Ideas For TripAdvisor To Leverage Social Media And Pr


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TripAdvisor is a well-respected and informative travel information website, but they're not doing all they can to maximize their exposure, especially with regard to social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc). Here are some ideas for them.

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Ideas For TripAdvisor To Leverage Social Media And Pr

  1. 1. By Josh Grossman
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Increase TripAdvisor’s: </li></ul><ul><li>membership </li></ul><ul><li>social media fans </li></ul><ul><li>pageviews </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>brand awareness…. </li></ul><ul><li>through social media and PR </li></ul>TripAdvisor
  3. 3. Leverage Existing Users <ul><li>Use address book imports upon signup, 2 nd sign in and then every 5 th sign in to encourage users to invite friends to connect on TripAdvisor (e.g. find reviews your friends have written already on TripAdvisor and invite others to connect with you). </li></ul>Put links on all TripAdvisor pages to build social media fan bases for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, and build a MySpace page. When users interact with TripAdvisor on these sites, their friends are notified through the newsfeed. Currently TripAdvisor gives prizes each week to be a fan on Facebook, but this is only advertised on the Facebook page, not on the main TripAdvisor site. (Jeep does a great job of introducing their social media pages on their own website).
  4. 4. Integrate Deeply with Social Networks <ul><li>Automatic postings to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter based on activity that occurs in users’ TripAdvisor accounts (new reviews, pictures, etc). </li></ul>These are examples from Yelp when a user writes a review.
  5. 5. Incentives <ul><li>Encourage more reviews - and therefore more Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter posts by rewarding users for every review they submit. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Create a points system: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rate a restaurant or hotel for 1 point, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 points for a written review, 5 points </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for a review recommended by others, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10 points for a review posted to Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or Twitter - anyone with 15 or more </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>points each month is entered into a </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>contest to win a $100 Expedia gift card. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What to do with fans on social nets <ul><li>Polls/Open-Ended Questions/Trivia </li></ul><ul><li>Answer people’s questions </li></ul><ul><li>Provide advice </li></ul><ul><li>Link to interesting content </li></ul><ul><li>Promote deals/content on TripAdvisor </li></ul><ul><li>Contests to create excitement </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage users to have their own conversations. Ask users to post questions to facebook or twitter and the best answer gets a $10 giftcard (1 card given per day) </li></ul>Examples from Upromise
  7. 7. Leverage Social News Sites <ul><li>Make the TripAdvisor blog much more prominent and hosted within the TripAdvisor website (currently housed and hard to find at ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create unique content for the blog (i.e. more complete articles than currently featured, such as press releases) that can be reposted or linked to on social news sites such as Digg by the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This also helps improve SEO </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capitalize on the sharing nature of sites like Digg, Reddit, Twitter and StumpleUpon by including easy ways for users to share articles. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Build relationships with influencers on Digg </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul></ul>Leveraging Digg <ul><li>The above link leads to an article on WomansDay </li></ul>In this example, TripAdvisor would try and build a relationship with “jboitnott,” the Digg user who made the story popular , and who based on his Digg history likes to submit and vote up travel stories (see image). Later on, he will hopefully begin to “digg” TripAdvisor articles.
  9. 9. Conversing with Twitter users <ul><li>Engage with other travel folks on twitter, find them through: </li></ul><ul><li>Example of another interaction: “Give us the caption to this photo” using Twitpic </li></ul><ul><li>Find great stories from other people/companies and share them on Twitter with a link and/or attribution. (e.g. @jetblue loved your All You Can Fly promotion!) </li></ul>Interact with Twitter users to be helpful. Reply to this poster with some helpful info about San Diego or best day trips from LA. Hopefully she’ll reply to @TripAdvisor and her 6300 followers will notice this
  10. 10. Importance of Twitter & Digg <ul><li>Twitter and Digg have the ability send many new users to a website regularly. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: TechCrunch, which is a website that regularly features posts that are easily shared on Twitter and Digg </li></ul><ul><li>Top Sources of Traffic To 1. Google: 32.7% 2. Direct: 22.7% 3. Twitter: 9.7% 4. Digg: 7.4% 5. Techmeme: 2.4% 6. Other: 25.1% </li></ul>
  11. 11. Tools <ul><li>Use TweetDeck to organize conversations and followers on Twitter into groups </li></ul><ul><li>Digg Alerter – keeps track of articles you’ve submitted and how many diggs they get </li></ul><ul><li>Find “Influencers” with Collactive (searches for heavy networkers to suggest who to reach out to) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Contests <ul><li>Contests are proven motivators. Picture contests create a natural place to integrate with Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and blogs as entrants campaign for votes. </li></ul><ul><li>Partner with brands looking to drive exposure and engagement by creating contests with them in exchange for them supplying the prize and promoting it on their website and newsletters (e.g. Hilton, the National Parks, Museum of Natural History, Kodak Gallery) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Create Apps For New Partners <ul><li>Target a large international audience with apps on MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, and Friendster. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a LinkedIn app for business users to find attractions, hotels, and restaurants directly from LinkedIn. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Utilize TripAdvisor Homepage <ul><li>Better promote all of the tools TripAdvisor currently offers that people can use on the site, grab for their own websites, or share with their friends (showcase all widgets, Facebook apps, mobile phone apps, etc) </li></ul>Apps & Tools
  15. 15. Encourage More Use Of Widgets <ul><li>Better promote widgets to hotels and attractions to pull reviews directly from TripAdvisor onto their websites. So far, it seems the widget is rarely used. Perhaps the default option on the widget should be “reviews sorted by ranking” with “reviews sorted by date” as a secondary option so hotels feel that the better reviews are displayed more often. </li></ul><ul><li>Get more “industry experts” to agree that hotels should feature the TripAdvisor widgets and publicize their opinions to the hotels. </li></ul><ul><li>(e.g. , , ) </li></ul>Create case studies of hotels using TripAdvisor. Here’s an instance of how the Charles Hotel picked great reviews and put them on their website, without the widget.
  16. 16. Actively Promote Widgets <ul><li>Contact all government tourism sites and encourage them to post Trip Advisor forum widgets, along with hotel and restaurant widgets </li></ul>
  17. 17. Harness the Power of Blogs <ul><li>Encourage users to post about </li></ul><ul><li>their personal TripAdvisor reviews </li></ul><ul><li>on their own websites/blogs. For example, </li></ul><ul><li>Create a “Yelp” type widget for users to </li></ul><ul><li>easily link to all their TripAdvisor reviews. </li></ul><ul><li>Yelp has twice as many blog mentions as </li></ul><ul><li>TripAdvisor according to Technorati: </li></ul><ul><li>Yelp: </li></ul><ul><li>TripAdvisor: </li></ul>
  18. 18. Custom Business Pages <ul><li>Let businesses create their own pages with details of their restaurant, attractions or special events that is easily updated. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Bedford Farms Ice Cream already has this website: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>But, they could also have: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Owners could customize the pages with general info, contact info, pictures, blogs, etc. The page could easily be updated with new information about the attraction, special events, customer discussions, etc. (similar to Facebook or MySpace pages, but better because the TripAdvisor brand is a natural location to create an official page for an attraction ) </li></ul><ul><li>Businesses can use the page as a substitute for maintaining their own website, to publicize special events to their fans on TripAdvisor and to their own in-house lists, engage in conversations with TripAdvisor users, and drive people to their TripAdvisor page through their own marketing efforts like radio or print ads. </li></ul><ul><li>Users could RSVP for special events or receive coupons from their favorite attractions on TripAdvisor, and when accepted or used, these actions could be posted to Facebook, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>TripAdvisor users would have a central location to find even more attractions and special events in their area or for travel destinations (competing to a degree with and local sites like, and TripAdvisor would get a huge lift from SEO traffic. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Piggyback on Expedia <ul><li>At then end of a user’s completed transaction on Expedia, put up a link to find attractions the user might be interest in from TripAdvisor. </li></ul><ul><li>Add in the ability to search </li></ul><ul><li>reviews on TripAdvisor to the </li></ul><ul><li>Expedia widget like this one </li></ul><ul><li>from </li></ul>
  20. 20. Flickr <ul><li>When someone posts a photo on TripAdvisor, automatically add the picture to a TripAdvisor Flickr account with the tags supplied by the user who uploaded it. The images will be found by users searching on Flickr. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a watermark over the picture to help spread the brand. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Squidoo <ul><li>Participate and create modules for Squidoo travel </li></ul><ul><li>e.g </li></ul>
  22. 22. PR – Content Ideas <ul><li>Timely press releases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be seasonal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best family trips for Christmas break </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For 4 th of July, 10 places that celebrate American history </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best places to experience Octoberfest in the US </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be topical: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>10 great places to visit near Ted Kennedy’s house in Hyannisport </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>10 places Obama might consider for his next vacation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be humorous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Top “pointless” attractions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>( e.g. Wall Drug, South of the Border, the Corn Palace) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best places for Swedish meatballs </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. PR – Content Ideas <ul><li>Create various ‘”awards” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. TripAdvisors’ top 10 blogs about NYC (Brooklyn Vegan, Gothamist, etc) with the hope that those blogs will call out the fact they won the award on their own blogs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use celebrities – gather their top 10 favorite places to stay/eat, and if they have twitter accounts, get them to link to their top 10 on TripAdvisor. </li></ul>My favorite hotel is the Four Seasons in Maui and my top attraction to visit in NYC is 30 Rock!
  24. 24. PR Partnerships <ul><li>Be a guest writer/create regular pieces of exclusive content for sites like AARP, EONS,,, business sites, dating sites, etc identified as being “written by Jane Smith from TripAdvisor”, (where to honeymoon, where to go with families, top business restaurants in NYC, etc). </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage/work with airlines/hotels to promote TripAdvisor in their newsletters (e.g. If JetBlue has a promotion for a cheap trip to NY, include a link for things to do in NY from TripAdvisor, or TripAdvisor could write a weekly/monthly column for JetBlue to use). </li></ul>In this example, Ted Danson was a guest writer for and identified as such.
  25. 25. Targeting Writers <ul><li>Stand out from typical press releases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Send an unusual package to the most influential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>blogs that sparks their interest (e.g. a nice leather </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bound picturebook with images of some of the </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>worst places as ranked by TripAdvisor, telling them to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>avoid these places at all costs). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contact specific blogs/writers and ask if TripAdvisor </li></ul><ul><li>can help them in any way, are they looking for any </li></ul><ul><li>new content Trip Advisor can help them gather, </li></ul><ul><li>would they like any help conducting a travel related </li></ul><ul><li>poll, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Localized blogs on TripAdvisor (eg. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Written by volunteers or guest writers, used as a place to discuss things that people like to do in their hometowns, upcoming events, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. PR Ideas <ul><li>Create competitions with other brands (e.g. a race with another company to see who can get to 100k fans on Facebook first, to see who can get the most traffic in a particular month, to see who can get 1000 people to enter a contest first, to see who can get the most retweets on Twitter in a month, to see who can raise the most for charity, etc). </li></ul>
  27. 27. PR Tools <ul><li>Use Pitch Engine for social media news releases – incorporates embedded video, images, powerpoints and more into a hosted “microsite” that can easily be shared with journalists, bloggers, and consumers </li></ul>
  28. 28. Create New Niches <ul><li>More reviews: campgrounds, hostels, hikes, beaches, bike paths, festivals, wineries, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimize for exposure with many of the aforementioned ideas – SEO, widgets, social networking integration, PR, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create niche apps on Facebook, like “find and rate a hostel”, “places I love to camp,” “top 10 places I want to go.” </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Tracking Success <ul><li>Increased visitors, membership growth per month </li></ul><ul><li>Track sources of traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Number of people in social media groups, fan pages, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Trackbacks or linkbacks to posts </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation tracking tools, like Backtype </li></ul><ul><li>Incoming links </li></ul>
  30. 30. Offline Branding <ul><li>“ Zagats Rated”/”Best of Boston” type of stickers distributed to restaurants/hotels/attractions. </li></ul><ul><li>TripAdvisor branded credit card with travel rebates to encourage loyalty and increase brand exposure every time it is used. </li></ul><ul><li>Send free t-shirts to great </li></ul><ul><li>TripAdvisor contributors. </li></ul>Check Out Our Ratings On TripAdvisor!