digitalvisitor-e4t video
3 years ago
 

Social media in travel by numbers [VIDEO]

It is easy to get carried along (or away?) with the buzz around social media in travel – x number of gazillion tweets per second, Facebook member figures, social graph, etc, etc.

The numbers remain impressive.

Whether travel brands are making the most of any opportunities before them is another matter, with many remaining on the sidelines to see how it all plays out.

Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are one thing, doing something meaningful with them is another matter entirely.

This video was produced by DigitalVisitor to coincide with some research carried out by EyeforTravel in 2011. It demonstrates, through a blast of numbers and the results of a recent survey, how social media is having an effect and really, REALLY cannot be ignored.

 
 
Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.

 

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  1. Thomas the Bescoverer

    Great video! As a directory for Bed and Breakfast Inns across America ( thhp://bescover.com ) social media is definitely part of our game plan, and we have an eye on mobile apps soon.

     
  2. Max Starkov - HeBS Digital

    Excellent video, though social media remains vastly misunderstood in hospitality. To start with, social media is not a distribution channel in hospitality. Despite the monumental efforts by many hotel marketers in the past four years to use social media as a “new and revolutionary” distribution channel in hospitality and travel, they all failed miserably. Today the social scene is littered with the abandoned “corpses” of hotel and other travel-related profiles.

    Why? Because a distribution channel is primarily a “one-way” street: owner or aggregator of travel inventory/information pushes inventory/information through distribution channels which have been accepted by interested parties such as the traveling public or organizers of travel e.g. travel agents, group planners, etc. These distribution channels have been incorporated in travel planning technology and marketing solutions like GDS, travel supplier sites, OTA sites, etc.

    Social media is not a one-way street. It is a multi-street maze of peer-to-peer, marketer-consumer and consumer-marketer complex engagements and relationships.

    For over 5 years now I have been arguing that social media is not a distribution channel in hospitality. Social media is a customer engagement channel and a customer service channel. It is an important component of any hotel’s marketing mix and part of the comprehensive direct online channel strategy for any hotel company.

    In other words, in travel and hospitality, social media is a customer engagement channel and a customer-service channel, and not a distribution channel. The role of the social media marketer is already evolving to better reflect the hard-learned realization of the role social media should play in travel and hospitality. The “owner” of the hotel social media profiles—the one who manages and is responsible of posting, monitoring and reacting to customer comments—is also evolving and is being transitioned from outside social media agencies and PR agencies to property-based social marketing coordinators and community managers.

    For example, here is the situation with social media as a distribution channel when compared to the mobile channel. The mobile channel is a legitimate hotel distribution channel. In 2011 alone, 2.4 percent of all U.S. online travel bookings ($2.6 billion) were made via the mobile Web. This is at least 100 times more than all travel bookings ever made from social media worldwide.

     
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  5. Tim Gunstone

    Thanks for the coverage Tnooz just want to say its bassed on our research and not just put out by us.

     
  6. Anil Varghese

    Nice presentation – for !!
    The message to hotels still skeptical on social media is…
    a. Don’t expect sales from social media in the first month – this is a brand awareness channel. Sales will follow once your audience ‘connects’ with your message.
    b. Start small but be regular on social channels where you are present.
    c. Focus on guest delight offline – it will show up on social media positively

    Remember – your guest IS social, whether you are there or not – to join them in the conversation!

     
    • Kathryn Hastings

      Agree, especially with point A.

      Hotels that are trying to focus on this channel as a pure “revenue” channel often scare away potential customers who are just trying to join the conversation. It’d be like visiting the concierge and they insist that you visit the reservations desk instead.

       
  7. Claude

    @Kevin, I like your quote >> Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are one thing, doing something meaningful with them is another matter entirely.

    The same for all medias

     
 
 

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