Where are you going? The phrase itself takes on many meanings. It happens to be the title of a Dave Matthews Band song, it’s a question that sparks exploration of goals for an individual or company, and it’s a question people typically ask around this time of year. That’s right, spring break is coming. What better time to get people from all over to come visit your corner of the world? There’s a captive audience out there and I’m going to tell you how to grab some of that captive audience for yourself. Here are three new trends and approaches that every travel site and travel destination site should use to promote themselves.
1) Drive Facebook Traffic to Your Website: According to Mark Walsh’s analysis of the Compete study, this seems to be easier said than done as travel sites so far have seen mixed results http://bit.ly/A3rctB. Oddly enough, “Compete argues that the number of Likes a brand collects via Facebook is a common but potentially misleading measure because it’s cumulative rather than current.” Unique visitors are deemed a better measure of current engagement. When the ratio of the number of Facebook visitors to likes is examined by this web measurement firm, some true leaders emerge. Notably, Priceline with 98,631 likes and 10,334 unique monthly visitors took the lead. Orbitz was next, followed by Travelocity and Expedia. Compete also looked at the overlap between a travel site’s visitors and its Facebook visitors. Priceline again led the pack. The moral here? It’s not enough to simply have a brand page on Facebook. Your site is where trips are booked and repeat customers are gained and Facebook is a means to an end for this result.
2) Take it Global: MediaPost’s Karl Greenberg cites Hotels.com’s recent global approach and it’s definitely worth noting when planning your strategy http://bit.ly/xeyeVw. Hotels.com’s global effort focuses first on a new character spokesperson. Out with the animated “educated consumer” character and in with a smart concierge character full of new ideas on where to go and how to enjoy the stay. The moral here? Consumers like to be guided through the process. You have to paint the picture and spark their interest by giving them new things to think about that they may not have thought of on their own. Their new logo chosen by a Facebook poll is “Finding you the perfect place is all we do.” This is further built upon by a logo that represents the amount of choices they have to offer, a multi-hued 3-D ‘H’ where each layer represents a different spectrum of choices. The best part about this approach? It’s not country or region specific, and appeals to people all over the world. The perfect platform for getting any traveler’s attention.
3) Pin It!: Pinterest is a website that has emerged as the new frontrunner on the social scene. Here you can pin pictures of things that interest you on virtual pinboards, divided by category, and provide commentary on why certain pictures are of interest. Other Pinterest users can then follow you and comment on your pinned pictures. Jeffrey K. Rohrs is right on target with his analysis of the Pin It! button being a crucial part of every travel site or travel destination site’s offerings http://bit.ly/xxXBpV. He recommends getting an account and exploring, for only by knowing how to use it and use it to your advantage can you reap the benefits. Additionally, he recommends the Pinterest button be added to website pages and blogs, that you reassess your site’s visual content often, that local staff build pinboards of local attractions, that you are following and commenting on posts by travel-minded Pinterest users, and that you brainstorm Pinterest-centered contests and promotions. All of these things not only lead to Pinterest success, obviously, but to long-term success for you as a favorite destination spot.
Now that you know the three most important tactics for gaining new and repeat visitors I suggest you get moving. Your customers are on the move and you should be too. It’s more important than ever to be where your customers are and connect with them. Following these steps means knowing the answer to the question “Where are you going?” will most likely lead to you.