If you know me you know that I love to travel but with the exorbitant and increasing cost of airfare, hotels, car rental, and gas prices, I LOVE a good deal! I’m sure all of you do. So yes, I love to travel and I love social media. In July I found this great article, “Social Media’s Coolest Travel Companies” by Travel + Leisure. It highlights thirty of the best and coolest travel companies and social campaigns from airlines to hotels to car rental companies. So neat! I love Air New Zealand’s safety video with Richard Simmons. It’s a great way to attract both the older demographic that grew up with Richard Simmons in the 80’s, as well as the younger generations. Airlines that use a humorous, fun effect on safety is going to be more attractive than another airline that uses the same approach. Air New Zealand’s newest campaign is their Hobbit inspired safety video. It includes an appearance by Sir Peter Jackson. You can see the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBlRbrB_Gnc
Another great social campaign that really engages their consumers is by Ritz Carlton. They use Facebook as the platform to ask guests ‘how do you like your coffee?’. For any respondents who book a stay, the hotel then knows what type of coffee their guests prefer and hotel staffers will surprise them with their favorite in their rooms when they arrive. What a great idea! Although it might seem like a small gesture to the guests, this social campaign takes a lot of effort and planning on the hotel’s part. They need to keep close tabs on who responds to their question on Facebook or whatever platforms they might use in the future and also, if and when the consumers who answered have booked their stay. This is an innovative way to not only connect with potential future guests, but to make the jump from virtual to real-world personalization.
Radio City, an iconic attraction in New York used Facebook as the platform for their holiday campaign. “Users connected their Facebook accounts to the show’s microsite and received a personalized video—which incorporated photos of their friends and family—to share at the holidays.” (Travel+Leisure) This was a great, creative way to send viral video messages that also promoted their best-known show. It was a win-win for both the consumer and Radio City!
Expedia ran their ‘Expedia Soars to Success’ campaign using Facebook. The campaign encouraged users to pilot a virtual plane and invited five friends to join. Friends would be encouraged to submit their own entries. With the daily prizes and viral structure, Expedia’s fan base exceeded one million. They turned what could have been a boring campaign into a creative, viral, and interactive game that appealed to many demographics. With many travelers using sites like Expedia, Travelzoo, TripAdvisor, Priceline, and many others, it is important to run campaigns, contests, and keep travelers on their toes, providing special deals and incentives. It is also crucial to engage with customers and monitor what is being said about the company. Whatever the company may be, it is very important to interact with consumers and know what they are looking for.