Travel marketing: 10 questions to ask before you create your social media campaign.

August 19, 2010

Before you jump on the social media bandwagon, make sure you ask these 10 questions.

Awhile back, Sean Carton, Chief Strategy Officer for Philadelphia interactive design firm idfive , posted an excellent checklist of questions to ask before developing a social media strategy.   Here are the highlights:

1.  What are we trying to accomplish?

Your first step in developing a social media strategy is to get clear on what you want your outcomes to be. Is it more sales, conversions, brand engagement, or awareness?

2. Why are we using social media?

Is it to build stronger relationships with your customers? Create buzz? Become a thought leader? Before jumping on the social media bandwagon,make sure it’s going where you need to go.

3. What kind of social media will help us best achieve our goals?

Do you need to utilize social networking sites, blogs, real-time updates (e.g., Twitter), social news sites, media-sharing sites, review/directory sites, virtual worlds, or display ads on social media sites?

4. Are we prepared to let go of control of our brand?

You can’t participate in social media without engaging in a conversation with customers. Which requires you to give up control. Is your company willing to do that?

5. What will we do to encourage participation?

Make sure you have a plan to drive people to your social media site or viral video. And the time, money and expertise to execute that plan.  Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed.


6. Who will maintain our social media presence?

Participating in social media takes a lot of work. It won’t happen unless it becomes part of someone’s job. Do you have someone ready to commit a big chunk of time to maintaining your social media presence?

7. Do we have the resources to keep this up, or will this be a short campaign?

If you’re investing in a long-term social strategy, make sure you budget resources to continue your social media presence beyond the current fiscal year.

8. How does engaging users through social media integrate into our overall marketing/communications strategy?

Social media works best if you fit it into what you’re trying to do in all your other channels, and visa versa.

9. How do we measure success? And failure?

Are you measuring views, followers, comments, or subscribers? What happens if you don’t get there?

10.  What are we cutting back on to do social media?

If you spend more money on social media and other nontraditional forms of marketing, you have to spend less on something else. Figure that out before you start, or you could have an expensive mistake to explain.

Thanks to Sean for another insightful post.


3 ways Google’s new indexing engine will bring profound changes to travel and leisure marketing.

July 14, 2010

Google Caffeine indexes the web 50% faster than Google's old engine. What does that mean to you?

Caffeine’s lightening fast indexing speeds will create new opportunities for travel and leisure marketers who are quick to react and willing to experiment.

Click Z published a fascinating article by Gary Stein recently on the profound effects Caffeine’s faster, fresher indexing will have on online marketing.

That was then. This is now:

  • For the last decade, Google has used the 80/20 rule to indexing.  Since 80% of the content on websites stayed the same, their crawlers focused on indexing the  other 20% of the content that changed.
  • The web today is about sharing real-time experiences, which requires indexing more content more regularly.
  • To keep up, Google has updated its indexing technology to collapse the time between when a website updates its content and when it’s viewed.

3 ways Google Caffeine will change the way you do leisure marketing online:

1.  Updating your content will become more important than ever.

Google’s spiders are more attracted to new content than ever before.  So updating must be a part of your online marketing strategy.

And the easiest way to for a leisure brand to do this is through social media. Just make sure your content is still relevant to your site’s core topic.

2.  Experimentation and exploration will become the norm.

Because Caffeine indexes with lightening speed, you will be able to experiment with new ideas and see the results quickly.

Then adjust your strategy based on your findings.

3.  Keeping an eye on your competitors will become a much higher priority.

A shift in the index is going to cause a change in your rankings. And constantly shifting content will cause your rankings to change with greater speed.

So pay close attention to where you are relative to your competitors. And when the rankings start to shift, see what changed in your content and your competitors’.  And react accordingly.


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