Posted By Cruise Market Watch ~ 2nd December 2008
- Is successful in filling innate human needs for community, empowerment and authenticity
- Allows for collaboration across time and space
- Changed the web from a source of information to a tool for creation
- Changed our interaction with media from passive consumers to active participators
Stéphane Bouchez takes this phenomenon to the travel industry in "Impact of Social Networks over the Travel Industry,” a presentation delivered in October 2008 to the e-tourism conference in Belgium.
Here is the take-away for the Cruise Industry:
1. Cruisers want the “travel experience” they read about from others
Who do you trust? For ages “friends and family” were primary sources of product information. Today your “social networks” are the new friends and family.
2. Price is not the bottom line!
3. “The most important relationship you have with your customers is increasingly being replaced with software” - Luxury is Redefined, Critical Mass
The “tell each other” social media is nearing the tipping point in garnering more power than traditional media. Don’t believe me? Ask Johnson & Johnson about when it pulled it's Motrin advertising campaign at the behest of a “twittering mom” with 2,000 followers
4. The social networks are Us/ing Us
Like any social human group, they are more formed than created. It is a difficult undertaking for marketers to “engineer.” The network develops as there are common interests and needs. The network is user-generated, user-organized, user-distributed and user-regulated and will weed out impostors. (I don’t trust you, I don’t believe you, don’t try to sell me something).
5. The marketer's best approach is to find the “superusers”
In other words, get the leaders of the “pod chirping.” The right product or service must be focused on gaining the attention on the alpha influencer. If your idea can get the alpha influencer chirping, then it will evangelize it to the rest of the pod. Rapidly act on their feedback, create tools and content to help them.
- Investopedia: 5 Ways To Invest In Travel And Tourism (wire.kapitall.com)
- Travel Weekly Presents Two Gold Magellan Awards to Discount Cruise Vacations Website CruiseNow.com for Excellence within the Travel Industry (prweb.com)