E-Tourism Summit: As a DMO, hotel or attraction which social media sites do recommend that they register on?
Martin Stoll: Realistically, realizing the time commitment it takes, I’d recommend the following: Facebook to fish where the fish are. 400 million users – every business today should have a presence on Facebook Twitter: to listen to what customers have to say and converse with them – not to blast out marketing messagesFlickr/YouTube: showcase your product in a visual way, entertain and be present on the 2nd largest search engine in the world (YouTube). Blog: to have a tool to post richer, more dynamic and flexible content than on websites with a transaction focus. Also to humanized your brand Foursquare / Gowalla: to experiment with what could be the next bog thing and offer location based promotions
ETS:How often should travel marketers post on these sites?
MS: I think quality beats quantity. Better spend time on figuring out what content gets good responses (likes, re-tweets etc.) and then sticking with those themes and posting too much and being all over the place.
ETS: What are the biggest mistakes you’ve seen clients make?
MS: The three biggest mistakes that we see are: 1. doing social media without a solid strategy, 2. using the wrong tools or using tools the wrong way and 3. having no performance metrics
ETS: You’ve stated that Facebook has shut down one DMO page because they registered their page as a Friend instead of Fan page. How does one convert their “friends” to a “fan” page?
MS: There is no official way to convert personal pages to fan pages. Most DMOs who started the wrong way are setting up a fan page and then ask “friends” on their person profile page to “like them” on the new page. Very cumbersome – better get it right from the start. Otherwise, you’ve got to come up with creative incentives.
ETS: What will you be talking about during your session at E-Tourism Summit?
MS: At E-Tourism summit we will be talking about some of the latest trends we are seeing in social media –and helping attendees learn how to use social media for B2B (e.g. to connect with tour operators), dedicated social media strategies for intl. markets and social media for meetings and conventions. See Full E-Tourism Workshop details: http://www.etourismsummit.com/workshop-orlando.html