DigitalVisitor.com, has been shortlisted for an online travel award alongside industry giants such as Air France, Lastminute.com and Kuoni. Their social media solution, Visitor Review, features in the ‘Best Online Application’ category at this year’s Travolution Awards.
“Social media has become a huge area of importance for the travel industry,” said Digital Visitor’s Managing Director Anthony Rawlins. “Visitor Review was developed to enable businesses to take advantage of the benefits of user generated content whilst keeping clients in their own branded environment. As a white-labelled solution each platform is tailored to reflect a company’s own branding, allowing users to upload text, photo and video.”
Now that is a smart idea.
Another smart idea would be to syndicate this content in a feed.
A report from eMarketer shows that 260,000 small businesses in the US and Canada are using some form of social media in their marketing activities. That’s only about 1% of all small businesses in those two countries.
Yet there are many stories of how small businesses that are involved in social media are getting great results. Even local businesses.
One is Boston Court Theater in Pasadena, CA. They are interested in building a community of art and theater lovers in the Pasadena area and they’ve used sites like Twitter to build that support. They tweet the back stage “insider stories” that let people get a glimpse into the world of the theater. They’ve built up a loyal following of over 600 local folk.
Another is Naked Pizza in New Orleans. Reuters reports that this small company has 4,300 followers on Twitter and a recent online promotion brought in 69& of their business on that day. They’re now seeing a sustained 20% of sales volume coming from their social media marketing.
There’s an excellent post about how small businesses can use social media at Search Engine Land
Start a blog
Comment on other blogs that talk about your industry or subject
Get active on Yahoo Answers
Make and share videos
Take and share pictures
Try the social news aite StumbleUpon
Find and join relevant groups
4, 5, & 6 are particularly good ideas. However, if you want people to share your content you have to make it easy to do so. That means #8 should be ‘add your content to feeds.” Feeds are the blood vessels of the social web - they keep all this content flowing.
Microsoft’s new search tool Bing has a travel section (http://www.bing.com/travel) that makes it less complicated to navigate through booking a vacation or business trip. They offer flight bookings, hotel selections and comparative searches.
Since Bing calls itself a decision engine they strive to offer the searcher as many pieces of information as possible to help the person searching find all they need to make that decision.
If you are a travel website you’ll want to make sure that you have these kinds of content available to Bing so they can display it to their searchers.
Companies looking for better travel PR should look into their online footprint.
Add new content about your destination with images and video. Encourage comments and reviews on your site. Syndicate this content a feed. That way more people see the content, they can add it to social sites and search engines like Bing can easily find and index your content.