Building your own online community. Social media in travel conference

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To build or not to build....your own online community

There is much debate about whether an organisation should build their own online community to engage with their customers on their website OR to engage with their customers on already established social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and forums etc. Of course, there is a place for both of these, and Digital Visitor have been at the forefront of creating social media strategies for travel organisations all over the globe that include both onsite and offsite solutions.

This session looked at some exciting projects the Digital Visitor team are working on and highlighted the benefits of building your own community and how to use offsite social sites to grow your own loyal community.

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Building your own online community. Social media in travel conference

  1. 1. Building your own online community March 2011 S i mon Jones Co-Founder & Marketing Director, Digital Visitor Email: [email_address]
  2. 2. <ul><li>Introduction to Digital Visitor </li></ul><ul><li>Our philosophy about Social Media </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><li>How to create your own community </li></ul><ul><li>Some do’s and don’ts </li></ul>Agenda
  3. 3. Digital Visitor <ul><li>Specialise in delivering social media services to the tourism industry </li></ul><ul><li>Social media software and services </li></ul><ul><li>Created 200+ social media solutions globally </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver increased traffic, enquires, business, loyalty... </li></ul><ul><li>Clients include: </li></ul>
  4. 4. Our Philosophy <ul><li>Successful social media strategies are made up of two elements </li></ul><ul><li>Onsite Offsite </li></ul><ul><li>Both need to be addressed with equal weighting </li></ul><ul><li>Most companies are really just focussing on offsite social media </li></ul>
  5. 5. Offsite social media <ul><li>Everything not on your website </li></ul><ul><li>A great way to attract new audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Access to millions of new potential customers </li></ul><ul><li>Some very successful Facebook groups </li></ul><ul><li>Direct traffic back to your website </li></ul>
  6. 6. Onsite <ul><li>Those on your own website and within your own brand </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term communication channel – at moment FB/Twitter is most popular, but what about in the future? </li></ul><ul><li>Maintains your online visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Drives enquiries & conversions </li></ul><ul><li>Many companies are looking to create their own communities </li></ul>
  7. 10. Onsite & Offsite <ul><li>Start with your own brand & use this to generate new audiences </li></ul>
  8. 11. <ul><li>Increased browsing times </li></ul><ul><li>Provides your visitors with authentic & engaging information </li></ul><ul><li>Increase conversions with peace of mind </li></ul><ul><li>You control & can moderate the content </li></ul><ul><li>Utilise content gathered in other marketing activities </li></ul>Why build your own online community?
  9. 12. <ul><li>Connect to other social media websites with Facebook connect, Twitter updates, Share with 300+ social media sites </li></ul><ul><li>Longer term benefits and marketing opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Your own community should be at the core of your social media activities </li></ul>Why build your own online community?
  10. 13. Example – Voyages Jules Verne
  11. 14. Background <ul><li>Group travel over 55s </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate post tour </li></ul><ul><li>Share reviews, videos, albums </li></ul><ul><li>Online feedback and rating </li></ul><ul><li>Earn points </li></ul><ul><li>Direct to book another group tours </li></ul><ul><li>Staff profiles </li></ul><ul><li>Direct to booking pages </li></ul>
  12. 15. Integration to website
  13. 16. Results so far <ul><li>Live for 6 months </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 1,500 photos </li></ul><ul><li>75 videos </li></ul><ul><li>900 members </li></ul><ul><li>Browsing time of over 3.5 minutes </li></ul>
  14. 17. <ul><li>A few things to consider </li></ul>How to build your own online community
  15. 18. <ul><li>Don’ t over complicate – increases barriers to entry & may reduce user uptake </li></ul>How to build your own online community
  16. 19. <ul><li>Consider all types of users you want to engage with & will be useful; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) Customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>b) Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>c) Company profiles? </li></ul></ul>How to build your own online community
  17. 20. <ul><li>What features do you want & really need; </li></ul><ul><li>a) Reviews (all media) </li></ul><ul><li>b) Discussions </li></ul><ul><li>c) Information push (product watch) </li></ul><ul><li>d) Engagement features such as competitions or loyalty rewards? </li></ul>How to build your own online community
  18. 21. Some of our finding’s
  19. 22. Our findings – Don’ ts <ul><li>Friends & groups – already elsewhere </li></ul><ul><li>Long registrations – plenty of ways to find out useful information about users (binary questions/use of site) </li></ul>
  20. 23. Our findings – Do’s <ul><li>Reference all content against your products for maximum benefit </li></ul><ul><li>Allow visitors to contribute whatever they like </li></ul><ul><li>A review, a video, photos, a discussion, a dream itinerary </li></ul><ul><li>Incentivise for the content you want </li></ul>
  21. 24. Our findings – Do’s <ul><li>No community is an island- Share with other social media sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Good content shared drives 2.5 x your Facebook community per month </li></ul>
  22. 25. New generation <ul><li>New release of Visitor Review focusing on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>better integration through API </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>delivery of relevant content to members </li></ul></ul>
  23. 26. Thank you for your time <ul><li>S i mon Jones </li></ul><ul><li>Co-Founder & Director of Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Visitor </li></ul><ul><li>email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>mobile: 07974 962 182 </li></ul>

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