2013A Picture Speaks aThousand WordsA Deeper Look at the Growing Trend of Photo SharingMadeline Benson & AllisonGeelanUniversity of Wisconsin - Stout
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words1Photo Sharing-As a TrendWith all of the technological advancements in mobile devices, businesses have found a visuallyappealing way to market their business through photo sharing. Photo sharing is the transfer of adigital photo that is posted online publicly or privately. With various photo sharing applications,you are able to classify your photos as well as add captions explaining the meaning of the photo.Photo sharing first started as personal use in the 1900’s and then advanced to a marketing levelfor businesses in the 2000’s. As mobile devices and Smartphones become more prevalent, photosharing becomes more accessible with any social network or photo sharing website.With Instagram, mobility is important so the user can create compelling experiences on theirmobile devices. Release of the IPhone 4 gave Instagram a higher performance camera that couldproduce higher-resolution images, which resulted in more users. With Pinterest, it is all aboutsharing visually appealing photos of the product you are trying to sell. Whether its food items offyour menu or a hotel suite, you want to make your product marketable.Operating Impacts:With hospitality and tourism, most of the target market is emotion based which results in apotential customer viewing a picture and making an emotion driven decision. If the Hospitalitybusiness has a decent camera and a good photographer, the company can showcase the businessand location in an attractive way. This impacts a business in many positive ways if utilizedcorrectly. Organizations use Instagram to post images that tell a story about their business whilemaking sure to not “blast their brand”. Engaging images have been proven to have more of apositive impact with selling a product, rather than a slogan or statement about the product. WithPinterest, it allows a unique opportunity for restaurants to engage their customers that hasinteraction with an appealing image.Finance:Financially, photo sharing sites are either free and have advertising-supported media or you arecharged a fee directly for the use of that site. Instagram is one example of a free photo-sharingwebsite. When being originated, Instagram was not worried about making money, their teamfocused on creating a marketable application. Their focus is mainly on building a communitywith its user base by not chasing the dollar. In 2012, Instagram was sold to the CEO ofFacebook, Mark Zuckerberg, for roughly $750 million. From a marketing stand point, The CEOof Instagram, Kevin Systrom, knew Facebook would help Instagram expand and also befinancially supported with ads that are advertised on Facebook(1). From another standpoint,Zuckerberg made a wise decision of buying out what could possibly be one of his maincompetitors and taking Facebook to a more mobile platform.Operating Processes:Pinterest is a pin board style photo-sharing application that allows users to sort pictures intocertain categories or interest. You can search anything from your favorite restaurant or hotel to apopular recipe. You are basically bookmarking interests, foods and hobbies onto a pin board.From a business stand point, a company can create an account of their organization and simplypin the photos that best represent their establishment. There is also a text description of the pinwhere the company can describe and explain the product being displayed. Instagram is an onlinephoto-sharing service where you are able to take pictures and share them on numerous socialnetworking websites. Promotional hash tags are used as a tool to help users discover specific
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words2photographs, others users, and organizations. Businesses also use Instagram to post discounts orincentives below the picture to encourage customers to be more engaged. (2)Impacting the WorldCase Number One: Double Tree Hilton Using Instagram-This hotel uses Instagram to grow engagement and community with its general customerbase. It also builds a strong relationship between the guests and the hotel and they feel moreconnected. Instagram is effective and shapes marketing because it’s all about “word of mouth”.Customers love to share photos while traveling so the DoubleTree thought it would be a perfectplatform to grow their presence. The more talk and conversation about the hotel and itsamenities, the more clientele it will bring. With the double tree, they found it most effective touse the hashtag application on Instagram to help users search for their specific hotel andpromotions.This graph illustrates that conversation spiked on days when the sweepstakes were promotedthrough other social networks using the dedicated hashtag. The doubletree approached Instagramby generating more awareness and excitement for their old and new customers. By featuringdestinations, new property openings, and fun promotional activities, the double tree expandedtheir cliental by visually showing them what they have to offer. The only improvement would bemore pictures of their property and amenities, rather than submitted photos from customers.Although, customer interaction is important, they should not stray from the fact of what they areactually trying to market. Otherwise, the Doubletree by Hilton’s Instagram account has beenvery successful and marketed very well.
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words3The blue line on this graph is displaying the follower count growth for the Double Tree Hilton’sInstagram account. It has a total of 1, 126 users. Photo sharing impacts the hospitality marketbecause travel and tourism depends heavily on the use of word-of-mouth to spread opinions andrecommendations. Accounts= Double Tree by HiltonCase Number 2: Is Pinterest Right for Hotels?Pinterest is an ever growing part of the industry. Anything your heart desires could befound on the webpage. The industry is slowly but surely warming up to the idea and how to workwith it. This article studies 4 different hotels all within a niche market over five weeks and howconsumers react to it. The findings were interesting and ranging as shown.(Mitchell, C.)There are a variety of answers here but throughout their study the have found some fairlyconclusive information. The main impact of Pinterest is imagery and beauty which are both hugedrivers in the aspect of followers. Pinterest is great for brand awareness but not for drivingrevenue. As time consuming as it may be it still creates a flow of interest, as seen in the figureabove.This was a very interesting case study to look at and think about. Just because you usesomething every day does not make you knowledgeable about it. It was interesting to look at thelocations they chose and how the results came out. If I was to do it differently I would pick
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words4locations that are similar niche markets rather than different. This would give the information ofwhat the viewers are actually looking at to a specific idea rather than a bunch of different ones.The key to success may be to use this as a follow up strategy on either the highest rating or thelowest rating hotel. Another step to the case would be to look more into why the research was theway it is. What drove some sites up and some down? Some of the information just does not makesense. How is the hotel with the highest following having the second lowest website visits?Overall this study was intriguing and brought up a lot of good points but could easily create amore in-depth case too.Photo Sharing in Other Industries:National Geographic uses Instagram to post pictures with the photographer tag,promotional hashtags, and a caption explaining the post. This is another example that generatesconversation and “buzz” about National Geographic.Pinterest can be found everywhere in the world. Pretty much any field could relate toPinterest. Any company could create a board or share a pin. Outside of the hospitality industry ithas a very practical place in fashion. There are hundreds of boards of various types of fashions.It is easy for a company or business to create a look or outfit and post it on Pinterest. They canlearn and see if it is popular and being repined. It is a great tool for the fashion world, being thatit is such a visual industry.The Future of Photo SharingInterview Results:Hannah Broomfield a Food and Beverage Manager at the Terrace Hotel in LismoreAustralia is very aware of photo Sharing and what it does, has done, and will be doing to thehospitality industry. She uses it both personally and so does her place of employment. She said,“That old saying a picture does tell a thousand words is absolutely relevant and true in photosharing.” This is such a great way to look at photo sharing and what it is doing to our industry.Outside of her personal use she comments on how her business shares all of their currentadvertisements via photo sharing. She calls it, “an extension of our in-house advertising.” Anybrochure or poster could be just as easily found in the restaurant as online. This creates apresence for the company in the virtual community. Photo sharing has become so important inthe industry that not using it is almost worse; this is at least the point of view Hannah makes. “Ithas to be done well, or will make a business appear out-of-date or out of touch.” Obviously thisrequires more time and attention, but it easily worth it for any business.When asked if photo sharing is a positive asset to the hospitality industry she responds;“It is a useful tool in that big tool kit of social media that businesses from all industries are stillworking on how to use properly.” Once again she nailed it on just what is happening with socialmedia and photo sharing. We know social media has happened it is part of our lives, but photosharing is still new and gaining our respect as a trend. She then comments, “Hospitality isultimately about product and service, and photo sharing can be a big part of creating an identityfor your business, illustrating how good you are at providing service, and the quality of yourproduct.” This is exactly the point and process of photo sharing, but there are still negatives to befound. “Everything is open to interpretation,” she says. Anyone can say anything on social media
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words5and these sites can be very “democratic.” Users can post and say whatever they want: the good,the bad, and the ugly.Business Landscape:The impacts of Photo Sharing are numerous and hard to speculate in some aspects. Whatwe know of now is that the trend is growing and changing with its users. “The landscape isevolving quickly as content marketing replaces advertising campaigns and mobile merges evenmore with social networks.” (Herbert, B.) We know that in the upcoming year “social media andmobile will be inseparable.” Social media and photo sharing are becoming one in the same assites combine the social aspect with the photo aspect. Facebook has pictures and Instagram hascomments. They are becoming synonyms also in the sense that as you post a picture onInstagram you have the option to post it on Twitter or Facebook as well. Photo Sharing is notaffecting just the mobile world it has a strong impact on the industry as well.There are a variety of negatives and positives when it comes to what photo sharing hasdone to the industry. The one large negative is the fact that all that information is just out there,floating around. Anyone can post something on the internet and anyone can find a way to see it.Applebee’s had a recent scandal involving a waitress taking a picture of a tip she received.(Tishgart, S.) This picture and instance becoming so viral brought a negative light to Applebee’s.Without the photo sharing sights this most likely would not have become so popular.There are still many positives to Photo Sharing. This form of social media is becoming atool for multiple different kinds of businesses. Restaurants have the chance to post theirsspecial,hotels can show a fabulous room, and event planners can post a picture of gorgeous eventsetting. Having this access to the people is positive because it is another way to entice people touse their product. Most people like to see what they are buying in this is a great way to do this. Inaddition to companies posting pictures the consumers or customers can too. A couple goes out toeat and has a fantastic meal at a brand new restaurant. Before eating they snap a picture of themeal and send it out onto Instagram for all their friends to see. This is a positive marketing toolfor this restaurant; of course it could always go the other way too creating another negative.Pinterest is such a positive tool for the hospitality industry. Hundreds of people go on Pinterestevery day and look at what other people, all over the world are looking at. According toreplinly.com Food and Drink are the most Popular Pins and also an extremely popular board, aswell as Weddings and Events being high up there on the graph as well.Course Content vs. Photo Sharing:1) The main relation between the course materials and photo sharing is the trends concept.From what we have learned is that photo sharing is on the path we used in TrendAssignment 2, Status Differentiation. At one point Instagram was just an idea, then itmoved on and caught on as a fad. Now as we have seen photo sharing is much more thanthat and has become a trend and is quickly making its way to reality it seems.2) Another relation between photo sharing and course content would be the changes andtransformations of technology and social media. Just in class we have experiencedseveral different types of teaching from the class room to online. Although this might nottechnically be course content it definitely taught us about different types of technology
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words6and how sometimes it just does not work out. The video websites were not yet trends andstill had kinks to work out just photo sharing once was.3) As we have talked about a lot in class technology is a huge part of our world. We havelearned the variations and usages of technology throughout the industry and what it isdoing with the industry. This growing technology is a huge part of marketing and photosharing will ultimately impact it. We have studied how online business is a benefit tobuyers and employers and hopefully photo sharing will soon join the online world as anessential businesses and marketing tool.4) We have learned a lot about marketing and segmentation. It appears that anyone andeveryone is beginning to use photo sharing. There does not seem to be a true targetmarket. As social media has turned into hundreds of different targets there is not really away for photo sharing to be just one either. People use photo sharing for different reasonsweather it is purely social or to edit pictures. The people having these reasons areeveryone from teenagers to grandparents. Overall it looks as though there is not a truetarget market for photo sharing.5) The biggest difference between the course content and photo sharing is the lack of actualmarketing involved for the websites. There are no commercials, very few advertisements,and just no sound marketing; yet these sights are growing tremendously and quickly. Theonly true marketing campaign these sights have is their link to other social media sightslike Facebook and Twitter. Most of these sights allow you to post on both and tie themtogether. Basically these photo sharing sights are growing and changing without muchmarketing attention.Keeping a Competitive Advantage:Staying ahead of competitors and keeping a competitive advantage is a struggle manybusinesses have and will continue to come across. The main condition of staying ahead is toactually use the product. Businesses need someone who is focused and aware of what isconstantly going on within the businesses websites, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Knowing how touse these tools as what is actually going to make them tools. The best and most efficient way todo this is to have someone who is in charge of social media outlets like this. It could be a newposition or worked into an old one depending on the businesses financial standings. This personwould be in charge of uploading pictures and responding to posts about the pictures. Their job isto figure out what people like and to make sure that they are showing the company in a positivelight through these photo sharing options. All sorts of companies are introducing this position totheir work force. Just typing, “social media hospitality jobs” a plethora of links to jobapplications and listings show up. As social media is a broad spectrum and not the focus of thispaper, by looking at these links it can still be seen that Photo Sharing sights are quicklybecoming a part of the term. The person in charge of this job has to know, and understand howthe social media world works and what it entails. This is not a position for someone to do ontheir spare time or when business is slow. This person should be constant and persistent in theiruse of the chosen photo sharing application or website.
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words7Photo Sharing has constantly been growing and changing with the users. It has movedfrom a fun application or website to a successful marketing tool. It is becoming a more and moreuseful trend and someday soon maybe a complete reality for our world. It is hard to imagine lifewithout it anymore from websites like Pinterest, sharing what is beautiful and funny, toInstagram applications where people can share their personal side. It will be important for photosharing to keep up with its growing popularity as technology is constantly taking over.
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words8References:Broomfield, H. (2013, April 17). Email InterviewHannah Broomfield is a Food and Beverage Manager for The Terrace Hotel in LismoreAustralia. Although she is young in the industry she has a full grasp of hospitality and photosharing. I picked Hannah because she has a true passion for what she does and an exceptionalway with words.Herbert, B. (n.d.). Top 10 Hospitality Industry Trends for 2013. HOTEL BUSINESS REVIEW:Articles for Hotel Executives. Retrieved April 24, 2013, fromhttp://hotelexecutive.com/newswire/43113/top-10-hospitality-industry-trends-for-2013Michtell, C. (2012, May 25). Case Study - Pinterest for Hotels. Milestone Internet Marketing -Leader in Online Hotel Marketing & Promotion.. Retrieved April 24, 2013, fromhttp://blog.milestoneinternet.com/web-2/case-study-pinterest-for-hotels/Pinterest Statistics, Trends, and Insights.(n.d.). Pinterest Directory and Stats. Find Top Pinners,Boards, and Pins. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from http://www.repinly.com/stats.aspxRowe, M. (n.d.).How restaurants can leverage Instagram for marketing | Social Media contentfrom Restaurant Hospitality. Restaurant Hospitality Home Page. Retrieved April 24, 2013, fromhttp://restaurant-hospitality.com/social-media/how-get-most-impact-instagramThe Double Tree Instagram.BrandPowerpoint. 2013.http://www.thedigitalroyalty.com/DoubleTree-Instagram-Brand.pdfTishgart, S. (n.d.). Applebee’s Scandal Inspires Good Tipping -- Grub Street New York. GrubStreet: New York Magazines Food and Restaurant Blog. Retrieved April 24, 2013, fromhttp://newyork.grubstreet.com/2013/02/applebees-scandal-good-tip.html(2)Ways to Use Pinterest for your Business. Tight Line Productions Inc.2013.http://www.tightlineproductions.com/creative-ways-to-use-pinterest-your-business/(1)ZuckerbergOn Instagram by Kim-Mai Cutler. Tech Crunch. Disrupt San Francisco, CA. 2012http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/11/zuckerberg-instagram/