Future Implications

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Technology is rapidly evolving and communication is swiftly increasing.  As our module eleven stated, “It took radio 50 years to reach 50 million people, television 13 years, the internet four years, the iPod three years, and Facebook just two years” (Module Eleven). I believe the two topics, communication and technology go hand in hand. Without having the ability to reach a large audience at once, it’s hard to get the message across, and in order to get the message across you need technology.

Technology advancement with smartphones and the speed of the Internet is rapidly increasing the uptime of sharing info. As an example a few weeks back during the MTV awards, Miley Cirus was the topic of the event and instantly it spread over the Internet within seconds, with meme’s and videos uploaded to YouTube. I personally did not watch the awards, however with my social media feed, as soon as I started seeing she was trending, I quickly knew what had occurred. Technology and communication made this possible.

As an ever-evolving world we live in, Generation Z is our future. As they start to get older, technology will more ever increase. Generation Z are the digital natives, they have long lived in the technology world and a 13 year old may learn how to work any piece of technological equipment better and faster than their parent. Generation Z is known as a multitasking generation and are known to have a short attention span. With that said, an organization I would say that would struggle with a social media strategy would be the government. The government is probably still working in the same form as they did about 10 years ago, but with the large gap in technology adaptation from the government, Generation Z, may find some things confusing. Technology advancement within the government could be do to budget cuts but as well as current employees refusing to use new technology. Some government sites have adapted some form of social media, such as the police departments, but as a whole the government is not up to par as with other for profit organizations.

A great example of a police department who used social media effectively was the Boston PD.  During the Boston Bombing, the Police department kept their Twitter feed updates with posts on descriptions of the attackers and details about hotline numbers, etc. This was a great way to use social media during a crisis.

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But what about the DMV or a public works department? Wouldn’t it be nice to know how long the line was or garbage collection notices? Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite, listed some great examples of how government is using social media in some parts of the country. Of course some parts of the country are more economically off than others, so keeping up with technology in less economically advanced cities can be a challenge.

Another challenge is an age gap. With most government employees on average being 42, the gap between government employees and Generation Z is quite large.  With continual budget cuts in government and the large age gap, I just hope government agencies are able to adapt to technology advancements with social media in order to keep our future Generation Z up to speed with information.

Talking about technology and older adults reminded me of this video I saw a while back. Enjoy.

Sources:

Module eleven:assesment and evaluation of social media strategy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://bb.snhu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-621105-dt-content-rid-482581_1/courses/MKT-655-13TW4-MASTER/MKT-655-OLMASTER_ImportedContent_20130528050143/Learning Modules/Module Eleven Module Overview/MKT655_M11_Overview.pdf

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Viral Marketing Initiatives

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As consumers in 21st century, we have all have been exposed to topics trending quickly on the Internet via our social feeds. There have been many overnight celebrities from use of Youtube, Vimeo and other social media feeds. But, how do these topics or videos get soo much attention so quickly? What marketing initiatives make them go viral? Below are a few characteristics of a viral campaign.

Making something humorous, shocking or controversial

Do you remember Miss Sweet Brown….ain’t nobody got time for that? Or what about Antoine Dodson….Hide yo Kids? The most recent internet sensation Charles Ramsey……Dead giveaway. All three videos were actual news recordings from interviews. The authentic responses of the individuals were so humorous that once they hit Youtube they all became a phenomenon instantly. Sharing a link or video to your friends of something that is funny will most likely have a higher sharing success. McDonalds took advantage of the trending topic of Charles Ramsey, and tweeted a tweet in his name. Although in this instance McDonalds did not create the videos, they tagged themselves with the current trending topic to create a link between the two. This tweet alone received 12,311 retweets.

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Create unique keywords

When sharing information hashtags are a great way to categorize your post and tag it with as many keywords as possible. The higher amount of keywords the higher the probability your post will be viewed and shared. Take for example what is currently trending……#Sharkweek.  A hashtag of #sharkpocalypse was created for shark fans in order for them to discuss the topic on social media feeds. By creating a unique keyword for Shark Week the show was able to keep the topic trending and relevant to its users. Getting more users using the hashtag will instantly get more users retweeting and reposting.  According to the Social Media Examinor, Twitter is a great way to drive TV interaction. Below is a diagram showing its trend.

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Use photos or visual content

A picture is worth a thousand words. People like to see things versus reading things. According to Mashable, likes, comments and shares for photos perform best. To some consumers, a video takes too long to watch and a lengthy paragraph is too much to read, however a picture can give you that instant information with just a glance. It is also easier to repost a picture versus waiting for a video to upload.

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Don’t make a post too lengthy

People like instant gratification. If your post is too long, people will not read it, unless maybe, you have a photo. Studies show that shorter messages get more likes, and messages with a length of 450 characters get more shares. For a marketing campaign, keeping something nice, sweet and short will ensure a higher share rate. Joyce Meyer Ministries is the number 1 tweeted brand on Twitter. 2nd is ESPN and 3rd is Joel Osteen Ministries. These users tweet short tweets and are straight to the point and informative.

Try to get a celebrity to repost or get on a TV show

What other way to get something shared with someone with the most users at one time……..?? Get a celebrity to give you a shoutout. After all, celebrities are the highest ranking users with the highest amount of followers which in turn will get you a higher percentage of rewteets. Earlier this year the infamous Kim Kardashian tweeted

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The tweet got 753 retweets and 1948 favorites. This is just one example.

When creating a marketing viral campaign, it is a must to use the above. These are just a few tips on how some past users and brands have taken advantage of social media to make something go viral in the face of the Internet. Overnight sensation or a current brand these sure will certainly help.

Sources:

Hastags.org: http://www.hashtags.org/business/brands/sharkweek-2013-presents-sharkpocalypse/

Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/06/19/how-to-get-more-likes-shares-on-facebook-infographic/

Social Media Examiner: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/7-social-media-trends-for-consumers-new-research/

Social Media Today: http://socialmediatoday.com/felicia-dorng/462219/most-retweeted-brands-twitter

#Differentiation

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Social Media has been around since around the late 1980’s, but has only recently been seen as a great tool for marketing by organizations. Some organizations have exercised an exceptional job at promoting themselves via Social Media sites and others not so great. Best practices for social media are; info must be relevant, actively manage your brand, listen to your audience, integrate social sites and be flexible.

A great example of a company who excels in Social Media Marketing is Samsung Mobile. Samsung Mobile is currently ranked #4 on Facebook Pages with and 233 on Twitter. Samsung Mobile is also quickly becoming the number one mobile maker beating Apple. “While Apple was on its way to the company’s first profit decline in almost a decade during the first three months of the year, Samsung’s net profit grew 42 percent in the same period to 7.2 trillion won — about $6.5 billion U.S” (Copeland, 2013).

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Comparing another mobile company to Samsung would be Motorola Mobility. Motorola Mobility has 1,328,674 likes on Facebook and156,397 followers on Twitter.  Motorola Mobility’s social media feeds are lacking popularity. I also was not able to find any current rankings for their social media standings. In this year first quarter “The division recorded an operating loss of $271 million for the period, on revenue of $1.02 billion” (Costello, 2013).

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So what is Samsung doing right? Reviewing Samsung Mobile’s Facebook site, they keep things current and post relevant info about their products. Samsung also trends at posting one to two posts daily. They also have a link to their Twitter on their Facebook page and integrating social media is a key best practice. On Twitter, Samsung also tweets often with relevant posts. However, they didn’t seem to tweet daily they tweeted like once every other day.  They in total had 1,625 tweets since they first started. Like on Facebook, they also had a link to their Facebook on Twitter. Looking at their company website the first thing you see is a link to all their social media sites. Once you click on a product it allows you to share it on your social site of choice.

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Reviewing Motorola Mobility Facebook page their last post was four days old (not current). Motorola was not very consistent with their posts, sometimes daily, sometimes every other day, two or three. Unlike Samsung who posted about new product line up’s, Motorola posted more feature based items about current devices. Motorola did not have a link to their Twitter on Facebook linking the two. On Twitter, surprisingly, Motorola had twelve times as many tweets. As on their Facebook page they did not cross promote on their Twitter page either. On their company website, their social media icons are at the very bottom and also not inviting like Samsung’s. On a product page they have no links to share via any social sites.

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Not saying Social Media could have saved Motorola, but it definitely could have helped the company stay relevant. “You need a strong brand, which means a strong value equation to cut through the clutter and keep consumers engaged at the times when you need them to be” (Agresta & Bough, 2011).  Using Social Media and the basic best practices can help a company stay in the know and continue #trending.

Sources:

Agresta, S., & Bough, B. (2011). Perspectives on Social Media Marketing . Boston, MA, USA.

Copeland, M. V. (2013, April 29). Samsung is spanking Apple in earnings, sales. Retrieved June 29, 2013, from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/29/tech/mobile/samsung-spanking-apple

Costello, S. (2013, April 13). Google reports more losses at Motorola Mobility. Retrieved June 29, 2013, from Mobile World Live: http://www.mobileworldlive.com/google-reports-more-losses-at-motorola-mobility

#Blogging

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Before this class, I had never had a blogging website. I was a bit scared at first because I am a very self-conscious person and do not like putting myself out there for judgment.  However, through my experience so far, blogging has been a very enjoyable experience and can become a bit addicting. It is a lot of hard work, and I am sure for a larger company it can be much more time consuming but comes with much more benefits. I had a Twitter, but after reading the Tao of Twitter, it made me realize the endless benefits of it for a business.

Starting my blog was a bit difficult, because I wanted to make sure the content was going to be something informational and about something someone would even bother reading. Luckily through the class I had a few tips from our readings that helped me stay on track and I feel these tips should also be useful for the travel industry.

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A few tips I took from the Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies on blogging:

  1. Start by listening (Listen to what people are talking about right now; write about what’s hot.)
  2. Determine a goal for the blog (What’s your end goal for your blog?)
  3. Estimate the ROI (How will this help your company?)
  4. Develop a plan (Keeps you focused and on track.)
  5. Rehearse (Practice a few blogs before you go live.)
  6. Develop an editorial process (Who will approve? Who is your backup?)
  7. Design the blog and its connection to your site (Make it yours.)
  8. Develop a marking plan so people can find the blog (How will you promote?)
  9. Remember blogging is more than writing (Make sure you respond to comments.)
  10. Be Honest (Be genuine and real.)

Tips from the book The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time, Twitter can be an effective promotional tool, brand awareness, market insight, it can be a lead generator, customer satisfier, product development engine and problem solver.

A few tips:

  1. Tweet three times a day
  2. Respond to tweets that mention you
  3. Retweet
  4. Follow Friday
  5. Link your blog and other blogs
  6. Link to comments you create on LinkedIN, Facebook and other platforms
  7. Tweet out an opinion about a special event
  8. Leverage other online content
  9. Share something human.

So now that you have an idea of how to start a blog, the big question now is does blogging/tweeting help out your travel business?

I would say YES of course. Blogging/Tweeting is a great way to develop a relationship with your customers. You are in the know of what they want to know. You become an expert for your customers. You are basically educating while advertising to your customers. If done correctly and updated daily, this is a great tool for your business.

A great example of an airline that uses their blog successfully is Southwest. The blog focuses on the latest news for Southwest as well as general travel industry info. Nuts About Southwest has won Best Corporate Blog and Blog Hall of Fame for years in a row. What I like about their blog, its simple yet informational. The information posted is relatable and interesting. A lot of their posts also focus on community outreach events, which in my opinion goes a long way. Southwest started the blog not really knowing what it can grow to, but no question about it, this is a helpful tool for them. Check out their site, I am sure you will agree.

In my previous posts, I wrote about how Delta used Twitter effectively with their customer service. Examples like that, just go to show how impactful an organization can use social media.

In conclusion, I think blogging and tweeting, in this technology craze world, is a must. If you are not in front of your customers I can guarantee another company is.

To be or not to be social in the Travel Industry

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With technology evolving and people wanting to get everything instantly, anyone not in the social arena is already failing. With the Travel industry it is very important to keep up with all social aspects of the industry, but being able to maintain a positive image can be a challenge.

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Most people do a lot of research before booking for travel and many turn to their social sites to get ideas on travel. The Internet has become a necessity and getting recommendations from friends and family is the norm. 92% of us listen to what our friends and family members say about travel.

Having a Social site for your hotel, airline, resort, restaurant, limo, tax service, etc is crucial for your business. People expect you to be online and have some sort of representation online. Most people ‘like’ pages on Facebook or follow companies on Twitter because they want to share with their friends they use that product or they want to get a discount for liking/following. A social site also provides you the abilities to create incentives or rewards for your customers to entice them to use your company or product over and over again.

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With a questionable economy a lot of consumers are careful on travel budgets and want to make sure they are getting the best bang for their buck. So with sites like Groupon, Tripadvisor, Travelocity, Living Social, etc booking online can save you money. Most companies do have incentives if you purchase tickets online, they tend to be a bit cheaper. Using social media to promote that,  gives you a free marketing tool to increase sales.

But everything is not always fine and dandy. There is a downside if you don’t utilize social sites effectively. There are many benefits for travel companies to be on social media. Self-promotion is one, but another is listening to your customer’s feedback. This is raw data you can obtain straight from your customers. Its what you choose to do with it that matters.

We have all heard about the unfortunate mishap on the Carnival Cruise Triumph about two weeks ago. One of the major complaints for passengers on board or family members on land was communication. A way Carnival could have better managed communication is via Twitter, by giving constant updates. Skift Social feels Carnival missed a big opportunity using social media successfully.  “Although it posted 20 Triumph-related posts to Facebook since the incident, it failed to use social media to update family members, press, and onlookers to the conditions and status of the Triumph during last week’s travails, choosing instead to use it as a mouthpiece from CEO Gerry Cahill’s press conference and apology session”.

Social websites allow people to express themselves socially and share information to virtually anyone in the world. This is great thing if it’s a positive experience, but if it is a negative experience, clean up can be challenge.

At the end of the day I believe if you’re in the Travel industry and not in social media now, you are already loosing.

Sources:

Skift Social

A Guide to the Places People Love Most………

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As my previous post read, 76% of travelers post vacation photos to a social network site and 85% of travelers use their smartphones while abroad.  These are pretty large numbers. Think about your last vacation, weekend getaway or even your day trip, did you have your smartphone with you? I am sure the answer is yes of course! We relay on our smartphones for everything from directions, to browsing the web, to your music player. Smartphones and apps have made things much simpler for consumers. Travel is expected to increase this year and with lots of apps out there for this industry I would like to introduce you to Foursquare. Foursquare is not just a Travel/Vacation app, but it’s as simple as a looking up somewhere to have lunch.

So what’s this buzz about Foursquare……..

Foursquare is a mobile app that lets you check in to places where you have been and rate the place based on your experience. You can also look at others’ recommendations and get inspiration on what to do next. You can also get deals by “checking in” and share your deals and “check in’s” on your social media sites. Picture this, you are traveling for business or on vacation and do not know where to eat or what bar is a “happening” bar, simply pull out your phone and check your Foursquare app to see what people have to say about the area.

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After doing my research on the app, I never thought about how Foursquare could benefit a business. Any business especially SMB’s could definitely take advantage of Foursquare. Foursquare connects people to businesses; It helps businesses get discovered and connect with customers. Foursquare can also promote their business by having discounts or coupons to drive traffic into their location. Foursquare also offers free analytics for businesses which give statistics on who is checking in to their shop for the first time, or who are repeat customers.

Foursquare by the numbers (last updated January, 2013)

  • Community: Nearly 30 million people worldwide
  • Over 3 billion check-ins, with millions more every day
  • Businesses: Over a million using the Merchant Platform (more information at foursquare.com/business)

Foursquare is only growing and the data collected is invaluable. Check out this video by Foursquare which gives a weeks worth of “check ins” across the world. Priceless.

So remember, next time you are in a new city visiting or just looking for a new place to eat, check out Foursquare to read what your friends are saying about the place. And if your a business, especially an SMB promote your business through Foursquare and increase those door swings.

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Foursquare

Are you the 92%?

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Social Media is very present within the travel industry. According to All Twitter an unofficial Twitter resource, studies show “52% of respondents changed their travel plans after researching their trip using social media. A heady 85% of travelers use their smartphones whilst abroad, and 52 % of Facebook users said that their friends’ holiday photos had inspired their vacation choice”.

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I have to admit I am part of the 52% that has changed my travel plans after researching reviews on Trip Advisor. I am also part of the 92% that goes on the opinions of what friends and family say. In late 2011, I was planning a trip to Aruba. I happened to pick the resort based on price through Priceline. I was ecstatic and was boasting to friends and family. One of my friends had actually been to the same resort we made our reservations at and to my surprise he hated it! He gave it such horrible reviews, which made me question my decision. Per his recommendation I went onto Trip Advisor (at the time I did not know anything about it), and saw all these horrible reviews. Based on a friend’s opinion and the reviews online, I changed resorts. I am part of the 92%.

Trip Advisor, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, etc all influence the travel industry. Think about your last trip, how did you utilize your smartphone? Did you use Google Maps for directions? Did you perhaps use the check-in feature on Facebook? Maybe checked your flight status? Or did you use Foursquare to find out recommendations on what you were looking for? All these are examples of how social media has a presence in the travel industry.

85% of travelers use their smartphones while on travel. That is a huge percentage! The travel industry is also unquestionably capitalizing on this smartphone growth too. Apps like Groupon, Living Social and Jet Setters are just a few examples of apps that can score you a vacation or weekend trip at half the cost right on your smartphone. Many of these discounted sites allow you to share your vacation win on many of your social sites.

The travel industry is really evolving with social media trends. I want to share a short story about how Delta via Twitter rectified a customer service experience with me. As you all know, I am planning my Destination Wedding in Punta Cana. Delta this past Wednesday cancelled the flight I had purchased and rebooked it to another flight, which included an overnight stay. I was pretty upset because I wasn’t even given an option on my travel.  I called them later on that evening and was on hold for an hour and twenty-four minutes and had not spoken to a customer service rep. I decided to hang up shortly after and went to Twitter with my rage.  Within five minutes of my tweet to @DeltaAssist, a representative responded me. I was impressed by the quick response by Delta. They asked me to DM (direct message) on how they could assist. I DM’d the situation and was notified the Storm Nemo was the cause for the high call volume. (I do not watch the news very often so wasn’t aware of the storm.) At that point I knew the storm was out of their control so it made the situation understandable. I started reading all the Tweets from other users and Delta was responding very quickly. I was truly impressed. This is a great example of how Delta has used Twitter to help them increase their customer service satisfaction.

After I saw how beneficial Delta used Twitter, I checked to see if American Airlines had a similar page. As I presumed, they did not.  No offense to anyone who works with American Airlines, but I will never fly AA ever again because of unpleasant past experiences. I think the model that @DeltaAssist uses on Twitter is a great example of what Social Media can do. If AA would invest in a similar project they have a possibility to increase their customer service rankings.

In all, I feel that Social Media is a great benefit to any industry. If used correctly it can positively impact your businesses and have a great impression on your image. The travel industry as a whole is absolutely capitalizing on this social media trend and with travel expected to grow this year, I am positive more apps will be coming soon.

What are your thoughts? Are you part of the 92% too?

Source:

Media Bistro