If there is one social media platform which has become a necessity for marketers, it’sFacebook. Undoubtedly, Facebook has the largest number of users than any other social networking site. And thus, it becomes great opportunity for travel marketers to drive more traffic and engage their consumers. Facebook is one of the most popular ZMOT touchpoint. Two important strategies which can be followed on Facebook are Creative Differentiation and Innovative integration. Let’s take a look and learn from the ZMOT strategies followed by some of the Bigwigs in the industry:
Creative Differentiation Strategy
1. Expedia’s ‘Have Fun’ Strategy
With over 1,786,544 fans, Expedia boasts of having a huge fan base. They managed to reach this level by consistently promoting their brand using Facebook platform. To name a few, in 2011, Expedia launched FriendTrips game for its Facebook fans which intended to deliver more than one million dollars’ worth of travel to friends on Facebook. This campaign was even named “Best of Show” at 2012 HSMAI Adrian Awards. The next innovative strategy is “Expedia Everywhere” which centered around a concept the brand called “People-shaped Travel”. In this campaign, Expedia launched series of ads featuring its own employees. The ads had humorous touch and ended with a tag line “We’re powered by people who travel.”
- Orbitz’ ‘Contest’ Strategy
Orbitz Worldwide launched a Facebook Sweepstakes to boost consumer participation on its Facebook page. The company gave consumers the opportunity to win 50 vacations valued at up to $15,000 apiece. Consumers could enter for the chance to win five vacation packages, and receive one extra opportunity every day for each friend who plays the game. If a consumer had more than 10 friends participating in the program, he could have access to exclusive vacation packages. Orbitz, even went on Hollywood track by redesigning its Facebook page featuring “Are you in the know” page. Questions related to celebrity are asked to drive more eye-balls to the page.
- Hotels.com’s ‘win-a-trip’ strategy
Hotels.com launched Suite Escapes Facebook promotion in 2012. It was hotels.com’s first social media contest crossing international borders. The promotion offered Facebook fans a chance to win one of 16 trips to exotic destinations all around the world.
Innovative Integration Strategy
4. TripAdvisor’s ‘Share-with-friends’ strategy
TripAdvisor, the world’s leading travel sites, has become a favorite on Facebook. It has invested heavily in building a Facebook presence in order to build brand awareness and to acquire new members and it provides access to these members’ networks of Facebook friends. In 2007, it launched the first Facebook app. It was the interactive map application named “Cities I Visited”, which enables travelers to pin places they have visited on a map and share it with friends.
In 2009, the company introduced a Facebook log-in to the TripAdvisor desktop site.
In 2010, the company became one of the Facebook’s Instant Personalization partners, facilitating a service that automatically lets Facebook users see their friends’ TripAdvisor reviews.
In April 2012, it rolled out “Friend of a Friend” feature, which extends Facebook connected users to see reviews and opinions from second-degree contacts.
5. Travelocity’s ‘Vote-for-destination’ Strategy
Travelocity is one of the most innovative OTAs when it comes to social media. One such innovative strategy followed on Facebook was to upload thoughtful and engaging photos on Facebook to better engage brand fans.
In 2011, Travelocity asked its community members to vote on whether they would win a trip to lush beaches or the snowy slopes. The destination which got most votes was announced and a prize winner was selected randomly who could enjoy either five nights in Maui at the Fairmont Kea Lani or five nights in Vail at the Arrabelle at Vail Square. Non-community members had to click on “Like” to participate to vote.
At the end of the promotion, members of Travelocity’s Facebook community received a $100 promotional code good for a hotel booking – when booked on Travelocity using any American Express® Card – in the winning destination. Also, contest entrants were encouraged to invite their Facebook friends and the person who succeeded in getting the most friends was crowned the King or Queen of Beach or Ski and was awarded a $500 Travelocity gift card.
Author: Alicia Jones – Strategic Marketing Consultant | Media Mosaic
Media Mosaic is world’s first fully integrated Travel ZMOT (Zero Moment Of Truth) agency, specializing in creating unique campaigns, to help brands WIN@TRAVEL. We bring an extensive knowledge of travel consumers’ demographics and their buying behaviors. This helps us to strategize our clients’ online marketing campaign for maximal Travel ZMOT ROI. We achieve the defined objectives, by mounting research based and interlocking, Branding, Content, Search and Social Media marketing activities. For further info on how to WIN@TRAVEL visit http://www.media-mosaic.com/travel.