Week 5 – Post 1 – Social Media Recommendations for flashtravel

Social media is an influential part of today’s society and research shows that it has become essential for enhancing a brand or business. With its countless benefits it has become a necessary part of any marketing strategy. Through Social Media the company can enhance its brand by building value and awareness, as well as promoting its services. Social Media will help the company keep abreast with its competitors.  A brand which is not present on Social Media is at a disadvantage and will risk losing many opportunities to its competitors.

For the company to maintain and improve its travel business’ success, having various social media platforms is crucial. It is also important however that platform-focused tactics are used to build the company’s social media networks, rather than a strategy that aims to target every social media platform since different social media platforms appeal to different audiences.  Each social media platform available today has created a unique identity for itself, thanks to its members that come from different age groups, regions, cultures, and communities. Some social media platforms appeal to a younger audiences like teenagers or young adults, others to older audiences, and some are targeted at high-income consumers.

These recommendations aim to select the right social networks for flashtravel focusing on its Social Media goals and the market it is attempting to target.

 

  • The Company Profile  –

flashtravel is an online one stop travel shop offering services related to all aspects of travel including flight, accommodation, and transport booking, and also personalised and customised travel packages. The company emphasises its customer support and care services providing 24 x 7 online support to its customers.

 

  • The Company’s Social Media Goals

Social Media platforms are only middlemen which help a business achieve its goals and therefore identifying the company goals at the outset is crucial for the social media marketing strategy to be successful. The identified goals will facilitate the creation and the implementation of the strategy.

flashtravelidentified the following main goals for its Social Media presence:

  • To enhance brand awareness and attract attention and traffic to its services
  • To extend its customer care and service
  • To drive sales and leads

 

  • The Company’s Target Audience

The online travel agency target audience is highly fragmented and may include customers from broad geographic and demographic segments. It is best identified through psychographic and benefit segmentation. The typical customer for flashtravelis:

Male or female, individual or corporate, from across the globe, from the age of 18 years up, interested in travelling, for leisure or business, seeking the benefit of saving money, time and effort for all their travelling requirements, with the added value of personalised attention, and the peace of mind with continuous customer care and support.

 

  • Recommended Social Media Platforms for flashtravel

Based on the company’s profile, goals, and target audience, the three recommended social media platforms recommended for flashtravelare Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The facts about each of these platforms, followed by an analysis of why they are recommended for the company are given below.

It is important before any social media accounts are set up, that a consistent name to be used for the company across all the platforms is selected. Consistency is the key to people finding the company and it offers some branding opportunities. For this purpose Knowem.com has been used to establish a desired company name which is to be available across these platforms and ‘flashtravellers’ was selected.

 

Facebook

  •       over 1.15 billion users and 1 million active usersfb
  •       both a personal and business platform
  •       45-54 demographic makes up around 40% of its audience, followed by both 35-44 and 25-34.
  •       slightly more dominated by male to female
  •       main demographic is somewhat college educated earning $50-75K per annum
  •       great for entrepreneurs, freelancers, organisers, brands, advertisers and anyone who wants to connect with people, engage and ultimately convert
  •       one of the most versatile platforms where photos, videos, text and articles can be posted
  •       works really well in terms of engagement and conversion
  •       great for improving SEO, traffic to your site, brand exposure and customer engagement

 

 

With over a billion monthly users, Facebook is the largest social media network in the world and chances are that members of the company’s target audience are hanging out there.

In line with the company’s goal to create a community around its brand and enhance it, get customer feedback and improve customer service, Facebook is an ideal platform for it. Facebook Business Pages provide a great place for reciprocal communication between the company and its audience, but also requires that the company business page be actively monitored and that new content be consistently added.

Facebook followers expect answers to their questions, complaints, and comments in a timely fashion. They also want useful information about products, services, and industry news and events. For a company looking for brand awareness, Facebook is the way to go.

 

Twitter

  •       a practical, useful and fun way of sharing informationtwt
  •       around 450 million users
  •       it requires people to get their message across in 140 characters or less
  •       key audience is 65% female and it is evenly split between 25-34, 35-45 and 45-54 demographic
  •       again most users have some college education with the average salary lower at $25-50K per annum
  •       widely used by news organisations, marketers, brands and advertisers, and of course celebrities….
  •       Photos, videos, and text are most effective on Twitter
  •       great for increasing brand exposure, customer engagement and traffic to a business’s website or landing pages

 

Twitter’s fast-paced news feed allows customers to get real-time updates from the company. It is also very beneficial for the company to keep up with industry related news.

With messages limited to 140 characters, Twitter is more about quick information sharing rather than close-knit community building. Actively monitoring Twitter for mentions of the company, and to respond to any questions or comments from followers is a priority.  The company’s followers will expect some sort of consistent Tweeting from the company, be it daily news about global events affecting travel, or weekly special offers or suggestions for travel.

Twitter is possibly also the best social platform for customer service which flashtravelis so intent on providing and enhancing. This microblogging platform could be easily used to receive customers’ issues and complaints and fix them. Seeing its instant real time nature, it can help the company address all of its customers’ problems in a timely manner (customers love instant replies). The company can make use of the Direct Message feature to communicate with customers who have issues.

 

YouTube

  •       1 billion unique users visit the video-sharing website every monthyt
  •       slightly dominated by females at around 55%
  •       the largest audience is definitely younger at 18-34, although next up is the 45-54 demographic
  •       most users have some college education, and the average salary is lower at $50-75K per annum
  •       ideal for mediapreneurs, video production, vlogging, movie-making and music sharing
  •       Video is obviously the most effective media to use on YouTube
  •       owned by Google, YouTube is great for SEO and brand exposure

YouTube is the largest video sharing website online with over 4 billion hours of video watched every month. Video marketing is an effective way to share information about the company brand and is a less competitive way to rank in search engine results.

The content which the company provides on this platform should inform, instruct, or entertain. It is also important to properly optimise the company account and videos with tags, keywords, titles and thumbnails in order to have a chance to rank for them and grab people’s attention.

The company can integrate YouTube videos into the other social media platforms, and can be used on the company websites and blogs. Followers can comment on the company videos, create video responses, and thumbs up or thumbs down the videos. Furthermore, the company can engage its customers by involving them in sharing their travel experiences providing their own videos which will also serve as ‘free’ advertising for the company.

 

 

Sources and Related Reading :

 

http://www.hqsocialmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/How-To-Design-The-Perfect-Social-Media-Marketing-Strategy.pdf

http://www.flexiblesystems.com/blog/which-social-media-network-should-your-business-use/

http://www.flexiblesystems.com/blog/epresence-blog/the-best-social-media-platform-for-your-business/

http://www.audiencebloom.com/2013/05/how-to-determine-which-social-media-network-fits-your-business/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/02/04/the-confluence-of-content-and-social-media-insights-for-success-in-2014/

http://www.visioncritical.com/sites/default/files/whitepaper-social-to-sale_2.pdf

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