Monday, 28 November 2011

We can learn a lot from afiliate marketers


Jeff Johnson is probable the best Affiliate marketer ever. We use some of his techniques in our http://SocialIndexEngine.com.

He constantly wins competitions and out preforms in building traffic for his Brands.

Pay attention to his solution and to his warnings - Its easy to run afoul of Google.

 

 Here is his story and his warning:

http://www.salesautomator.com/app/?af=1407239&u=www.nonstoptrafficformula.com/sq/7867-140k


 
 

Monday, 31 October 2011

Helping Bolivia Cultural Tourism


In our research in building the marketing strategy for our client, we decided that Bolivia would be best promoted with appealing tours and packaged holidays. All will be locally managed with local experts who have an understanding at the grassroots level of the special places and popular attractions. It’s a huge country and travellers will need to visit several cities to see its many unique points of interest.



Today we have published a new Video on Bolivia. You may see this on the YouTube channel. 

It is also published with separate and unique blog posts on several other channels and, of course, here in TravelWatchNews.

In addition, there are several articles and several more videos planned to help promote Bolivia Hotels and Tours for our client.

We take pride in this work as Bolivia is a beautiful country with a culture and lifestyle that has existed almost unchanged for centuries. It is the home of the  Incas and the Tiwanaku before them and the ruins of their monuments, temples and building are scattered in the landscape.


Our client, Hostal de Su Merced, agreed and went to work on creating the tours and teaming up with other hotels to deliver a countrywide experience. There is much to explore in Bolivia, from the footprints of the dinosaurs to the floating island in Lake Titicaca as well as amazing landscapes and wildlife.

The program is in the early stages and we are implementing a basic Social Index campaign that has already shown results. This includes publishing several videos, articles and blogs. We have created a social network for Bolivian hotels including authority social bookmark, status sites and video sharing portals.

Stay tuned for more as we progress with this project and update our blogs. Enjoy the video and we hope that you learn something about this unique country. Perhaps you will visit Bolivia and stay at Hostal de Su Merced, or contact them to discuss their special 3-City tour.

For more information on the tours and hotels see http://BoliviaHotelSpecials.com

For more about this type of content and video marketing, keep tuned in to this channel. Coming up next, we will share with you a video and review of article blogging for Dominica. In this case study we share the successes and disappointments. What we have learned is put to good use in our new fully managed SocialIndexEngine and its marketing strategy.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Search as Media #4: Google's Hotel Finder





Today we look at Google’s Hotel Finder. This is still at the experimental stage. It's supposed to be open to the world but you can't find the Caribbean or any place in the Caribbean that are like their places. Google is targeting major destinations first.


It starts with an intelligent mapping system that allows you to define a catchment area for the hotels that you want to see. and they are displayed in the hotel listings.

You can change your dates, which would make a difference. If the date change causes a different price to be calculated, then they would be reflected in the results up here. But, as you can see, you’re getting star ratings and prices.

Right away, Google is treating hotels as somewhat of a commodity here; nothing on the features as yet, but that will probably come. The 'word on the street' is that Google is planning to do a lot more with regard to filters for hotels. When you click on a hotel, you get hotel details similar to an Expedia layout here or an OTA of any kind.


Note that there are hotel reviews by Google users; they’re quickly moving into the  TripAdvisor space. 

You can add a hotel to your shortlist, a comparison list similar to what we do with Barbados and the mapping systems. This allows you to select the points and add them to a list.

You can at any point go back to your shortlist, have a look at your shortlist on the top and remove an item from the shortlist or, in fact, book it on the shortlist. 

And you get the options to book with Expedia, Travelocity and the major Online Travel Agents or go to the owner's site!

The information is well presented and useful. This is a powerful solution for anyone that’s looking for the hotel in a particular destination, and you need to be in here. I don’t think you can not be in here. 

If you are not a Travelocity or a major brand, you are not automatically going to be on Google radar and thus not included in these listings.

How to get listed

The way to get on that radar is through search engine optimization, listing in authority information sites, and building your u,brand authority with social media and social indexing to create a presence that Google will take note of.   All this and more is done with the SocialIndexEngine.com marketing services.

It is time to start thinking about it because this is the next phase of Google as Media. It is going to be very easy for travelers to get to this service and to avoid having to wait through all of the other services that are in there, including the organic search results.

So that’s all we need to say for right now. Another reason to consider marketing yourself, another reason to consider making sure that you get on to Google’s radar and another reason to look at services such as SocialIndexEngine.com which will put you in the right place.


To get more information, go to http://SocialIndexEngine.com 
-  enter your email, first name and website address and we will get back to you immediately.   



Related links.
 The New Media

#1: Is search the new media
#2: Crowding out organic search
#3: How small hotels can compete in the new media

Get more details on SocialIndexEngine for Hotel & Tourism Marketing 




Wednesday, 12 October 2011

How Small Hotels & Tourism Co's can Compete in the New Media Landscape


Our last blog showed how search results are favoring advertisers, and how Google is offering eCommerce services, embedded in search results.

Advertising will be a necessity
We are going to see more advertisers and more Google results versus Organic. It’s going to become more important to advertise, more important to be a preferred supplier and more important to get Google’s attention so that you get into their Maps and get into their supply lists.


Shopping Services will be ubiquitous
There is going to be more eCommerce driving business to suppliers. I don’t think that Google is going to go into the transaction business; they’d be crazy to do that. There are enough eCommerce systems and services and those are their customers.,But it appears that Google might be very selective in who they choose as preferred supplies. Clearly Google will be offering more shopping services; this is to be expected as travelers want to know price and availability.

Enabling Participation

You’re going to see a lot more enabling processes like hangouts, chat, video sharing and GoToMeeting-type services. All of this is going to be there to help search users participate and help us find the right suppliers. But the question is: who are the right suppliers? That’s where we have to be very careful. Be aware also that these processes, social interaction and engagement will present a new layer of application and engagement at the point of decision and will affect where travelers go and which sites they visit. If you are not in the process, you are not in the game.

A single correct answer
Remember that Google is trying to deliver a single result to a single person for a single inquiry. What that means is that the result going to YOU will not necessarily be the result coming to ME for the same question. That means that everyone may have a very personal result based on their personal profile and current interest.

That means Social Media is really going to be increasingly important. This is why Google has made such an effort to develop and push Google Plus. Social Media is the source of who we are. Your reputation on sites like TripAdvisor and others are all going to play into Google's selection of who and what the authority for a particular result is.

The question is: What do we do about it?


We need to create our own authority status. Here is how you can do that:
  1. Get Links from top sites. Sites with PR 6 and up; the higher the better. Linking from Barbados.org is a good example. It’s a highly relevant site and is considered an authority site. We have seen that people that link from that site will automatically get pulled up in the rank and pulled up in the Google results.
  2. We need to publish. We can’t rely on other people to carry our message, because that’s going to undermine us totally. We can’t rely on Expedia carrying our brand - they won’t. We have to do more to brand ourselves in the travel industry. We must do that by publishing: comment on other sites, engage with social media, blog, create informative, educational and entertaining videos that are not totally self-serving messages. There are all sorts of ideas for video and YouTube is now the second largest search engine. Make sure you have a YouTube channel and add videos to it.
  3. And finally, we will use Google Plus. I think that this is going to be very important because Google is looking at its Plus activity to gauge who we are. Google accounts for 70% of search now. If you are not on Google results you will miss out big time. The objective is to be on Page 1 for key phrases. You cannot do this on your own, but you can use services like http://SocialIndexEngine.com and you will have to.

Need to Take Charge of Brand Marketing
It's important that we see the implications of what is happening here and why it’s becoming so essential for you to take charge of your own marketing and your own brand. The market will not take care of this for you. The OTAs can bring you business but they do not build sustainable brands for hotels. You cannot abdicate this job.


Managing marketing, social media, publishing and content marketing is a lot of work. Hotels will increasingly have to subcontract the job out because they do not have the time or the inclination. And they should not; running a hotel and managing staff, looking after guests and maintaining the property, standards and service is a full-time job. Hotel managers do not have the skill sets or the understanding of the new media landscape.

AXSES can help. We have an arsenal of unique technology built to do the job. We have a team who understands the market and the resources and we are teaming with the very best Internet Marketers and Social Media professionals in the world. We answer the questions, like what you need to do and we can show you success.


If you would like to find out more, please visit http://SocialIndexEngine.com and fill in the "get more info" form.



Links
Previous article: Is search hurting independent hotels 



Monday, 10 October 2011

Is Search Depreciating Organic Search & Hurting Small Hotels?


There are big changes in the wind that are going to shake up travel shopping and eCommerce. This article is a must-read to understanding what is happening.

In a previous blog (Is search the new media), we talked about how Search is changing and become more like Media. We suggested that Search is the perfect example of the sort of platform and function we can expect in the new media of the future.

We saw that Google is upping the ante for organic search and featuring its own properties, as well as preferred suppliers and advertisers, in preference to organic search.

To illustrate the point, we have created a video here. You will notice Google advertisers are on top on the right and its own places now above organic results. Organic is way down the list on many result pages. Ads on the right, sponsors on the top, Places under that, leave organic off the screen and much depreciated.




Notice also that Google Search is now in the eCommerce business, offering rates by date and links to booking options. And Google is providing its own places' websites in several cases. It lists seven properties on top of the map; these are 7 they think are the most appropriate search results. The mechanics of choosing the top 7 is not clear at all.

The fact is that Google is becoming a full-service platform providing websites, hosting, technology and fulfillment. But it is not necessarily working with YOU! 


We note that Expedia is well represented in Google Places' results and we know that Expedia is a big advertiser. But we also notice that a small hotel who does not advertise (Dover Beach in Barbados) is on Places and when you click on the link, it takes you directly to Dover Beach Hotel's official website. This is encouraging, as we were instrumental in getting Dover Beach Placed. It shows that big advertisers do not necessarily dominate. They do things right, they are authority sites, and they get listed. But as a small hotel owner, You too can be listed and linked directly. And it is not always the big OTAs that are the preferred suppliers. In the case of Coconut Court Hotel a small OTA is listed, and that is likely a result of their work in listing the Place and marketing it.

When you examine the Map-Website that Google creates for properties, you will notice that it is getting its photos from Panorama. So Panorama is a good place to put your images. It's an authority site respected by Google. Be there and you increase your chances of the largest search engine in the world listing you.

Summary

Its clear that search is transforming into a much more encompassing media. It is becoming a full service solution, offering e-commerce and fulfillment. Its methods to evaluate ranking are favoring large companies who are the major advertisers and depreciating organic search results. It is already very difficult for small hotel and tourism operators to gain first page ranking for their target searches. Small companies do not have the collateral of the big companies, they don’t have the content, and are not woven into the web in the same way as the big companies. They don’t have the know how or the time and resources to compete.

The new changes appear to make it almost impossible for small travel companies to get into the first page of search results for generic terms other that their own name.

Coming Next

In our next Blog we will look at these issue in detail and suggest what  a small tourism company can do to market its brand and sustain its niche against these odds.

Be sure to read and watch the next video.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notices of our latest video. Subscription is free. http://www.youtube.com/user/social4travel1

 
We also offer free consultation, white papers and marketing newsletter: You may subscribe or contact us at http://Social4travel.com

SEE NEXT ARTICLE  how-small-hotels-tourism-cos-camplete

Thursday, 6 October 2011

AXSES launches Social Marketing For St. Lucia

AXSES Social Marketing For Travel (Social4Travel.com), which harnesses the Internet, Social Media and Mobile Marketing to enhance the business of hotels and tourism firms, is proud to be working in conjunction with Marigot Beach Club in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia (see http://MarigotBeachClub.com).

Marigot Beach Club is an exclusive villa-style resort on Marigot Bay in St. Lucia. It is an ideal destination for travelers seeking a romantic getaway or a memorable family vacation.

Marigot Beach Club is being marketed with AXSES SocialIndexEngine.com which includes being featured on high-quality sites in specific markets and special purpose site like http://Travel2ExoticPlaces.com, launched for this project. AXSES also produces several videos, articles and blogs (see video example below. 





AXSES Social Marketing for Travel (Social4Travel.com) helps clients in the travel industry, gain increased online visibility, more Internet traffic, more customers and ultimately, a higher number of direct bookings.

The procedure is very intensive. A comprehensive marketing campaign combining technology, video, magazine placement, publishing and advertising can easily exceed $50,000 US for launch and management in a year.

But with a Joint Venture approach, a hotel or travel company will pay AXSES as little as 10% of the cost and share in the revenue. This way, the risk to the hotel or tourism company is minimal.


About AXSES Social4Travel Technology & Services

  
The core travel technology is the arcRes Tourism Publishing System. This provides a convenient way to publish promotions, photos and content to social media sites as well as affiliates, independent travel sites, shopping sites and magazine sites across the Internet.

Key arcRes applications include: Facebook Marketing, Booking Engines, SmartphoneTraveller Marketing Systems, Destination Systems, a network of sites, affiliates and a basket of marketing applications for tourism: from mobile apps to Facebook apps like arcResBookings and FanPagePosts.

With Social Media demographics, arcRes Publishing can now target specific audiences such as families, single travelers and travelers in certain countries, as well as by their own special interests.

arcResBookings for Facebook features direct sales and bookings with no commissions, Fan Page Branding, Marketing and a professional Content Management System, that keeps content fresh and current. The arcRes secure Booking Engine for Facebook provides safety and peace of mind. Family plans, flexible terms, payment plans, inventory choices and many marketing options are available. http://facebook.arcres.biz

FanPagePosts allows hotels and tourism companies to post special offers to their Facebook pages, Wall and news feeds. This gets the word out about the Brand. It is effective, as fans are always on the lookout for a fair deal and a Special Facebook offer. It can create viral exposure, as friends and friends of friends read each others’ news and share the offers with other. Ultimately, it means more direct sales. http://FanPagePosts.com

With the arcRes Specials and Packages Publishing Tool, hotels and travel companies can publish travel deals and promotions through an easy click on their computer keyboard. The publishing network is vast and includes AXSES’ own sites as well as 100s of affiliates, travel sites and services that subscribe to the arcRes RSS Feeds. http://specials.arcRes.biz


The arcRes Mobile Travel applications give smartphone users an easy-to-use format to search, explore, plan and book their holiday at anytime, from anywhere. Hotels and restaurants can easily create their own comprehensive Mobile websites and booking engine using the arcRes Mobile Publisher. The sites can be accessed on the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and any smart mobile devices. The smartphone websites and applications also help the Brand get   found on Google Mobile Search. http://smartphonetraveller.com.

All of these are integrated with AXSES SocialIndexEngine which creates the social footprint using a mix of strategies and techniques. For this project AXSES has also created a new site http://Travel2ExoticPlaces.com to help market Marigot Beach Club

Subscribe to our YouTube video tutorial and marketing tips
To receive our video information news and tutorials please visit our YouTube channel Social4Travel1 and click subscribe






Monday, 26 September 2011

How Content Marketing Creates Top Brand Positioning

Content Marketing with Articles

This blog is about how articles can get you to the top of Google, especially if it’s done in conjunction with video blogging and the full social media indexing.




Social media is about conversation publishing: making comments in blogs, articles, videos, tweets and to web properties, about telling people something which is of interest to them and sharing your knowledge and experience.

The best way to describe this is to take you to an example. We were commissioned to build an eCommerce marketing platform for Dominica and to integrate that with the official Dominica website. We built the Bookings Dominica Central Reservation System. We created about 50 pages of information and wrote a major article: a Travelogue. From this we built several videos, articles, a magazine, bookmarks, tweets and press releases.

We then published the articles and videos. Articles must be unique; otherwise you might get ignored by Google and in some cases slapped. But videos can be populated over the net. We published the videos to our network of sites such as adventure travel destinations, romantic holiday destinations and many others.

We also used our eCommerce engine as a publishing system for travel products, specials, promos and packages. This is very effective way of advertising a car rental, package, room, holiday experience, etc. arcRes will publish these to our own portals, on the destination portals, the suppliers' own websites and hundreds - or thousands, in some cases - of affiliate sites.

We build magazines, another way to get good quality content into high quality sites, and create footprints on the internet. We’re doing this for entertainment, for education, to publicize, and most importantly to get links back to our sites and clients' sites. Google counts links; they see and rank this activity because it is useful quality content on quality sites.

The name of the game is to publish and market your brand in the best possible places, ones with high relevancy to the content and which are highly regarded by Google.

We then turn around and market those same places that are carrying your brand. It sounds like a lot of work and it is. That’s the subject of our next video, which you can get by just subscribing to our YouTube channel, Social4Travel1:


I’d like just to share with you the results of this particular program for Dominica. The website that we’re promoting primarily was the BookingsDominica.com website. We gained a PR4, a page rank of four, in just under a year. This is good; by contrast, the Dominica Authority Sites have a PR of 6, but they have been in business for many years and have a significant budget and network of links.

We had 500,000 Unique Visitors in that year, 30,000 linked directly to the Hotel Members' Websites. We will create a video detailing this shortly, which will be available to anyone who subscribes to our Social4Travel1 YouTube channel.


Article Marketing is a major component of AXSES SocialIndexEngine.com
The Complete "Done for You" Social Media Management and Brand Marketing Program  that Drives Direct Bookings to your Website on Autopiulot.

We will be sharing a whole library of HOW TO Market Travel videos. To find out more or to see the next articles, all you need to do is subscribe to our video channel, which is YouTube.com/user/social4travel1, click on “subscribe” and you will then get notified of any new videos that we produce about how to market travel, hotels and toward some destinations.

If you would also like to subscribe to our Social4Travel newsletter, just enter your email on http://social4travel.com; you’ll also be able to access white papers, reports, PDFs and information on how to market your travel business.



Thursday, 22 September 2011

Is Search the New Media?

Search engines have elevated certain sites, notably Social Networking sites, Bookmarks and Web 2.0 properties to "authority status". In many cases, Fan Pages will outrank the official website. Done right, bookmarks, fan pages and social profiles help company sites rank well and get found in search results. In effect this makes Marshall McLuhan's, "The Media is the Message", a tangible reality. In other words, say it on a social media site and your message will have more visibility and more impact.

Search Engines are a vital part of the new media; it too is morphing into a far more interactive channel, as we see with maps and pricing options now right in search results. The answer to the question "are search engines the new media?" is not so simple. But look at Google + and ask yourself: where this is heading? Media, I say. Look at Google + Hangouts - a go-to meeting-like option. There a small business can conduct its own impromptu team meetings, seminars, share documents and interact with customers. In this case Google is enabling us to publish and engage, by delivering the tools we need. Recall that the new media is not about broadcasting (see the future of media) but about enabling participation. In this respect Hangouts is an enabler, is it media?, perhaps it will be!

Where will Google draw the line on process? It's moves into shopping, e-commerce and fulfillment on search, is starting to get creepy: booking flights, creating webpages for small business, choosing which hotels it maps, which Online Travel Agents Agents (OTA's) it displays in Google Places. Google Places now takes up the top of the search results, meaning organic search is way down the page. It is getting a little scary and clearly could lead to a realignment of business services. Business as we know it may never be the same if Google takes over website provision and hosting.

I fear that the New Media may displace many small businesses, and that could be evil. But give them some slack, these are early days and Google is not evil. 

I have spent some time with them on online seminars, product reviews and open discussions and i am impressed by the character of its people. These are not tycoons, but rather bright and enthusiastic people who care about what they are doing and the world they might be creating. I believe that Google cares about its bottom line, but it also cares about the little guy and my instinct is that it will build systems for all. That just my instinct and perhaps my hope. Nevertheless we need to be watchful. Innovation and change is rampant and some change may hurt.

We are witness to the birth of the new media. Traditional channels, processes, form and function are all morphing in some way to be relevant in the new age of participation. Search will be more Social and be more interactive, enabling participation. I like using search as a metaphor of the new media because it is interactive and enabling. YOU search; you ask the questions; you select the answers.



Search delivers maps, prices, content and process. It is, like media, supported by advertising. I see it become more and more a media offering rich content to complex queries, including seasonally relevant rates and "personal" packages.

The maps on Google are still limited but look at Bookable-Maps, as seen in the Tourism Marketing of Barbados.org (http://bookable-maps.com). These are good examples of the interactivity we will see more of in the digital age of participation. It will be in search. Search will evolve and become more social, it will evolve to answer question of price, availability, shopping and fulfillment.

Google's aim is to deliver a single right answer for every single query by a single person. In other words the answer that I get will often not be the same as the one you get. And that means Google will know an awful lot about you and me, and our preferences and interest at any one particular time.

Google plus with its circle of friends and interest will be a key player in defining these very personal search results. So will social media. Our profiles, bookmarks, friends, business and our activity all make up the index which search engines are accumulating.

Going forward it is important to be prudent in what we do and how we do it and especially how we market.




Monday, 22 August 2011

Social Media Marketing for Travel & Tourism

AXSES launches Social Media Marketing for Travel


A complete system of services and technology for hotels and tourism companies.

What is Social For Travel

AXSES has been a leader in Social Media for Travel over the last several years. We were the first company to develop a booking and marketing system, for Facebook. When we went to the market with this product in 2008, it was considered a technology without a market. Our Search Engine Optimisation consultants said they could not help us market the product because there was no demand for it. That proved to be very wrong, and we took pride in helping small hotels, car rental companies and tourism operators in Barbados to be the first in the world to add bookings and marketing to their Facebook pages.see arcRes Facebook links at end of page


Since then, we have upgraded the application a couple of time. It now creates a Reservations Page automatically as it loads and manages brand content right onto the page. It is integrated with our arcRes V5 upgrade that effectively displays and markets all brand products.

More Breakthrough apps for Facebook on the way

We recently launched another addition to arcRes for Facebook that helps tourism suppliers automate posts and build a larger Fan base. This is a great help to hotels and tourism companies who are finding it difficult to manage posts and engage fans. So we will be offering a solution and a service to do it for them.see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD6nXZcTYKI


AXSES’ leadership in Social Media for Travel was recognized by the New York Times, who interviewed us for their article on Social technology in Travel and featured AXSES in their report.
Social Marketing for Travel Goes Beyond Facebook

But Social Marketing for travel extends far beyond Facebook. Over the last year we have been putting all the pieces in place, integrating our travel technology with proven techniques in Social Media Marketing and Social Networking. The result is a new service in Social Media with a focus on travel described as SocialMarketing4Travel. It incorporates videos, mobile, bookmarks, podcasts, articles, blogs, Twitter and other social sites like LinkedIn. It is geared to the new media landscape which we discuss in our hubs pages on the future of social media for hotels and tourism marketing.



The full service is a combination of the very best marketing gurus’ techniques and strategies, with our own focus on marketing travel and tourism. We have not just studied the gurus; we have subscribed to their training and partnered with them to provide a unique set of travel-focused social media services, technology and products.

Building with the Best from the Best

Our gurus include the best of the best: Jeff Johnson, the man who consistently wins all affiliate contests and has built an empire on Internet Marketing. Mike Koenings, founder of Main Street Marketing & Trafic Geyser and a Video Marketing genius. Jeff Walker of Product Launch Formula. Don Crowther of Social Profit Formula, who has worked with Fortune 500 companies and small business, helping them use the media to their best advantage, and is making it work. There are others, like Howie Schwatrz of Black Hat fame, who are going main stream with cutting edge techniques that might, in some cases, still be too close to the wind for us. He is one of the most knowledgeable gurus on Google’s latest moves, so we follow him and we have tested many of his system and products.


Strategies for Tourism Businesses who want results beyond advice

We are going to share our strategies and our new technology over the next several months. We will introduce our own breakthroughs and new travel marketing products for social media and beyond.

For example, we will be offering a social indexing package (Social Index Engine) with article blogging and video marketing FREE to all clients who purchase 3 arcRes products (i) in 2010. This is a winning formula: you can choose to get an arcRes Mobile Website, an arcRes Facebook Reservation page and arcRes Specials Marketing for just 150$ one-time and 75$ monthly. In addition, we do a complete analysis or your social footprint, your target market and brand position and engineer your social index strategy. Then, we implement it.

We do all the work; we do the articles, the video blogging, create your niche profiles and post them out to 100s of sites. No one else has this combination of the technology and systems together tied together with knowledge and expertise of social media marketing for travel


Proudly Grass Roots

Even before it is officially launched, we have enquiries every day from across the globe. Tourism companies are looking at how to use social media, video blogging and even the largest companies are outsourcing social media management.

We are very proud of our client-driven initiative, that are featured in the New York Times and that have a global reach. Thanks to our loyal customers who have helped us formulate and perfect our services we continue to role out leading marketing and services for tourism.



Subscribe to Social4Travel.com for our Complimentary "How To" Videos
Be sure to subscribe to SocialMarketing4Travel.com to get the latest free reports on video and on everything Social 4 Travel.

- What is article Bloging for travel and how to use content to build your market
- What is video blogging for travel and how to use videos to publish to 100s of sites
- 10 top strategies for creating travel videos quickly and at low cost
- What are bookmarks and how best to use them
- How to make twitter work for you
‘- Google +1 and Travel
- Making Facebook work for travel
- 10 top things you should do with Facebook for Travel
- How to use linkedIn for Travel
- Your Social Index and how you create it?
- Mobile Travel: Latest research, facts and case studies
- The Social Media Platform

Resource

Monday, 8 August 2011

Social Media is not about being Social

Social Media is an odd name for any kind of business medium. It is a misnomer. Created on campuses and made popular by teenagers, wanting to check out and check in with friends, share ideas, lusts, growing pains, disappointments and glory; it has transformed into the most pervasive marketing concept of our time. But "Social" is the wrong word and its roots have nothing to do with its current place in history and its future.

For business, social media is not about being social.

Its not about making friends and sharing personal details. It is in fact an evolution in communication brought about by the Internet and explosive innovation in technology which is transforming the way we do business and market our products and services. It is a pervasive network that adapts to everything and permeates everything.

Clay Shirkly, professor, teacher, writer and philosopher has put it into perspective. He refers to this new evolution of connectivity and communication He calls it  "The largest increase in expressive capability in human history". But as you listen to him its clear that the new media he refers to is not about being social at all.

Social is a word that fits an aspect of what it is, it connect everyone instantly. Now consumers are producers, and every kind of Media has migrated to the Internet; they are neighbours on your desktop and in your pocket. You can view a movie on your smartphone, read the NY times, pay bills, trade in the stock market, book a hotel, see an advertisement, on a screen, in a mag, anywhere all at the same time, and share it with family and colleagues.

Community Collaboration vs Communication will drive business

 
Clay refers to the new media as participatory. I think "participatory" sums it up better than social. We are all participants in a new democracy of communication that are more community based and more collaborative. With it the very core of connection and communication has shifted.  Take a moment to listen to his speech, it can shift your thinking.
 


Media Becomes an Enabler

Clay reminds me of Marshall Mcluhan, but he is more understandable because he is more rational. Mcluhan was an artist and a poet. Many of his ideas and statements were designed to provoke, like  "the future of the future is the present". You have to be a poet to get that one. On the other hand he coined the "Global Village" and the "Medium is the Message" over 50 years ago.  How topical they are now, how true?

Clay will tell us more earthy things that are just as deep, "media is more and more about convening rather than publishing" and "things gets interesting when technology gets boring". This is true, in fact little happens with brand new technology until their is a critical mass. See our blog on the new order

For tourism marketers, the follow insights from Clay are worth pondering:

1. Communications is moving to group orientation, its no longer one to many, but many to many, between peer groups and individuals where there are many connections and dialogue is bi-directional.

2. Media has migrated to Net. All Media is beside each other and on your desktop and in your hand.

3. Consumers are publishers. This means a vast expansion in channels and mediators who transpose information relative to their peer group, and even to fragments with in peer groups.

4. The network that is vast and growing exponentially. The size is the square of the of number of nodes. Message will be vastly differentiated and targeted.

5. Media is more about convening communication and participation than delivering the message.

Implications for Tourism Marketing

Tourism destination, tourism operators, hotels and travel marketing companies absolutely will not be able to avoid the this thing we loosely call social media.  I suspect the word Social will be meaningless in the years ahead as all media will have a social aspect. All will be participatory. The result is a collective intelligence and relationships that determines outcomes and markets.
All successful Businesses will build face-to-face communities across online, mobile and traditional media.

The message, the media, the messenger and the consumer will have many guises in a landscape where we are all each one of these at sometime, and sometimes simultaneously. Conventional marketing is already changing. The message will not be the driving force as in the past. Participation in a social network is not about crafting the message and presenting it, but about listening and providing useful solutions, knowledge and processes that allow participation. Communications will be less about messages and more about processes, it will be two way rather than one way broadcast. Blasting out youtube video, Facebook messages and Tweets is not the way of the future. 


Branding in the age of Participation

In a fully semantic world of Web 2.0, html5 and applications, messages will be interactive, encouraging participation and collaboration.  Brand advocates are the new messengers and with this shift in marketing the brand will often be controlled by forces outside of market strategy and planning. In the age of participation the Interactive-Brand will be defined  by its users as much as by its owners.

Travel technology firms and tourism marketers will find more channel and devices with which to engage. Technology will integrate and aggregate information and process, repackaging and re-purposing products, services,  information, media and messenger to suit the occasion.  

On-Line Travel Agents (OTAs) are aware of this fragmentation and the opportunities. Because of their size and technical savvy, they may gain ground relative to Brand owners. Hotel and tourism owners will need to be alert to losing  “ownership” of their customers in the emerging interactive-media, and growing channel options. 

With so many others speaking for them, from OTAs to advocates and dis-tractors, the hotel and travel owners must listen and participate in order to be relevant. All travel shopping will be interactive. Traditional ads that are static broadcast just will not win favour in the interactive world.

arcRes in New York time http://axses-ianclayton.blogspot.com/2011/04/axses-facebook-booking-app-in-new-york.html

Sea more of Clay, its good for the mind.  http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=clay+shirky&aq=9&oq=clay+s  


Charts "Where do buyers get information" Source: http://adobe.ly/r4q6Qv 
How National Geographic sold 2,500 Subscriptions in One Day


Contact us to Optimise your Social Marketing for Travel




Sign for Free Consultation at http://SocialMarketing4Travel.com



Follow us on twitter

Thursday, 4 August 2011

arcRes Facebook Posts Engine - Get More Fans

Facebook Posts and Updates are Important, but Tedious to Manage

Posting updates and interesting comments to your Facebook Fan Pages and Facebook Wall is one of the most important things you can do to get Fans and engage them. It is also one of the most tedious and time-consuming activities for any business. Many businesses are seeking to outsource this activity, because it is not in their core competence. Now with arcRes new FanPage Posts engine the job of building the Facebook Fan pages and posting content is automated.

Timely and Relevant Facebook Posts For Special Offers


"Posting Special Offers and Packages" are great content for Fan Conversation, status updates and wall posts। They are engaging and shareable content that get mileage. Specials can be scheduled for every festival, holiday and event of the year. They can be targeted to families, couples, singles, by country, special interest groups, etc. The combination is endless. With arcRes Special Offers for Facebook app, Hotels and Tourism suppliers can easily build and display content for any target market and interest group within Facebook.





Special Offer Posts are Advertisements
Facebook, with its huge Market reach and 600,000 loyal followers, has become a major advertising medium for the largest travel companies, like Expedia. Now, even small hotels and travel suppliers can step up their Fan engagement and attract more Fans and bookings with automatic posts managed by arcResBookings tools.


Example of a Wall Post/Facebook Advertisement


With the arcRes option to create ads for specific dates and to change any special at any time; fan page and wall post updates can be current and fresh. With frequent updates and new offers, Fans are more likely to watch for the latest news and offers and return to the page frequently.



arcRes "Special Offers" Builds "Like"
Pages to Entice Fans

The app is also set up to encourage new visitors to "Like the Page" and become a Fan in order to access the information. The Like Page feature is optional. Providing extra value for Fans-only brands provides an incentive for liking the page and building a loyal Fan base।


If specials are shown only to Fans, non-Fans receive the message below and a prompt to LIKE the page (i.e., become a Fan). Non-Fans can still access the page Wall, Photos, etc.



SPECIAL OFFERS FACEBOOK POSTS IS JUST
THE START


Social Media Marketing is the new norm, but it only works if it is done correctly. A good Social Media Strategy is to make engaging Fan Page posts often. Good posts get attention and are shared by Fans on their walls, in their news feeds and by active linking and emails. No posts and poor Fan posts means poor Fan engagement and fewer Fans. Fans are not only good for your facebook business, they also help get you indexed by Google.

We know that Fans like coupons and special deals. In Travel, the Special Offers and Travel deals are perhaps the most important shopping criteria. Discounts and packages have led to the skyrocketing success of Online Travel Agents, like Expedia. Price is a market-leader; it is why Google has moved to put rates and costs on local search results for travel.


Special Offers, Coupons, deals, promos and packages are the top search criteria when buying almost anything these day and travel deals are no exception. It is logical to make special offers a big part of your Facebook posting and status update strategy.


But this project is far larger, FanPagePosts beyond Special Offers are a pivotal part of the new AXSES Social Media Marketing plan. Soon we will have fan page post engines for all events, news, reviews, comments and conversation starters.


NEXT - SocialIndexEngine


The project, spearheaded by Kathy-Lynn Ward, COO Of AXSES, called SocialIndexEngine, is a new platform for Social Media that covers Social Media Indexing, Marketing and Maintenance. It includes social media marketing bookmarks, blogs, video, mobiles and SmartphoneTraveller marketing, article marketing as well as social status sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.


It is a very comprehensive solution that is right on the curve of where marketing is heading and slightly ahead of where most small hotels and travel companies perceive. It is also an incremental package, so that Hotels and Tourism, as well as businesses of all types, can start at a place and pace that is comfortable for them. From there, they may add more options as they see results and learn how to use the new media to get more direct business.


We will be unfolding this important platform in stages over the next several months. In this article, we are pleased to share our FanPagePost strategy.


Bookings and Marketing for your Hotel and Tourism Facebook Page: http://facebook.arcres.biz/


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Facebook Travel Promo: Win a Free Caribbean Holiday in Barbados

In our ongoing involvement with Facebook as a travel marketing channel, we are running a Sweepstake on our Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia Fan page. The sweepstake offers a free holiday to one winner. All are invited and the rules are simple: anyone interested in winning a Free Caribbean Holiday at Yellow Bird Hotel in Barbados can simply 'like" our Barbados Page and enter the competition.






The entry deadline is June 30th, at which time a winner is chosen by a random number generator. The winner will get 5 days accommodation, sponsored by Yellow Bird Hotel.

The Sweepstake is advertised on Facebook for the entire month. Kathy-Lynn Ward, COO of AXSES, says, "We are running several ads, all targeted to markets in Canada. Some ads are far better that others and it's quite a job to manage the variables such as demographics, interest, geographic targets, images and text to capture what is working. We are learning a lot about advertising on Facebook, which we will translate into a real advantage for our travel customers."

The objectives of the Campaign are:

1. Generate more Interactive Fans for Barbados.org From a marketer's perspective, a Fan is someone who may follow you on Facebook, is receptive to your news, announcements, events, etc, and who will often tell their friends what you are doing. When you post to your Fan page, the post can be displayed on all followers' walls, which means it can be seen by their friends.  Fans are customers and prospective customers, influencers and interested parties: They represent a high-interest client base that you can keep in contact with. Getting more fans is a high priority in social media marketing.

Running a competition on Facebook is a a good way for any hotel and tourism organization to increase fans and interaction. Competition gets good play within the Facebook community and are spread around by word of mouth. But one has to subscribe to the Facebook guidelines on how to run a competition,  choose a winner, etc.

2. Test Facebook as an advertising media. We are evaluating what works and why. And, most importantly, want does not work. Our intent is to provide consultation to travel campaigns and offer advice and services on how to effectively use Facebook in Travel.

3. Expand AXSES Facebook marketing. We believe we were the first travel company to build a direct booking application for hotels and tourism who wanted to quickly and easily build a Facebook reservations Fan page that allowed fans to see current seasonal rates, specials, photos, brand content and to be able to get an instant quote and book online. We are integrating the arcResBookings application with a full marketing platform for Facebook.

4. Evaluate other social media and marketing channels. In addition to Facebook advertising, the campaign also includes promotion on other social platforms and traditional websites and distribution channels. The performance of these channels vs. Facebook will be evaluated.

5. Make more people aware of the special and unique features of a Barbados Holiday.

The marketing is fully funded by AXSES; Yellow Bird Hotel provides the accommodation.



The Next Step -

Please follow us to learn the results and insights we learn from this campaign. We will be putting this to use by creating packages and a template for marketing hotels and tourism using Facebook and other social media. We are offering consultation, services and technology to help tourism use social media:  see  http://SocialMarketing4Travel.com


Click the follow button below to get updates on this campaign: