Why is social media so important to the hospitality and travel sector?
Primarily because this where your voice and that of your consumer can be heard loudest of all, from anywhere in the world. In a sector that is all about experiences and relies on reputation this area of digital offers unique opportunities and challenges to operators.
Whether a hotel owner, multinational travel brand or theme park the opportunity to engage, influence and essentially profit is like nothing before it. The power and economics of advertising has shifted in your favour.
Consumers are craving a sense of belonging and will seek out brands that embrace this; I always describe it as a mirror. They look at you but what they actually want to see is a reflection of themselves.
How do you achieve this, always look at your offer from their perspective too often clients internalise and wonder why no one listens. In the design world we call this user centric design. In a nutshell – why would some one connect with your brand what are you offering them in return?
Content is King
Multimedia and interactive content tells your story and gets you found a good content strategy is key to building online relationships and reaching out to new and existing consumers.
You are the media owner, you don’t need to buy air time, worry about restrictions or even cost so much. ALWAYS create this from the viewers perspective be open be honest, accessible and relevant
Embracing UGC [user generated content] is key to a content strategy. Help your users create and share at every opportunity let them pay it forward.
Trust me when I say this is only just beginning, more than 82 million people in the US alone created content online during 2008, a number expected to grow to nearly 115 million by 2013 according to numbers released by eMarketer.
Tell stories and empower service users with data
You will be amazed how much data your organisation generates, if its not confidential then find ways of using it. Either open it up and allow developers access to it via API’s or create your own data services from it.
Information is power- find a way to make sense of it.
Check out the programmable web