Expedia’s famous “FriendTrips” Facebook app/game was awarded Digital Marketing “Best of Show” at the 56th Annual Adrian Awards competition. The award was presented to Expedia Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of Expedia, Inc. The award event was hosted by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), the Adrian Awards honor those who have created exceptional advertising, digital marketing and public relations campaigns in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries.
Star Tours, UK based travel agency has released a promotional video that showcases various places tourist attractions in Europe. It’s a one minute video clip, but very beautifully executed. Pictures speak louder than words, but videos speak even louder than pictures. With social media in hand, a good video will automatically go viral and spread the word.
In a trip’s planning stage, one of the core processes that has still not been automated is – group booking. How many times have you noticed this in travel websites – “For bookings of more than 10 people, call our call center 1800-ABC-DEFG”? How about automating the group booking? And to spice it up, how about adding a social angle to the entire process? Scotland based startup Make It Social is trying to address these critical solutions. Our interview with Make It Social is below.
Today, Facebook rolled out a new feature called “Facebook Graph Search“. Mark Zuckerberg sees this new feature as the third pillar of Facebook, next to News Feed and Timeline. This new feature will help users in mapping out relationships with people they are connected (or not connected too). Facebook calls this mapping as ‘Graph’. Users will be able to do a natural language search on this relationship mapping, hence the name – Facebook Graph Search.
There has been multiple developments in Virgin Atlantic. The immediate recent one was Delta’s 49% stake acquisition in Virgin Atlantic for $360 million. Another interesting development that spiced this deal was the war of words between Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson and Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways owned IAG (International Airlines Group). Mr Walsh predicted that the Virgin brand would vanish if the deal with US airline Delta was agreed.
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), the famous eatery brand has been doing a particular thing differently. That is employing people with hearing and speaking disabilities. We shall refer them as differently abled. KFC, an83 year old brand has been doing this since 1986, that’s for the past 26 years. In 1986, KFC started employing differently abled people in Malaysia. The restaurant was a big hit, itwas a clear win-win situation. After this success, KFC opened two more restaurants that employed differently abled people.
If content is king, then the place where it is shared is the kingdom. Social media is exactly what we are referring to. What Mark Zuckerberg started as a hobby is a bread and butter for many. How important is it to manage and maintain your brand’s online reputation? Will it affect revenue? Will working with travel blogger be of any help for a brand? How travel purchase has evolved over years? What is social graph?
Social media based travel startups are mushrooming nowadays. In the last 2 years, there are at least a dozen of social travel startups that have come up. Few notable names are Trippy, Gogobot, Wanderfly, TripBirds, EverPlaces, Gtrot, Tripl. Latest to this list is – JoGuru, India based social travel startup founded by Praveen Kumar (IIM L), Saket Newaskar (MDI, Gurgaon), Karthik Ramachandra (IIM I). JoGuru was launched early this year as an invitation-only product, and then later opened up for everyone.
In our previous article, we discussed about Facebook’s EdgeRank. The primary objective of Facebook fan page admin is to increase customer engagement, and hence improve EdgeRank for posts. In this article, we have listed various techniques / strategies to achieve this goal. As we had mentioned in the EdgeRank article, no one except Facebook knows the exact algorithm details to calculate EdgeRank. So, below strategies are not a “Facebook Approved” strategy, rather – these are best practices to improve EdgeRank.
Social media has taken the marketing departments in travel companies for a (good) spin. Among all social channels, Facebook tops the list of traffic source websites. Facebook is a gold-egg-laying-duck for travel companies. But, are travel companies really reaping the benefit of Facebook? Not really. SMI reports that 52% of brand fan page followers drop off because they think the information/update from the brand is too boring. 95% of the questions posted in Facebook goes unanswered.
Tripbirds was launched on March 2012 with focus on social travel – pulling recommendations from friends and helping the traveler in planning the trip. But, on June 2012 Tripbirds announced that they will be shuting down the service for sometime and would relaunch it very soon. The company received angel investors from notable investors.
Last week, we attended a hospitality industry event “Hospitality India Conclave 2012” in Mumbai. The event was organized by Confianza in association with Hospitech. It was a day long event attended by 160+ executives from leading hotels. Few titles of the attendees were – Head of IT, Sales Head, Purchase Head, Director, CEO, Marketing Head, Vice President. We will be publishing all discussions happened during the event in series of posts. We will pickup key discussion pointers from the event, do our own research, add pointers and publish posts (starting from this one).
In May 2012, Facebook rolled out a feature called “Facebook Offers”. This is much enhanced version of their earlier feature called “Facebook Deals” (that was scrapped in December’11). Let’s discuss how Facebook Offers has influenced travel industry. ”Travellers referred to a hotel or tourism booking site by Facebook are more likely to book travel than those who are referred via search engines like Google” – PhoCusWright Travel Research.
Social media is emerging as a revenue generating platform, that’s undeniable. The famous jargon “f-Commerce” is a great proof. By 2016, half of the travel industry will be using social media as a way of generating revenue and bookings. “Currently more than one-fifth (22 percent) use social media as a revenue generating tool with a further 27 percent planning to do so over the next five years” – says Robert Raunch in “Top 10 hospitality industry trends for 2012″. Last week, we described how airlines are innovatively using social media to increase their revenue, establish a personal connect with customers and improve customer satisfaction.