Sites like Trip Advisor , Lonely Planet and Virtual Tourist are very useful when it comes to guidance and help while planning or visiting a new city or country. The biggest driving factor for these are their user communities which engage in conversation both in terms of asking questions and in answering other users’ questions.
Usage of social media by travel industry is relatively new and hasn’t evolved enough. As per a study, 69% of companies are spending 10 hours per week or less on their social media programmes. Only 13% companies cite social media as generating 10% or more of their revenue. Blogs are the most used tool and yet not utilised completely. In terms of future trends, uploading videos to YouTube is the next big thing.
To leverage on the tourism industry, Queensland state government announced an innovative campaign titled ‘best job in the world’ where a lucky person would win $105,000 along with the pleasure of living on a beach. In return, the ‘island caretaker’ was expected to report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.
Examples of how some Indian companies have taken to social media:
The Incredible India Campaign: The campaign aimed at changing the attitude of people when it came to interacting with tourists. The key focus of the campaign were its television commercials and then transcending them into the social web through uploaded videos, thereby, helping it go viral. It was aimed directly at the key stakeholders who came in direct contact with the tourists such as taxi drivers, tourist guides, operators, immigration officers, tourist police etc. To gather attention, celebrities such as Aamir Khan were roped in and the commercials were telecasted during international events such as Oscars, Grammy Awards and BAFTA Awards. It also received recognition at the world stage as it bagged The Grand Prix Award CIFFT in Vienna, Austria. It also received awards in Berlin, Poland, Romania, France, Czech Republic, Croatia and Portugal.
Kerala Tourism: Kerala Tourism Board has taken a very high tech approach to their promotion. They released an iPhone and an iPad app for international mobile tourism audience. Developed by the agency MobMe its a creative approach to targeting international users. After clicking on the application, it would point to the ‘Your moment is waiting..’ video which highlights the tourism and features of ‘God’s own country’ – Kerala.
Club Mahindra Holidays: The brand started a Facebook page titled – ‘Jiyo Life’ which coincided with the television commercials. The brand aimed at creating quality content on its page which would lead to engagement and sharing. At the same time, not all activity was to be kept online but to bring it out onto the offline world as well which could possibly lead to higher engagement rate. (Read their case study)
Are there any other examples of tourism brands which are using social media in some way? What is your favourite aspect of the activity such brands engage in?
(Image via Betta Design)