How Travel Brands Squeeze Value Out of Crowdsourced Social Campaigns

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All the big boys are now starting to look to use social media effectively to engage with their customers. They are trying to star a conversation, which has historically been  very difficult to do.

The danger for smaller travel companies and travel agents is that the big companies succeed by investing time in learning how to best to talk to their customers. In days gone by only smaller, nimble, more personal businesses could succeed in having a proper conversation with customers.

What impact on sales will it have when a potential client can have a very personal one to one discussion with a large business such as British Airways either by web chat, twitter or facebook messaging. Will the customer still want to make the effort to call their local agent?

The big boys are investing big time in social media, the smaller guys need to be one step ahead and work out how they can remain the most personal point of contact for their clients.

via How Travel Brands Squeeze Value Out of Crowdsourced Social Campaigns.

Does Social Media Drive Travel Transactions

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Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 06.35.07A recent article in Travolution reported on recent comments by the Chief Commercial Officer at Expedia that Social Media does not drive transactions.

Saying that Social Media does not play a part in selling is an odd comment coming from such a large business as Expedia. Other reports in the news (    August 2013) that Expedia uses Social networks extensively for Customer Service clearly demonstrates that Expedia understands the value of social to interact with customers.

It’s odd that that the Chief Commercial Officer does not understand the relationship between good customer service and long term customer value, which ultimately leads to transactions. Of course social media is not like advertising channels in driving sales, but then the marketing world is changing into one of customer conversations to build long term loyalty. In such a competitive world as travel, I would have thought Expedia recognised this as a key differentiator.

For all businesses in 2013 the playground is all about having conversations with customers, not just flogging them stuff, they are mostly through with that style.

Check out the free e-book below from the gurus on social inbound marketing at Hubspot to understand the part that social plays in yiour marketing mix

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Learning the tips and tricks of Twitter for Travel Agents

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As a qualified Chartered Accountant even though I don’t practice accountancy I have to maintain my membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountant in England and Wales (ICEAW) by engaging in Continual Professional Education. Having qualified 20 years ago this has always been part of my make up that I have to continue learning and probably Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 10.57.05was one of the reasons why I found it relatively easy to change paths in my career from Chartered Accountant to CEO of a Tour Operator to qualified Chef and then CEO of a travel tech business.

Going back 20 years it was only possible to learn by attending evening and weekend classes at times that suited tutors. The internet  has made access to learning so much easier and for travel agents running their own business, the rapid change in the way that customers now transact means that you simply have to start to learn how to deploy new marketing techniques to win new business.

Lots of people I talk to tell me that Twitter does not work for them. In nearly every case this is because in general they have decided not to engage in social media – or online conversations to put it another way. For the guys that it does work for, it’s because they have decided to look at social media and see how it can help their business. There is not one size fits all and so every person will use it slightly differently. One thing is for sure though – your customers are using online channels to talk, so you should be.

Mindsy is a new online learning site with a number of free videos to watch. You’ll find one on mastering Twitter for business below – it only takes 2 hours in total split into 17 lessons so even those of you who have not been learning for a while can manage this in bite size pieces.