INTRODUCTION In holiday resorts all over theworld, social media is introducing powerful newpotential for outdoor tour companies. For those ableto engage it best, social media will bring a brightfuture!Following research, monitoring of process andanalysis of the adventure tourism industry - itsdigital potential and best practices, this documentoutlines a sample of top opportunities* nowavailable. What others say: “An excellent template to outline and present creative social media ideas and options to a specific industry.” Social Media Today* Besides customized social media actions you should also engage new clients and customers with the basic SMstrategies; Set up measuring tools, start a blogger outreach program, maintain a blog, connect with industryinfluencers, update your own web site, be present on the most common community platforms like tripadvisor,yelp, locly, Google Local/Map and such.
“67 % complain there is too much advertising:Forget messages, create experiences and conversation.”
POINTS OF INFLUENCE within on your customerlifecycle as a tour operator, there are severalpressure points where you can launch customizedsocial media activities and harness individual tools. ce Influen Influence Influence Engage Inspire, Surprise, Invite Play, Offer, Enter, Share etc.
“Context and timing are two important factors forsuccess. Be aware of the fact, that the customernowadays is unpredictable. They jump back and forth, upand down within the marketing funnel like a wildmountain goat on a hot lava field”
CUSTOMER WALK THROUGH 3rd tp: Customer 6th tp: Customer signs up for checks in for tour or newsletter, fan gathers more page or twitter. information. Time again to invite him The following chart provides a visual impression of 1st touchpoint: 4rth tp: Customer 9th tp: End of tour again to follow you and check out: on twitter or fb. 11th tp: Guest left destination. Time to with Google some important questions: Customer starts trip starts trip with car, plane, train etc. Invite guest via Offer specials for incentive, gift to fans and followers interact and engage your former Search. Make sure Great chance to review your guide, customers with online. he finds your sites invite him to learn product etc. Open a specials and news • When do customers use which tools? What apps & and reviews. more about your „gate“ for more or other products. brand. interaction online Keep up the relationship. content do they havetour. Depending onto? access 7th tp: Guest is on via your online specials. Give them a reason to return. • Throughout the various pressure points of the the lenght of the trip – chance for life updates on fb and marketing funnel, how do your customers interact twitter. with the brand? (based on user bahaviour)Start trip • When is the right time to interact with the End trip customer? 5th tp: Arrives at the destination. 2nd touchpoint: Now you can offer Google leads 10th tp: Manage him additional links customer to your picts and to different booking 8th tp: Time for website, reviews, videos effectively hubs and offer guides to interact facebook page. and invite guest to specials. (Group with the customer, check them out bookings, Holiday tell stories and again. or- to share Specials etc.) catch their interest his own impression for other things on your social your company is media hub doing.Customer has Using home/office Equipped with Gathered additional Discovered Equipped with Equipped with Equipped with infoaccess to the computer, talking to smartphones, information from posters, chatted smartphone, twitter, smartphone, twitter, to access otherfollowing tools via friends brochures, prints channels on the with locals, asked foursquare, web foursquare, web social media hubshis trip: from the web plane, local info concierge for best access access and stay connected centers etc. adventures in town
CUSTOMER WALK THROUGH 3rd tp: Customer 6th tp: Customer signs up for checks in for tour or newsletter, fan gathers more page or twitter. information. Time again to invite him 9th tp: End of tour 11th tp: Guest left again to follow you 1st touchpoint: 4rth tp: Customer and check out: destination. Time to on twitter or fb. Customer starts trip starts trip with car, Invite guest via interact and Offer specials for with Google plane, train etc. incentive, gift to engage your former fans and followers Search. Make sure Great chance to review your guide, customers with online. he finds your sites invite him to learn product etc. Open a specials and news and reviews. more about your „gate“ for more or other products. brand. interaction online Keep up the 7th tp: Guest is on via your online relationship. tour. Depending on specials. Give them the lenght of the a reason to return. trip – chance for life updates on fb and twitter.Start trip End trip 5th tp: Arrives at the destination. 2nd touchpoint: Now you can offer Google leads 10th tp: Manage him additional links customer to your picts and to different booking 8th tp: Time for website, reviews, videos effectively hubs and offer guides to interact facebook page. and invite guest to specials. (Group with the customer, check them out bookings, Holiday tell stories and again. or- to share Specials etc.) catch their interest his own impression for other things on your social your company is media hub doing.Customer has Using home/office Equipped with Gathered additional Discovered Equipped with Equipped with Equipped with infoaccess to the computer, talking to smartphones, information from posters, chatted smartphone, twitter, smartphone, twitter, to access otherfollowing tools via friends brochures, prints channels on the with locals, asked foursquare, web foursquare, web social media hubshis trip: from the web plane, local info concierge for best access access and stay connected centers etc. adventures in town
THE BASICS A list of basic digital marketingstrategies every tour operator could start with.Create a cause on Facebook – to build up awareness, increase loyalty and affinityHost a fun online contest – to create attention to connect employees/customersInitiate a fun offline event – to strengthen your brand & attract new clientsUse Twitter and offer tweetfares– to sell more tours, increase salesTake lots of pictures/movies – to extend memories and improve serviceSign up for lots of online directories – to maximize recognitionProvide knowledge via WIKIS – to strengthen the brand valuesYouTube your work – to strengthen local grassroots visibility
SOCIAL MEDIA & STORYTELLING Now it’s going to getinteresting. Pimp your social media activities withindividual stories to get your customers maximumengaged with your brand and product. The next slideswill give you some inspiration. Use it wisely.
STORYTELLING - DO’S & DONT’S Social Media isabout great storytelling. See the most promising &engaging stories & elements for you as a touroperators. YES • Photos NO • Politics • Stories about wildlife & environment • Environmental issues • Stories about people (Guides, locals, etc.) • Be careful with addressing social issues • Stories about green living and doing good • Fictionary stories (don’t try to pimp!) • Unique facts about the tours itself • Local Disasters if its just messages and notes • Charity & donations – when set up proberly • Construction (How we build ...) • Cool records (highest bungee, etc.) • Stories about special guests you had on tour • Celebrities on tour
CONCEPT OF THE NEXT SLIDES Take the design drafts as an inspiration. Names are fictitious. Opportunity I discoverd your needs and identified business and communication Solution: This goals. section gives you an idea of a sample option, based on best practices. Tools: A list of some tools that work best Example Call-to- in combination with Actions give you your idea/goal. always a good idea on how you should Filters: Help you to write the copy and adjust and prioritize layout the site. your ideas.
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 1:Tour Cancellation OPPORTUNITY People cancel theirbooked tours spontaneously, just hoursahead of time. That opens up free spotsthat could be filled to make the tourmore profitable. SOLUTION Make the canceled spots available to the public (with discounts, due to the last minute factor) and tweet about it as soon as possible. Provide sales and service staff with the right tools and message templates, so that they can act fast. Powder> Mountain Catskiing in Whistler is a good example.TOOLS 44% of consumers who follow abrand on Twitter do so for (last minute)deals. The real-time messaging toolhelps you to spread the word with speed Strategic Impact: narrow Call-to-Actionsand efficiency. Anticipated revenue impact: moderate ENTER TO WIN Brand Authenticity: Far Social Experience: PARTICIPATE Works best with: REGISTER NOW >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 2:Reward Loyalty OPPORTUNITY With the increasing useof smartphones check-in gameplays aregetting more and more popular. Suchgadgets make it incredibly simple toidentify loyal, returning customers and SOLUTION Use your ads, brochures, posters toreward them with special customized invite people to check in with foursquare and such.deals. Reward the foursquare mayors, followers and fans of your organization with special incentives like “Your best friend zips for free”. Be creative – there> is no limit.TOOLS Foursquare, Yelp and Gowalla arethe status quo right now. They havealready a large community you can buildon and are easy to use, customize and Strategic Impact: narrow Call-to-Actionsmaintain. Anticipated revenue impact: moderate CHECK-IN Brand Authenticity: Far Social Experience: SEND REVIEW Works best with: >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 3:National Holidays& Personal Gifts OPPORTUNITY Special Holidays, such asValentines Day, Christmas, NationalBreaks and so on present a great time tooffer special tours, discounts, createcontests and - most importantly; offer SOLUTION The Facebook app FBML offers thegifts. Create a unique experience for an chance to customize your fan page with a few clicks.unique moment. Make it easy for your fans to send gifts to their best friends. Spread the word through Facebook Ads and use Twitter to increase traffic. Gear up your website> as well. WildfireAPP or Sweepstakes offer free or cheap tools which may help.TOOLS 70% of customers haveparticipated in a brand sponsoredcontest online on Facebook. Every 2nduser on Facebook sent personal gifts to Strategic Impact: narrow Call-to-Actionstheir friends. With a large community Anticipated revenue impact: highalready familiar with using basic gift and Brand Authenticity: Close SEND AS A GIFTreward tools on Facebook, there is Social Experience: ENTERsomething for sure you can build on Works best with:here! CLAIM COUPON >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 4:Shoulder Season &Local Events OPPORTUNITY Offline events are anawesome chance to establish your brandwithin your community. Bring backcustomers and view your organization ina new light. Use this in the the shoulder SOLUTION Always conforming to your brand, makeseasons to boost your business with the event fun & unique then integrate a competitivelocal visitors. element. Tweet, snap and post videos about it all the time. Create winner lists, and send out invitations to the follow up similar events. Every year Tourism> Whistler launch up some pretty good events for their guests. Partner up with your local tourismTOOLS When it comes to organizing and office.bringing together lots of people for anevent - yet again, Facebook is thenumber one player. Eventbrite is as Strategic Impact: narrow Call-to-Actionssimple to use, but due to the lack of Anticipated revenue impact: highcommunity not an option I would Brand Authenticity: Close PARTICIPATErecommend. Social Experience: ENTER Works best with: NOTIFY ME >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 5:Doing Good &Being Green OPPORTUNITY Nature is your partner.Give back something to the communityand to your environment, and you canuse that activity/cause to talk about it onyour tours. People will love it. SOLUTION Initiate monthly fundraising activities, raising money for a local charity - something you believe in. Give it a name, so people can remember it and associate it with your brand. Create a connection between what you do and what the> fundraising is about. Personal thought: the more local, the better it is. Gap Adventures for example does anTOOLS Twitter has proven to be an incredible good job.incredible way to raise money. FacebookCauses is another excellent tool forlaunching a cause online (be sure to Strategic Impact: narrow Call-to-Actionsconnect it to your fan page!). Another Anticipated revenue impact: moderategreat idea is to build a special tool like a Brand Authenticity: Close PARTICIPATEDonator-O-Meter. Give your activities a Social Experience: EXPLORE NOWvisual people can remember with ease. Works best with: DONATE NOW >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 6:Eco Education OPPORTUNITY Do you provide distinctiveknowledge on your tours? Do so. Thinkof a story your guides can share. Thereis always something to talk about;whether its nature, local insights - or SOLUTION Encourage your guests to test theirfacts and stats about your best knowledge on Facebook, let them participate in aadventures. Natural way to engage kids. fun contest, give away cool prizes. Close the customer lifecycle. You can also offer customized deals, because you know who are your visitors. In> this case; returning customers.TOOLS Use your website to provideunique knowledge and stories about thearea you are operating in. Use free wiki-tools like Twiki to train your staff. Again, Strategic Impact: narrow Call-to-Actionsharness Facebook to launch contests Anticipated revenue impact: moderateand microsites where people can come Brand Authenticity: Close PARTICIPATEback and check thier knowledge. Social Experience: ENTER Works best with: DONATE NOW >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 7:Photos & Videos OPPORTUNITY Travellers take tons ofpictures and videos while theyre on tour.You probably have your own staff whotake pictures as well. Offer them to yourguests after their tour. Make them SOLUTION (Geo)-Tag your pictures & videos. You canavailable online at all times - use them also use watermarks. If you have more financialto continually drive people back on your resources build your own site so people can viewwebsite. and purchase them online. The best thing is, when people start to rate and comment on your files. You> can use those opinions to improve your product. Vallarta Adventures doing a good job on that.TOOLS Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo, flickrand your own website are all usefultools for uploading large numbers ofpictures and videos. Some of them Strategic Impact: wide Call-to-Actionsalready have a large community, where Anticipated revenue impact: moderateyou can create groups and invite people Brand Authenticity: Far SHAREto check out what you post, and share Social Experience: UPLOADtheir impressions. Great Tip: Link maps Works best with:to your pictures. RATE NOW >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 8:Product Testing OPPORTUNITY You are new and nobodyknows you. Let people test your productfor free. Tell them to share theirexperience with others online. Promoteyour product, a new destination, create SOLUTION Invite people to come with you on thebuzz online, hire great staff. Awesome greatest adventure of their life. You give somethingopportunity to increase your online away for free, now you can ask for something incommunity as well. return - pics, videos and personal thoughts. Let them write a diary. Use the material and share it> with the online community. Give the whole thing a catchy name. Tourism Queensland did a super jobTOOLS Use YouTube to tell your story in with their event “The best job in the world.”motion pictures. This tool makes it easyfor you to track the comments andreactions from the viewers. Facebook as Strategic Impact: wide Call-to-Actionswell is a good tool to share videos and Anticipated revenue impact: highlaunch such an “online event”. Brand Authenticity: Close BE PART OF IT Social Experience: ENTER&PARTICIPATE Works best with: SIGN UP >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 9:Award Programs OPPORTUNITY Do you have ongoingaward programs for staff or customers?Not yet? Uh oh - time to launch some!Theyre a great way of securing a streamof returning guests. You can use the SOLUTION Collect emails and send an invitation torating and comments they generate to your customers to rate your tours, guides, whatever.improve your product and customer Let them participate in a monthly award show. Makeservice. it fun and engaging so that people are more likely to give you a good review. Extend memories. Thank> guests for coming back – offer deals/specials. Link to tripadvisor and yelp for general reviews.TOOLS Start with your own website andlaunch a microsite where people cancome back and rate your product quicklyand with ease – just a click. Strategic Impact: narrow Call-to-Actions Anticipated revenue impact: Far BE PART OF IT Brand Authenticity: Close Social Experience: ENTER Works best with: custom SIGN UP >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 10:Celebrities &Media Tours OPPORTUNITY If someone famous signsup for a tour and asks for somethingspecial... why not? Ask for permission towrite and share photos about it. Storiesabout celebs are always a hot thing and SOLUTION Talk, write, snap and tweet about it. Youit creates lots of buzz online. If media is can also announce the special tour in advance andon tour, ask for permission to publish document it online in real-time. Just make ittheir stuff later on your own websites. personal. Bigger than life is an absolute no go in this case. Use experienced staff on this tour – train> them to talk and deal with media people. Looks much better on camera.TOOLS Spread the word with twitter,Facebook and document it on your ownwebsite. But remember: Its gonna beonline forever. Check legal permissions. Strategic Impact: narrow Call-to-Actions Anticipated revenue impact: moderate FOLLOW UPDATES Brand Authenticity: Far Social Experience: RETWEET THIS Works best with: SHARE THIS >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 11:Superlatives OPPORTUNITY You own the longestbungee jump in the world. You tame thewildest rivers with your white waterrafting boats. The fastest zipline is inyour backyard? Use those superlatives SOLUTION Always listen closely to your guests andand create a question around it. Answer take note of their questions. What are they asking?:that question online. What? Just keep on “How fast can you ...” or “How long is ...” or “Whatsreading... the deepest...” Grab that question and answer it with a movie. You don’t need much just a couple of> your funniest guides and your own superlative. Check out Blend-Tec (Will it blend) or get inspiredTOOLS This is great storytelling and you with MYTHBUSTERS.do that best via a video on YouTube. Itsprobably also great to know that peoplespend more hours watching YouTube Strategic Impact: wide Call-to-Actionsvideos than watching TV. One or the Anticipated revenue impact: highother way: Launching an event online is Brand Authenticity: Close WATCH THISgetting more and more popular. Social Experience: DOWNLOAD NOW Works best with: SHARE THIS >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 12:Personal Fears,barriers OPPORTUNITY Some adventures arequite challenging for people and oftenbring them to the very end of theirpersonal limits (fear of heights etc.). Flipthat around and use your experience as SOLUTION Play with taking away peoples fear ofa way or chance for them to get over this heights (works for any tours that deal with greatfear. heights like bungee, zipping, canopy walks, etc.) Give the event a name like “Face the Heights”: Create a monthly event. Invite/bring one person in> who is afraid of heights and let them do your adventure for free. Film it and put it on YouTube. LetTOOLS Use tools enabling people to people bet online – if she/he can do it or not.interact with each other and encouragethose people on your tour to push theirlimits. Strategic Impact: wide Call-to-Actions Anticipated revenue impact: moderate VOTE NOW Brand Authenticity: Close Social Experience: BET & WIN Works best with: SHARE THIS >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 13:Life Messaging OPPORTUNITY Outdoor tours differ inlength. Some take just a couple of hoursand some take days. While you are ontour for a 1-2-3 day trip use yoursmartphone to update and document SOLUTION Share pictures pictures pictures. Tagyour experience. Engage your guests to your pictures and post them immediately ondo so as well. Invite people at home to Facebook or flickr. Share it with your followers andfollow your updates in real time. fans and get them hooked in to do the next tour with you. Always let them know what your plans are.>TOOLS Use your smartphine/iPhone.Many apps allow updates via eMail likeTumblr, blogger, Facebook and evenTwitter is a nice tool to use again. Its fast Strategic Impact: narrow Call-to-Actionsand simple. Anticipated revenue impact: moderate FOLLOW UPDATES Brand Authenticity: Close Social Experience: GET NOTIFIED Works best with: SHARE THIS >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 14:Partnerships OPPORTUNITY Team up with otherorganizations like DMOs and you canlaunch way more engaging social mediacampaigns online. Make it valuable forboth of your customers. SOLUTION 1) Develop customized booking widgets and buttons and ask tourism partners to integrate them on their sites. 2) Partner up with other marketing departments and create campaigns for both of your customers. Help customers to find and> easily book your tours.TOOLS Start with linking to each otherssites and campaigns. Customize yourfacebook and landing pages. Integrate“Book Now” buttons and smart widgets Strategic Impact: wide Call-to-Actionswhenever it makes sense. Let people Anticipated revenue impact: moderatecheck the availability of a tour on other Brand Authenticity: Far FOLLOW UPDATESsites as well. Social Experience: GET NOTIFIED Works best with: SHARE THIS >
Design & Idea Marc-Oliver®USE CASE 15:YOUR FRONT DESK OPPORTUNITY Your front desk is anisland for engagement. A hub where youcan invite your guest to write reviews,participate in fun contests or just stay incontact with you. Offer at least SOLUTION Link to your social media hubs. Invitesomething. People won’t ask you for people to write a review about your tour and thankyour business card, they will ask: Are them with a contest or prize.you on facebook or twitter?>TOOLS Many tools are available: Startwith a poster or message boards.Something that creates attention andlooks interesting and nice, not loveless. Strategic Impact: narrow Call-to-Actions Anticipated revenue impact: moderate FOLLOW UPDATES Brand Authenticity: Close Social Experience: VOTE Works best with: WRITE REVIEWS >
THAT’S IT!SO, LET’SGO ANDPLAY Intelligence and analytics will drive everything: make it part of your strategy before and after creative development.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Marc-Oliver is an award-winning independent digital brand designer andsocial media strategist. He spent the last 10 yearsworking with advertising agencies, Fortune 500brands, and start-ups to create design and strategyfor engaging, effective, and elegant digitalexperiences. On his blog he writes about highlycreative social media strategies & posts inspiringprototypes for the future web. He lives and skis inthe Ski Resort Whistler, BC, Canada.This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License. 1