Welcome to the Online Travel Marketing Network (OTMN) blog.
I realize we first promised this blog several months ago and I apologize for being so late, but I’m not going to make excuses. The fact is we didn’t realize how easy, yet, at the same time, cumbersome it was to create a blog for the first time. It’s on-the-job training for us, too. We’ll keep you posted along the way.
Our goal is to build a community of interactive travel marketing professionals who have attended E-Tourism Summit in the past. The OTMN will initially offer brief Q & A’s with upcoming E-Tourism presenters of interest to current and past attendees. We will also be asking you about other areas and services you would like to see in the future.
Q&A with E-Tourism Summit presenter Adam Metz
Adam Metz, a social media strategist who consults for several high profile companies, will present at E-Tourism Summit in San Francisco. I had a chance to meet with Adam at Starbucks in Marin recently and he answered a couple of critical questions we thought you might be interested in.
Why should travel marketers be concerned about social media strategies?
The travel purchase decision-making process has become increasingly socialized over the last five years, and even people who are traveling solo will likely seek to receive some sort of data or possibly even validation from their social in group. Five years ago, this social interaction may have taken place over email, in an instant message conversation or on the telephone; today, these conversations play out on the social web, in social networks, on blogs and micro-blogs and on wikis. Marketers that don’t play in these technologies and spaces consciously opt out of the conversation.
Are the SEO benefits–elevated search engine rankings–the primary reason that travel companies should invest in Social Media.
Certainly, but that’s like saying you should go out and make a purchase at the Gap to help the economy. There’s a whole variety of benefits, beginning with the fact that if you’re targeting a market under 35, social media strategy becomes a critical part of your branding program.
What have you learned from some of your other clients that might be applicable to travel clients?
There is little ‘low-hanging fruit’ on the social web for marketers and brands. All social outreach lies on a continuum between two points: one of great opportunity cost and one of great financial cost. Usually, I’d recommend pursuing the former. It’s genuine, and users see through bullshit like glass anyway.