Travel: check. Social media: check, check. Don’t panic, I’m not about to embark on another rant about how they make the perfect couple. But what I am going to do is tell you about 3 (no more ‘cause you won’t read them) campaigns, videos and ideas that confirmed the hypothesis way back when.
But first I need to make an important point. Social media is about much more than content posted on a social media site: it involves any form of social interaction, whether it be online or offline, between users.
The first example didn’t actually make it onto social platforms; it could have, even though the time wasn’t quite right. This was back in 2011.
HOTEL BY CITY | BEDJUMP.COM (2011)
I’m talking to you, hotel owners and managers. Yes, you there, reading this post.
You can copy and paste these ideas, develop them, improve them, make them better.
Hotel by City, a relatively unknown online booking site, launched Bedjump.com, and made it a proper brand. Bedjump invited guests to take a photo of themselves jumping onto their hotel beds in the most creative way they could come with, from the classic Superman to RedBull’s wings. It’s a shame they didn’t make the most out of the idea and put it on classic networks like Facebook and Instagram. The idea was very social, but not very network.
CAPE TOWN TOURISM | MY CAPE TOWN HOLIDAY (2012)
Let’s jump from one extreme to the other: I’m talking about the tourism operators promoting Cape Town.
How can you show off the highlights and hidden gems of Cape Town to travellers without making them move an inch? Simple: send their Facebook profiles on a mini-break.
The 100% Facebook-run campaign, “My Cape Town Holiday”, invited users to send their Facebook profile on holiday to South Africa. Users were then sent images and videos “in the first person”; real users received real souvenirs of their profiles’ travels.
The results? Over 350,000 people got involved and there was a 4% increase in tourism in Cape Town and a 118% rise in reservations.
KLM | MEET&SEAT (2014)
Take business travel up a notch. Optimise networking opportunities and don’t waste a precious minute on a flight. KLM invented totally business-focused Meet&Seat: a way of choosing who to sit next to on a flight by looking at profiles on social networks.
In simple terms, passengers sign into “My Trip” and decide which information they want to share (their Facebook or LinkedIn profiles, for instance). They can then see a seating plan for the flight, updated in real time, and attached to each seat is a profile. All they have to do is have a good look and select their ideal business partner for the journey. Convenient, right?
So what’s the moral of the story?
Social media sites are without doubt an über-fertile breeding ground for promotion campaigns. Be simple and creative, and try to appeal to what interests your target customers (fun, business, curiosity).
What I say time and time again is that social media is and always will be designed to be user-friendly. So use this opportunity to get creative, making sure you get your appeal right and never forget that people’s – users’ – real lives are led away from the internet.