Joined Up Thinking- Are You Getting It?
Yesterday I read two interesting articles regarding the latest announcement from Twitter who have announced that
You may read this announcement with excitement, antipathy or perhaps confusion. For myself, it prompted me to write this latest blog article. Why? Well, if you are in the travel business as a travel provider, intermediary, or travel technology company, you can’t afford to ignore what is going on in the world of social media, and in particular in the way in which technology is enabling strong connections between social media and e-commerce.
Are there really companies ignoring what is happening, you may be asking? Well, yes there are plenty – no names! And there are also plenty who are failing to keep abreast of the fast space of developments. So let me pose this first question [I’ll come back to the Twitter announcement later.]
Q/ Do you have a social media strategy?
If not, why not? If you have looked seriously at what is being enabled through the combination of social media and e/m-commerce and determined that it is not relevant for your business right now, then, ok that is your call.
But… if someone offered you the opportunity to…
- Interact in real time with people who have explicitly expressed an interest in your products
- Answer questions people have about your holidays, inviting them to call or purchase
- Obtain feedback from people who have travelled with you
- Let your customers and potential customers see that you are interested in them
- Have people recommend specific holiday products to their friends and others potentially interested
- Easily and quickly promote your products and special offers to people who have already expressed an interest providing them with links to move from browsers to bookers
…would you turn that down?
Q/ When did you last re-visit your social media strategy?
The Twitter announcement is an example of how technology is now enabling seamless connectivity between e.g. Facebook, Twitter, mobile apps and web sites.
The Twitter capability now provides the ability for tweets to contain deep links that take readers directly into the relevant section of a mobile phone app. If the reader doesn’t already have the app downloaded, they can be provided with the ability to download the app. Does this excite you?
Let’s try this example. Company X specialises in providing European short breaks. Over many years they have determined that their business is quite ‘offers driven’ with people responding to special deals or looking for a great deal for a special occasion. The company’s web site works well, but they really need to continue to a develop broader means of catching people’s attention and getting their offers in front of people at their potential point of interest.
How might that company benefit if they had:
- A strong Facebook presence, interacting with people who have expressed an interest in their European breaks
- The ability to promote special deals to their Facebook community with direct links to book them on their web site
- A mobile app that people could download with the ability for people to register their interest in specific European breaks e.g. “Short breaks to Paris in June” or “Romantic Getaways” and be in the first group to receive
- Alerts on promotions and are then able to connect straight to the company web site to book them
Followers on Twitter who see tweets on latest offers which drive them to the company’s mobile app or web site with more details, again with the ability to then easily go on and book
The second article I read yesterday gives further examples of how travel companies might adopt the new Twitter capability and is well worth a read.
So let me pose one final question.
Q/ Are you seeing the ‘joined up’ potential?
The public sector has used the phrase “joined up” for many years to discuss and even promote the benefits of improved connectivity between disparate but related processes or organisations. Are you seeing the ‘joined up’ potential when it comes to your business? If you are only thinking call centre, web site and traditional advertising are you really ‘getting it’? Are your competitors? Are your customers?
Don’t miss out on the capabilities that technology is now providing the modern travel company. We are in a ‘joined up’ world where your customers are using iPads, iPhones, Smart Phones, PC, tablets, Apps, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter … and your web site and call centre. They are ‘joined up’. Are you??