This page is about social media and the impact on cruise line marketing. It covers why we care, an overview of the media landscape and details specific links and locations to cruise line’s social media on the web.
Why We Care
Prior to social media the process was fairly straight forward. A company created a product and used print, TV and radio to tailor a branding message. The consumer then added personal experience and word-of-mouth to form his mental brand perception.
Social media introduced a new branding mechanism. It heightened the speed, distance and sources over which branding information travels. The social media network is also user-generated, user-organized, user-distributed and user-regulated, giving more control and lending more credence to the consumer. For example, within days of an attempted Somali pirate attack the “Online Cruise Brand Buzz” about Oceania increased 6000%. There were 6,000 views of a Cruise Critic post on the subject. Another example was the massive “chirping among the pod” created in the blogoshpere around the launching of the Celebrity Solstice.
Take Kidnap an application by Context Optional launched in October 2008 for Travel Channel on facebook. In just 3 months it has grown to over 4 million users, over 3 million login to the application monthly. And 60,000 of these users visit TravelChannel.com every day as part of the application’s game play.
We care because wherever and however consumers interact with the product, the experience delivered must be consistent with the brand promise. For the first time, social media allows direct and instant access into the consumers world – measurement of our performance and feedback for tailoring of our product.
Social Media Landscape
These are a small fraction of the overall players in the boiling cauldron that is the social media landscape. New ideas roll to the top monthly and lines neatly defining easy categorization are in flux. What remains contestant, however, is creating “Buzz” around your well told brand story requires getting all “pods chirping” harmoniously.
Cruise Lines Social Media
Blogs - Carnival has aggregated the blogs of its diverse brands at Best Blogs at Sea.
John Heald’s Blog is very a popular blog that “has no official affiliation with sugar free jelly beans.” John is Carnival’s Senior Cruise Director.
Twitter - is a site that allows distribution of quick and short posts, frequently from a smartphone. Carnival created a Twitter account to help monitor its brand, listen to customers, communicate specials and announce news.
Flickr – is the ultra popular photo posting network. Carnival posts images on Flickr of its ships, destinations, interiors, crew and construction.
YouTube – a video content distributor. Carnival has a YouTube channel for publication of videos, such as Towel Animal Theatre and John Heald moments.
Other Cruise Line Twitter Accounts
- NCL’s Twitter
- AIDA’s Twitter
- Fred Olsen’s Twitter
- P&O’s Twitter
- Silverseas’ Twitter
- HAL’s Twitter
- Seabourn’s Twitter
- Ocean Village’s Twitter
- Cunard’s Twitter
- Princess Cruise’s Twitter
Second Life – whether created corporately or not, there is an Oceania Cruise Lines in the virtual Second Life world. Your avatar can apply to work there or if you have accumulated enough money – go on a virtual cruise.