The Social Media Traveller: Who is looking where &
Travel Market Research firm, PhocusWright,
finds that social networking "is one of the
most powerful forces driving travel planning today".
PhocusWright says that Social media used by travellers
is growing far faster than the travel industry
itself. Unique monthly visitors to social travel
sites jumped 34% between the first half of 2008
and the last half of 2009. Travellers referred to a
hotel or tourism booking site by Facebook
are also more likely to book travel than those
who are referred via search engines like Google
(PhocusWright travel research 2010). The same
is true for TripAdvisor which has become the #1
most popular travel website, with 35,382,000 unique
monthly visitors it surpasses Expedia by over
2 million visits (ComScore tourism research 2010).
Media is taking control away from the advertisers,
and giving it to the consumers …and
not all consumers are alike!
Patricia Brusha (hospitality.net)
says there are 5 distinct types of social users:
the Butterfly, the Selective,
the Connected, the Starter and
the New Norm. This is a good start to
understanding social behavior and creating your
online social media travel marketing strategy.
to start, they
will have a wide interest but explore slowly
Disney, Nickelodeon and Barbie!
Sharing experiences, video
use tools & web2.0 Resources,
but not quite sure what to do, how or where
get points, rewards, games,
where they are
use web2.0 sharing
RSS feeds or alerts,
not interested in online newsletters
easy to use instruction
in photos and text.
Create a non-intimidating place to ask
are part of the buying decision. Have a
kids area on your website
Social media applications are not for everyone.
But the technology used is becoming a standard
across all platforms. Interaction is the norm
on the Internet. See
new order of the web
Publish headlines linking to your news
website/blog /company to followers. It's
got to be newsworthy, helpful, interesting
or fun or you will get turned off.
Building followers is
not easy. There are marketing service
that can help, such as http://twitproquo.com
(not focused). The best option is to search
Twitter for a travel market or travel
focus group, like golf. Click "Follow"
on all the results. Most will follow you
Example: We wanted to announce arcRes
travel marketing and travel bookings application
for Facebook. We searched for Hotels and
followed many - over 100 followed us and
we sent out a 140 character announcement:
Facebook travel app! makes facebook a
booking channel! easy with http://arcResBookings.com
see http://tr.im/FaceBookDemo. example:
Photo sharing, photography
related networking, worldwide
It is used to share personal
photographs, and is also widely used by
bloggers and journalists as a photo repository.
It allows photos to be tagged and organized
so that others can find what they are
looking for. Putting
hotel, activities and destination photos
online is easy and is good travel marketing
exposure. Flickr gets top rating on Search
engines, use it to list your travel
keywords and get links to your site(YouTube).
If you care to write
about your destination, travel experiences,
holiday experiences or guest experiences
etc., then a blog is great Travel Marketing
There are many blog solutions to choose
from. Wordpress and Google's Blogger are
amongst the best know. Blogger also allows
you to integrated your distribution with
Twitter, Digg, Facebook, etc. The Blog
can be very strategic; if you find your
Search Engine ranking is low, for certain
keywords write a blog for each keyword
and structure them to get ranked. Neil
Maclean (thetravelprblog.com-travel marketer)
used this technique with great success
- he advises "write conversational,
but targeted and regularly updated content"
with links that are "structured webaddress/category/post".
Good for storing, organising,
sharing, and discovering web bookmarks.
Sharing links can be helpful in travel
marketing. You add your own links and
share them with others. By adding the
Bookmark this on Delicious to your
will be able to add your pages to their
News website made
to discover and share content from the Internet.
You can add any travel
news including your own, but it can't be
a duplicate. The travel news or travel
marketing piece you submit gets voted on
by other users who DIGG it (click the
digg button) - If it gets enough votes
it moves to the top and more people see
it. It's hard to create a travel article
or a a travel marketing slot that will
be popular. Example of a popular piece
But the real advantage
for a Travel Website is that a DIGG increases
your chances of getting good Search Engines
rank (SEO). YouTube:
Digg & Tourism SEO!
has the potential to be very powerful. It
is Google's answer to sites like Facebook.
Coupled with * Google Profile * Gmail *
Google Reader * Google Reader Shared Items
* Google Blogs * Googles Search and more
to come - It will be the largest integrated
social network platform in the world. Google
is also rumored to be building connections
to all other major networks (like the add
it button below). Now it just needs friends.
Start a GFC now and learn about it - it
will be big. YouTube:
Travel Friends Connect
* Really Simple Syndication (ie: easy publishing
- a social service)
is a way to publish your holiday news, travel
specials, packages and destination events.
For the tourist looking for deals and other
news - it offers them a way to get news
delivered to them by email or to a site
like their Google page. You need to subscribe
to a RSS like arcRes RSS that will distribute
your information to hundreds of these sites
RSS in 2 easy steps
Example: Barbados.org Holiday Specials -
* powerful communications and collaboration
technology that does not fit any category,
but many are saying it's going to replace
email. It's best described as combination
of wikis, email, IM, VCS, blogs, collaboration
& doc managers in a single interface. It's
going to change everything. For latest links
see our blog
on wave and the future. This technology
has great promise, but it's slower than expected
to catch on. Looks like it may be lead by
application developers - some travel companies
are already using it as the platform for
their collaborative social sytems.
Buzz Google's answer to Twiiter, etc.
Off to a shaky start with
gmail integration with that included mailing
that might be considered violation of
privacy. Mails list are recommended now
rather than automatic. Like Twitter, you
can send out news buzzes. You can also
a buzz button to your blog and website
pages (see comment), so that others can
buzz your news for you!
a traditional social media offically - this
is a very social platform that is on in
your pocket most of the time. Travellers
are using this medium more and more, not
only to find holiday activities on location,
but to look for travel deals and book hotels
online. See our info about the new surge
travel applications and why you need a smart
There are a lot more - for an up-to-date list,
To add all social media links to your website,
use addthis socialmedia linking services
Get it from
Good Social Media Resources for Travel &
http://tr.im/harvards10tools | http://tr.im/ISMListening
| http://tr.im/2009traveltrends |
the comments below for latest updates and news
a Social Media Travel & Tourism Strategy
It's not a case of which
one to use, if you want to excel, use them all.
You need Social Marketing in conjunction
with all your Web presence. The Social Media
is a new market, with a new approach,
but it overlaps with the traditional.
More importantly, it feeds into and supports your
web marketing, enhancing your SEO and web
exposure in a dramatic way.
Each Social network and channel has its own
following and focus. You can do a lot of it
yourself - But as a Hotel Manager or tourism
operator - don't make this a full time job.
Most likely you don't have the knowledge, time
or the tools (applications) to make it sing!
Your best option is to work with a travel marketing
company, such as AXSES. Together decide what
parts you can and want to do. Get the training
you need and work with your tourism partners
to market your travel business and brand in
conjunction with your entire sales, marketing,
distribution, promotion and reservation processing.
Everything that you do magnifies all of the
parts - Do it all right and your travel brand
and marketing will be a success.
5 Keys to success with Social
Media for tourism
SEO, SEO - all these site are authorities,
listing on them helps your Search ranking
2. New marketing channels -more potential
clients and bookings/reservations. 3. Effective communications medium
- broadcasting message - and one-to-one dialogue
4. New way to engage
By consent marketing - as powerful as word of
mouth 5. Fun and Easy to use technology - photo
albums, videos, newswire - events - discussions
AXSES Travel Marketing
AXSES is a tourism development and destination marketing company, recognised
as a leader in travel marketing technology, branding and travel shopping,
see tourism meets technology.
AXSES travel shopping experience
offers the relevance and clarity of 'Google-like search', 'DoubleClick like
advertising, tracking and reporting', 'RealHolidays like expert systems & dynamic
packaging' and 'Expedia like travel pricing'.
This Next generation Travel Shopping Experience is a First of a Kind. http://TourismPlatform.com. It moves
travel sites from primarily a display vehicle to a strategic branding, direct
marketing, shopping and booking platform for hotels, car rental companies and
travel providers. It provides integrated and targeted messaging opportunities,
as well as the ability to deliver dynamic graphical ads (bookable-ads) and interactive
AXSES builds marketing and
management tools for travel suppliers. Axses owns over 30 travel portals promoting
direct sales to its hotel and tourism clients. AXSES supplier tools
include Internet marketing portals, website tools like calendars, blogs, content
management, guest tracking and travel planning, dynamic packaging, comparison
shopping, reservations, bookings systems and social media applications.