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