of the 40%
  • Forrester 2008
  • 40% are boomers
  • Some interesting observations:Traffic is not only measure of popularity – TripAdvisor has most traffic (~5.8MM) but SoSauce has longest T.O.S (~14 minutes per session). SoSauce was also one of the sites with the least number of links and one of the lowest number of visitors. This shows how niche sites can be more effective for certain types of social media engagements such as collecting user feedback
  • We broke up almost 1000 search terms and phrases into 4 categories: accommodations, attractions, activities and resources and information“Accommodations” terms included searches for “flights”, “hotels” and “resorts” using geographic qualifiers (ex. Phoenix, Scottsdale)“Attractions” terms included searches for “spas” and specific destinations like the Grand Canyon“Activities” terms included searches for “golf” and “hiking” “Resources & Info” terms included searches for “vacations”, “travel agencies” and “weather”Past 12 months
  • More females search for this category of terms61% of searches come from 25-50 year olds – cuts across Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer generations
  • More females search for this category of termsMost searches from 35-50 year olds (Gen X and Baby Boomers)
  • More females search for this category of termsMost searches from 35-50 year olds (Gen X and Baby Boomers)
  • Interesting – more males search in this categoryStill, most searches come from 35-50 year olds
  • CreatorsPublish/Upload content (ex. blogs, video, audio)CriticsContribute to and comment/vote on contentCollectorsSubscribe to content (ex. RSS), tag contentJoinersVisit in social networks (ex. Facebook)SpectatorsRead, watch and listen – don’t participateDemographicGeographicTechnographic
  • 30% of travelers would like to receive special offers about local restaurants and activities via their mobile devices during their trip (PhocusWright)
  • These sites will provide opportunities for a long tail approach to travel marketingSearch analytics and a deep understanding of travel-related social media sites can provide data that enables marketers to create profiles of influential social communitiesTravel marketers should align their target customer profiles with the profiles of particular travel communities to inform blogger outreach programs
  • Hitwise
  • Reputation management is a specific form of search engine optimization, which intersects with social mediaSearchers are now looking more for names they know, and brands they trust.
  • We have found that people begin their search on the large, well-known meta search engines, then do additional research within the social media world – reviews are particularly well-read, finally once the traveler is close to the decision making stage, they will search for the particular property or destination to gather additional information on amenities, photos, videos, etc. The importance of promininent placement within the search engine results pages and positive listings is key to building and maintaining a positive reputation and growing one’s business
  • Transcript

    • 1. Grand Canyon
      Benefit for St. Mary’s Foodbank
      Using Social Media
      To promote Arizona as a
      travel destination of choice
      during tough economic times
    • 2. Social Media is NOT new
    • 3. Interactive Marketing is Social
    • 4. Email is Social
    • 5. Mobile is Social
    • 6. Search Engine Marketing is Social
    • 7. Social Media is channel AGNOSTIC
    • 8. Some Social Media Stats
    • 9. Two-thirds of U.S. leisure travelers engage in some form of social computing activity
    • 10. The greatest growth in social technology adoption is coming from 35-55 year olds
    • 11. 68% of 45-54 year olds use social media
    • 12. 75% of Internet users engage in some form of social media – up from 56% in 2007
    • 13. 57% of DMO website visitors read
      traveler-written reviews
    • 14. 97% of review readers thought reviews were accurate
    • 15. 40% of online travelers visit social networking sites to influence destination selection.
    • 16. 87% said reviews impacted hotel choice
    • 17. 84% said reviews impacted choice of travel
    • 18. 79% said reviews impact choice of dining
    • 19. Some Travel Stats
    • 20. 71% of Americans took at least
      1 trip
    • 21. 122 million U.S. leisure travelers are online 40% are Baby Boomers
    • 22. Air travel is most booked product online
    • 23. Baby Boomers and Gen X have the greatest number of leisure travelers
    • 24. Most business travelers are Gen X
    • 25. Since 9/11, 52% increase in travel spending from countries outside U.S.
    • 26. Canada, Mexico and U.K. are top originating markets for U.S. travel
    • 27. Arizona ranks 12 of most visited states by international travelers
    • 28. How can social media
      help the travel industry?
    • 29. Builds and strengthens
      brand affinity
    • 30. Provides a better online
      user experience
    • 31. Serves as a creative outlet for guests
    • 32. Establishes credibility and trust
    • 33. Increases organizational transparency
    • 34. Diffuses negative sentiment
    • 35. Boosts online visibility and traffic
    • 36. #2
      Top Social Media Sites
    • 37. How do people search?
    • 38. Search Volume
    • 39. Accommodations
    • 40. Attractions
    • 41. Resources & Information
    • 42. Activities
    • 43. How is it done?
    • 44. 4 Step Process
    • 45. 1. Define the Purpose
      Sell airfare, rooms, rentals, packages
      Promote the property, pricing, community
      Educate and inform guests
      Get feedback on what guests like/want/need
    • 46. 2. Identify the Audience
    • 47. 3. Listen and Read
      What are people talking about?
      Who are the thought-leaders and influencers?
      What kind of content is most appealing?
    • 48. 4. Participate and enable
      • Remove all technical barriers
      • 49. Optimize and distribute digital assets
      • 50. Use unique Meta data for each page
      • “Countdown to…” campaign
      • 51. Travel tip of the week
      • 52. Showcase local attractions
      Social Media
      • Provide portable widgets (ex. Westin Renew)
      • 53. Start a Twitter following
      • 54. Maintain profile pages
      • 55. Build up network of “friends”
      • 56. Blog post and comment
      • Keep guests updated on events
      • 57. Send out local “specials”
      • 58. Provide property “tid-bits”
      • 59. Allow guests to order services
      PPC and Display
      • Message based on keyword research
      • 60. Placement using geo-targeting
      • 61. Timing based on prior exposure (re-targeting)
      • Maximize “findability”
      • 62. Design around user personas
      • 63. Enable content to be shared
      • 64. Incorporate reviews/ratings
    • How is it measured?
    • 65. Success Metrics
      • # of total mentions
      • 66. # of positive/negative posts
      • 67. # blog posts/comments
      • 68. # unique visitors
      • 69. # pages viewed
      • 70. # branded searches
      • 71. Time on site
      • 72. Search engine results page position
    • Trends for 2009
    • 73. Niche travel-related social media sites will provide more
      “long-tail” opportunities
    • 74. Meta search engines will continue to gain popularity for initial travel research
    • 75. Social media will exert greater influence on travel planning and purchasing
    • 76. Branded searches will have a greater influence on bookings
    • 77. Reputation management and blogger outreach will be critical for building and maintaining trust
    • 78. Action
    • 79. Thank YouFionn DownhillCEO