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
1) Instagram is the place to be for brands – people engage with brands 40 times more on that platform than they do on Twitter, and 20 times more than Facebook. Great for brand engagement.
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.
5) Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a great research tool, eg for analysing the subject matter of a large number of photographs.
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
49) Kuoni has wifi in its shops so people can check TripAdvisor when they’re discussing booking a holiday.
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
52) Airbnb has a great guide to Brixton that gives lots of authentic, interesting information about the area.
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.
NB: This is a contributed article by Julie McNamee from Webnwords. Follow McNamee on Twitter.