Gone are the days where plane passengers squint at TV monitors five rows ahead, straining for the punchline in the latest Adam Sandler movie. Effective this April, United Airlines will stream inflight content directly to your iOS device on select aircraft. The initial rollout will affect Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Boeing 747-400 and select 777-200 aircraft. Nearly every plane in the fleet will have this new ability by the end of 2014.
With UA’s iOS app or a laptop, passengers will have access to more than 150 movies and about 200 TV shows. Though everything seems to cost money now – even those once-ubiquitous pretzels – the content will be free to enjoy.
Looks like your next personal carry-on item may be popcorn.
It’s easy for companies to grow stale on social media – but not Dutch airline KLM, which continues to dominate social media. Its latest venture is LocalEyes, a Twitter account and webpage offering tips from local employees.
Every week, the company chooses an employee to take over the LocalEyes Twitter account and tweet about local traditions and culture, cozy coffee shops, hotel recommendations, and more.
This week features Stockholm tips by KLM employee Madeleine:
After a week, all the tweets are rounded up and posted to the LocalEyes website. The Twitter account is then handed off to the next employee for another dose of hyper-local recommendations in a new city.
Past KLM social media experiments include destination info mashup site MyDreamCatcher, social gifting service Wannagives, a space flight contest called Claim your space in space, and trip tips via a social graph-based application called Must See Map.
Kudos to KLM for keeping the travel industry on its toes.
Here’s a selection of mostly social media tips that I picked up from World Travel Market in London this week.
Social media’s “Dirty Little Secret” (Social data)
Sarah Kennedy Ellis – Sabre Labs
2) Photos aid conversion – another good reason for making use of Instagram.
3) According to Sabre Labs research, more men submitted photos with their check-ins on FourSquare than women.
4) 60% of smiley faces and exclamation marks were used by women on check ins.
6) Small companies with small budgets can access 10% of Twitter’s feed for research purposes.
7) A good way of searching Instagram is by hashtag #.
Facebook – Future of travel marketing
Lee McCabe – Facebook
8) Facebook marketing is all about:
- Multi-channel (across devices)
9) Facebook tools include Facebook Exchange – re-targeting within one hour of leaving the website.
10) Facebook Connect – for increased conversion rate with easy one-click logging in, plus lots of profile information.
11) The travel journey includes and is helped by Facebook:
- Dreaming – is kicked off by viewing friends’ photos
- The experience – is shared with updates and photo sharing
- Reflecting – the photos kick off friends’ dreaming
12) Mobile’s is clearly where it’s at – an increasingly so in the future
13) 45% of the world’s population are forecast to have a smartphone by 2015.
14) For the first time, digital media consumption has overtaken TV in the US – driven by mobile.
15) There are 874 million mobile daily active users of Facebook.
16) Match the people on your CRM database with their Facebook profiles to find out more about them and connect with them.
17) Graph search is getting better at targeting hotels and restaurants that you really might like (with the help of friend recommendations).
How travel bloggers impact the booking funnel
Debbie Hindle – Four bgb
18) The traditional marketing funnel is: Awareness – Interest – Desire – Action
19) The new marketing funnel (c/o Xavier Blanc) is:
20) Your customers don’t care about you as a brand. They care about themselves.
21) Content marketing = creating the information your customers are passionate about.
22) Example of an effective campaign is the #Feelmorealive campaign by adventure travel company Exodus – blog posts, photos, videos – lots of content by bloggers and lots of shares.
23) Another is the Liming Appreciation Society for St Vincent and the Grenadines – a group of bloggers invited to provide posts, imagery and video. 60% of searchers have viewed one of the videos before booking. The most popular post was shared 2,000 times.
24) Traditional marketing is about telling the world what a rockstar you are. Content marketing is showing the world what a rockstar you are.
Keith Jenkins – Velvet Escape
25) The value of bloggers? Niche experts, personal experience, immediacy and an audience.
26) The booking funnel is:
- The Final Nudge
27) As a blogger, one photo Jenkins posted (of ice floating) was viewed 2,000 times and resulted in four bookings for a travel company overnight.
28) Bloggers are good for giving tips and sharing ideas on where to go/what to do.
29) The feedback from people who have taken their advice is invaluable for the company concerned.
30) When engaging a blogger, have specific objectives in mind. What do you want out of the relationship?:
- Brand exposure?
- Online content?
- To drive engagement?
- To grow your social media followers?
- To make sales?
31) Monitor the results of your blogging campaign by
- Using tracking codes
- Using vouchers or downloads
- Using tracking systems
- Keeping track of blogger posts
32) Agree the number of posts, tweets etc with the blogger before you start.
Nicholas Montemaggi – Emilia Romagna Tourism Board
33) Needed a way to make people more aware of Emilia Romagna, so came up with the idea of Blogville – providing an apartment for the use of bloggers from all over the world. The tag line was “Eat, feel and live like a local in Italy”.
34) Only cost to the tourist board was for the apartment – bloggers paid their way.
35) Master of the house present at all times to help and advise the bloggers.
36) Campaign carried out over 2 years – 120 bloggers and 500 blog posts, 3.8 million Twitter users reached and 700,000 visitors later…
37) Example direct benefit – a Chinese blogger went on a cooking course and wrote a post with lots of photos. The organisation who ran the course reported 2 bookings from China overnight!
38) Important: Spaghetti bolognese isn’t a real dish – it’s tagliatelle ragu!
Lee Stuart – Caliber
39) Bloggers bring authenticity and honesty.
40) Brands and PR companies should look for focused blogs – not necessarily big blogs.
41) Look at the kind of keywords the bloggers rank for – there’ll be a ready-made audience for your product if it fits that keyword.
42) Bloggers are hyper-local.
43) They can act as guides to your destination.
Are you mobile?
44) The cost of marketing an app is going to be much more (and much more important) than building the app.
45) Tip for the future – we’re going to be seeing mobile-only companies in future.
Social media masterclass 2013
Alan Young – TrustYou
46) 81% of online reviews are positive (according to TrustYou stats).
47) In the UK, 49% of online travel reviews are on Booking.com, 37% on TripAdvisor.
48) The more reviews you have the more likely you are to benefit from them.
Debbie Hindle – Four BGB
50) When coming up with your new holiday campaign, think about you want your customers to feel. Eg, how did you feel on your first holiday?
51) Viator have pages worth of information on each of the locations they feature. They have lots of useful stuff to keep visitors on your site and make it more likely you’ll book with them. They also reward customers with treats and rewards and have conversations with them.
Google and travel: Sharing best practice
Sarah McDonald – Google head of travel
53) The questions everyone asks themselves when choosing something.
- Is this product what it says it is?
- Is it right for me?
- Is it at the right price?
54) Video can address some of these questions. For example it can give a street view from inside the hotel and a better feel for what your hotel is and where it is.
55) YouTube isn’t as good as Twitter and Facebook at helping consumers find relevant material. Brands should take not and learn to optimise videos.
56) An excellent site is Visit Brasil – consumers can make their own wishlists on what they want to hear about and the site will give hand back relevant information.
57) Have a common experience across all channels.
58) Use relevancy and urgency like the big hotel booking sites do.
59) The journey isn’t just online or offline – there are touch-points on both for a lot of people.
60) 89% of social media users share holidays photos while away – even if they don’t share the rest of the year. Connect with them when they do it and continue to talk to them when they come back. Reach out at every stage.
Bored? Turn to boards. Online boards, that is. Four Seasons just established a Pinterest presence to help you plan your next vacation.
With the new trip-planning service, Pin.Pack.Go, travelers create Pinterest boards and invite their preferred Four Seasons hotel to chime in on recommendations of things to do and places to visit on their vacation.
The result? A custom-planned vacation from those who know the area best. It’s a great example of a brand reaching out to its consumers in the burgeoning social marketplace and we should expect to see other hotel chains following suit shortly.
Though companies engage in social media marketing every day, it’s rare to reach that pinnacle achievement. Yes, folks, we are talking about going VIRAL! (In a good way, not a sickbed sort of way.) How have hospitality and tourism companies been managing their social media campaigns? We’ll examine several businesses over the coming months and see how they’ve done.
First up: Turkish Airlines. At Strauss Media, we’ve had a soft spot for Turkey thanks to an extended visit to Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, and Ephesus. If you ever make it to Turkey, the enormous, awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia in Istanbul should be at the top of your to-see list. A close second is the ancient city of Ephesus, remarkably preserved down to a backgammon table etched in marble.
So of course we were Turkish Delighted (sorry) when Turkish Airlines unveiled a TV ad that went viral last year. In it, basketball phenom Kobe Bryant and soccer star Lionel Messi battle to win a young fan’s heart, but ice cream triumphs at the end. Check it out:
At last count, the ad had nearly 105 million views – definitely an effective use in the digital marketing sphere. What digital campaigns has your company successfully executed?
Marriott beckoned to the tired, the poor, the huddled masses of tech-savvy travelers weary of overpriced, spotty Wi-Fi access with nowhere to put their USB cords and lo, the Moxy Hotels brand was born.
The company recently announced the innovative budget-friendly hotel chain, which features free Wi-Fi connection, built-in USB ports in each wall socket, two “Plug and Meet” meeting spaces, 56-inch televisions for presentations, large writing walls, and complimentary computers. Guests can even check in with their smartphones. Aimed at the ever-wired Millennials, Moxy will open in Western Europe in 2014.