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Thesis on Social Media, Travel and Search- MSc thesis of Alexandros Papageorgiou on Travel Social Medial

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This short presentation summarizes my master's thesis: "The impact of social media on travel information search". This is a high level overview of the main observations, methodology and conclusions …

This short presentation summarizes my master's thesis: "The impact of social media on travel information search". This is a high level overview of the main observations, methodology and conclusions of the thesis.

Here are the main research questions:

What is the proportion of social media among all the other search resultsretrieved by a search engine?

Which are the social media websites and their corresponding general types that are represented most prominently on the first pages of the search results?

How does the social media proportion in search results vary from one page to the other?

The full text version can be accessed here:
bit.ly/alexpap-thesis

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  • 3 out of 10 social media
  • Interesting that tourist hubs...
  • Xiang PirkkoNames of studentsJP , Kim, Colette

Transcript

  • 1. The Impact of Social Media on Online Travel SearchMaster’s thesis of Alexandros PapageorgiouTurku, 2010
  • 2. 3 basic components of the project
    Web Search
    Social Media
    eTourism
  • 3. Why these 3 areas?
    Social media & search engines are the most visited destinations on the web
    Both have a strong influence on travel decision making
    Travel industry is a typical early adopter of new web technologies
  • 4. What is Social Media ?
    “Social media are works of user-generated content like video, audio, text or multimedia that are published and shared in a social environment, such as a blog, wiki or video sharing site.” (The Social Media Guide)
    Examples:
    General purpose
    Travel-specific
  • 5. Examples of social media use in Tourism Marketing
  • 6. Connecting the dots...Travel + Search + Social Media
  • 7. In search of a Finnish hotel ...
    omenahotel
  • 8. Multiple social media results returned
  • 9. Key Observations
  • 10. Key observations
    The majority of travelers nowadays make use of the Internet to conveniently access travel information
  • 11. Key observations
    Typically, the gateway to travel information for most travelers is a web search engine
  • 12. Key observations
    Social media web sites tend to appear increasingly with high rankings in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)
  • 13. Key observations
    Social media sites enjoy high credibility from consumers
  • 14. So, exactly how high (or not) is the impact of social media on travel information search ?
  • 15. Main research questions
  • 16. 1.
    Which is the proportion of social media results upon a travel search ?
  • 17. 2.
    Which are the most dominant types of travel social media?
  • 18. 3.
    Which are the top social media sites represented in the search results?
  • 19. 4.
    How does the social media content on search results vary across the first three pages?
  • 20. Research Design
  • 21. Focus industry: Hospitality. Why ?
    • The first search type typically made by travelers
    • 22. Usually the highest trip expenditure
    • 23. Ubiquity of hotels
    • 24. High brand sensitivity
  • Type of queries: {Hotel name + Destination}
    Examples:
    Hilton Athens
    Radisson Helsinki
    Best Western Rhodes
  • 25. Research Design
    6150 URLs were retrieved and reviewed from SERPs, involving over 100 hotel brands
  • 26. Data collection
    36 students from the E-commerce class of Åbo Akademi took part in the project by collecting and analyzing data
  • 27. Geo: 12 cities in Finland & Greece
  • 28. Landing pages reviewed in 3 languages
  • 29. 4 commercial search engines deployed
  • 30. Research Results
  • 31. Social media have a very significant presence in the SERPs
  • 32. Consumer review and virtual community sites, the most dominant
    Media Sharing
    Social Networks
    Other
  • 33. Tripadvisor and Real Travel, the top social media sites in the sample
  • 34. Head-torso-long tail distribution of SM sites: 7% of the unique SM domains represent 70% of the sample’s total SM results
  • 35. Tampere and Turku hotels the most social media friendly
  • 36. SM distribution is homogenous across the first three search pages
  • 37. Top social media-friendly hotels
  • 38. Conclusions
  • 39. Conclusions
    Social media constitute a very significant portion of the search results and they are ubiquitous across all search pages (1-3) analyzed and all the destinations involved
  • 40. Conclusions
    A handful of sites, led by Tripadvisor, are responsible for the majority of social media presence in the SERPs
  • 41. Conclusions
    A striking absence was observed for the mainstream social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (this could signal a missed opportunity for travel marketers)
  • 42. Conclusions
    Medium-sized destinations prove to be the most social media friendly, leaving behind popular tourist hubs
  • 43. Marketing Recommendations
    Travel companies can harness the power of social media by optimizing their mix of owned, bought and earned media
    More details are available in section 8.4 of the thesis (p. 91-99)
    The full text can be downloaded here:
    http://bit.ly/cFVBNc
  • 44. That’s it...
  • 45. Aknowledgements
    For her continuous guidance and feedback, my supervisor, prof. Pirkko Walden
    For their precious ideas and comments:
    Zheng Xiang (N. Texas University), Jussi-Pekka Erkkola (Nokia), Kim Holmberg (Åbo Akademi), Colette Gattoni (Åbo Akademi)
  • 46. ...and of course all the e-commerce students who took part in the project
  • 47. Thank you!
    • @alpapag
    • 48. Feedback: alpapag@gmail.com