The world is socially fluent. I’d like to share a few of the statistics with you – and get your brain engaged for our conversation – through this short video.Hyperlinks to 4 minute video on youtube
So, we know it’s global and pervasive. It’s here to stay…. And ignoring it won’t make it go away.Therefore, whether you are B2B, B2C, A to Zet…. Social media connects us allIt’s never been more efficient, convenient, transparent or more cost effective to “connect” … with your partners, your customers, your colleagues, your industry peers….Further, the platforms we’ll discuss today come in many languages, offering reach 24/7.
Transparency brings us more “power” than control ever could – once we understand this, the world of social media is no longer scary but rather, a playground!We all want to know what our customers think – we put together think tanks and surveys – yet, now we just must be open and they’ll bring it to us.Travel companies who get this realize that this is their opportunity to turn a negative review – into a positive immediately and with the whole world watching. That feels genuine, human and real – and it resonates with us. We “like” them so much more because of it, and the emotional response is key!
Trust. Personal relationships. If your colleague tells you about a new restaurant, or a friend…. You are likely to trust it, correct? But if a perfect stranger tells you about it, a bit less likely, correct? The same is true for online influence. It’s time to build yours.
Be interesting – all stats are boring – pepper it with personality.Use common sense when engaging – a simply of thumb:If you wouldn’t say it to your boss or your grandmother, think twice before posting it.If CSR is important to you, these platforms are a great way to showcase it!However – be Genuine – it’s very easy to spot a fraud online.
The new wave is User-Generated content. This means being open to your connections posting their own thoughts, ideas and content. This can do more for you, your company’s brand. This is a chance for users to also bring their criticism directly to you – so you can remedy it. They just want their voice “heard” and bring it directly FOR a resolution, not to totally discredit you. If you aren’t open to it – often, the haters will be fueled by this and will create hater groups.A great example of utilizing social media in this way is Coca Cola. Another is Ikea, and I don’t just say this because Yves is in the room! Watch this: (logo transitions in and hyperlinks)
For the last three years, AirPlus conducted a survey of Corporate Travel Managers in the US and Europe.They found that social media usage is growing – primarily with LinkedIn and Facebook for business.
And…their traveler’s use of social media is increasing
Finally we see that the top three reasons for utilizing social media in a travel program is to increase traveler satisfaction.They are all running around with mini-computers in their hands now – they often know there is a delay or gate change through their smartphone apps before the airport signs change. To help anticipate traveler needs – this is key to a successful travel program because what you don’t know, you can’t manage and social media can provide clear transparency into it.Finally – over 1 in 3 actually select PARTNERS based on the information they find in social media.It’s true that Facebook and YouTube have both surpassed google and bing as the largest search engine today. It’s too important to suppliers to not take notice.
Suppliers are anxious to know what you think, other buyers are anxious to knowledge-share and these platforms allow you to do just that.The conversation is occurring whether you are listening…or not! Listen, learn, anticipate needs, proactively problem solve and find efficienciesYou have a voice! Strengthen relationships with partners/suppliers through shared knowledge, communication & collaborationParticipate in industry associations online as a supplement to the face-to-face networking & join event pages too for continued growthGain empowerment and raise your internal profile – know where to glean knowledge & how to effectively share itOpportunity to steer policy, solicit feedback and conduct real-time analysisA great source of information in crisis situations – often the first place to break the news and a great way to communicate with travelers for traveler safety/security solutionsStrengthen your travel policy complianceBuild stronger partnerships with suppliers
In the USA – Travel Managers incorporating these are cover models – they are applauded for their efforts and their successes prove it’s an effective, powerful and beneficialway to utilize social media within Travel.
The 2012 Travel Manager of the Year in North America is Michelle DeCosta – who implemented social media two years ago and has proven the ROI and become a benchmark in the industry. She implemented Yammer – an inside the firewall twitter-type solution – and outgrew it within a year and a half. They incorporated a global and company-wide enterprise system (still for internal use – so within the firewall) now named VOX – Voice of the People
She implemented Yammer – an inside the firewall twitter-type solution – and outgrew it within a year and a half. They incorporated a global and company-wide enterprise system (still for internal use – so within the firewall) now named VOX – Voice of the PeopleShe promoted it witinh her email signature and sourced travel champions who were respected within the company to contribute as well
For Sapient it’s crystal clear – social media has made vast improvements in their travel program.Travelers communicate, can share tips while on the road, share rides and dinners …and further support their company’s preferred travel partners.Partners donate hats, free room nights, loyalty points and free bottles of water, wine… all to support their cause and the partnership.
Why LinkedIn?So much more than a CV repository!Keep track of contacts throughout their career & job movesBuild trust and rapport – therefore, your influence & your company’sExcellent for recruiting/qualifying a candidate (tip: build your profile & credibility by asking for recommendations!)Share research, take polls and glean knowledge Join Groups for collaboration with your industry’s like-minded individuals – share your knowledge and ask for others’ inputGain transparent insights to your connections, partners, competitors, staff
And when I narrowed it down to the Brussels area : 709 popped up with the words in their profile
800 Million active users worldwide – an active user is defined as someone who has logged in within the last 30 days.Why Facebook?Project a more human face of your company:Pictures of staff and events can illustrate your company cultureShareresearch and knowledge – link to additional resourcesPromote upcoming events to gain attention and attendanceHighlight partner activities to enhance relationshipsPromote sales, services and opportunities to interactUtilize settings on personal profiles to vary your communications to specific groupsEnhance inter-company relations via a global virtual forum for staffHighlight CRS activities to show your company philosophy
Why Twitter?Fast, efficient, economical and viral:Straight to the point, 140 characters only means no room for fluffDetect industry trends and take polls/surveys in real-timeTerrific for customer service – make contact with end-user (not often possible in B2B environment). Twitter is NOT one-sided, but you must “listen” to learn what people are saying about your brand, about your competitors, about the industry overall. We set up multiple twitter profiles in Twitter for AirPlus b/c while English is a global language, most people will tweet in their native languages. Thus, we have an Italian, German and French profiles too.Disseminate insightful information quickly and effectivelyShare knowledge readily – while it’s still relevantPromotion of partner activities for enhanced relationshipsExcellent for Crisis Communication efforts - Traveler Safety and Security is such a hot topic within the industry today
Twitter proved most effective to find people and ride share after the Iceandic volcano and Japan tsunami and earthquake.The US government now releases all of its crisis info FIRST via twitter, then facebook…. Then it makes the news. Traveler Safety and Security – travel managers should know where to look for the breaking news and how to ensure their travelers do too.In fact, Twitter is the news these days – it’s how reporters find their sources. It breaks the news before the news does!
For the visual learners – seeing is believing:Why YouTube?Customer testimonials are quite effective in videoVideo blogs from your executives on company activities/events, company financial results and industry topicsUser tips/guides to your products – showcase products and tips for best in class useHighlight events and philanthropic activities in an inspiring wayMarketing campaigns can go viral & obtain reach like never beforeTo be successful, videos should be authentic, clever, witty, touching and/or motivationalThey do not always need to be flashy, expensive or polished to go viral!Many companies are utilizing web and teleconferencing services and sharing their recorded copies of global meetings, events and press conferences on youtube!
A great example of why YouTube works. Corporate videos don’t need to be all flash – polished and perfect. Virgin’s Richard Branson… well, who doesn’t want to hear what will come out of his mouth next… but they utilize his adventurous spirit and showcase the product. This type of usage provides corporate travel managers a glimpse into the products and services their travelers are enjoying – hotels are showing their rooms and ammentities, etc… Virgin was smarter though – and while the Richard Branson video received almost 25,000 views… they gave flip cams to customers and allowed them to video tape their own REAL experience – this felt genuine (as a fraud is easy to spot online) and thus, resonated with viewers and received almost TWICE the views as the corporate video
Pinterest is the next big thing in the world of social media – (explanation)Personalization – or one log-in will increase, as will suggestions based on your likes, and your friends likesAggregation apps – to bring together the news personalized in the way YOU wish to read it, like flipboard, Editions from AOL, etc…
Social Media shouldn’t be built on a house of cards.It’s beneficial throughout the company:Sure, it started with Marketing, but Sales, Customer Service, IT, HR for recruiting, and certainly TRAVEL can even find solid business benefits.Getting the whole company involved, integrated and enthusiastic – only possible through upper management support – can foster a truly beneficial social media success.
How many of you have spoken to your family/friends about work, your company, your job?Why not show your staff how to effectively raise the profile, reputation and credibility of your company by doing so online.They are already doing it, after all…..
BATM & ACTE in Brussels
Social Media in Business Travel. Why give a Tweet?.... Presenters/Facilitators: Henk-Jan van Alphen, Consultant at Futureconsult Rana Walker, Social Media Evangelist
It’s happening, whether you are listening or not! Supplement face-to-face networking Gain empowerment and raise internal profile Steer policy, solicit feedback and conduct real-time analysis to find efficiencies Effective crisis communications and traveler safety/security solutions Strengthen your travel policy compliance Build stronger partnerships with suppliers
Michelle De CostaGlobal Travel Manager | ¬ SapientEmployees: Learn more aboutTravel at SapientWant to find out what’s new withTravel? Follow me onyammer.com
Conversations are happening: Be an active participant Change perception And most important: LISTEN!By doing so you will gain: Increased empowerment for you/your travel policy Increased visibility for your preferred suppliers (involve them!)
I’m eating a Belgian Waffle!I “Like” Belgian WafflesWatch me make a perfect Belgianwaffle (Liège style)My skills include waffle eating
I’ve booked my train tomorrow to eata Belgian waffle!I’ve checked in and am Mayor ofWaffle-villeGorgeous waffles, should serve theseat my next eventI’ve bought a Groupon for a half-pricewaffle!
If Facebookwere a country,it would be the3rd mostpopulatedin theworld!Only China &India are morepopulated!Twice the size of Kansas City BTA / November 2011the USA Source: Facebook P. 23
Establish social media guidelines & teach staff how to share your company’s already published public information! Allow staff to be your online brand ambassadors to build your sphere of influence! Encourage them to share their tips, thoughts, ideas and improvements – provide positive reinforcement!
Define goal, target and gain internal buy-in Interact FIRST Sell LAST… remember:Social Media campaigns do not createrelationships – but Relationships can buoymarketing campaigns and bolster sales!
1. Glean and share knowledge through Groups2. Network with partners, customers and prospects via online events3. Build reputation & influence through recommendations, likes and activity4. Social gaming / promotions to build engagement, loyalty5. Solicit ideas, innovations and use for CSR initiatives6. Steer (travel) policy & strengthen compliance