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What’s More Important – TripAdvisor or Facebook?

August 15, 2010

As a hotel marketer, years ago it was clear to me (maybe not to this big extent) how the Internet and technology would turn around how we market and communicate in my world of hotels and spas.

It has been fascinating to see how the last year has evolved to providing opportunities both in “traditional” websites search engines and online sales applications – and in the social Medias: the travel oriented like TripAdvisor or the general Facebook / YouTube.

The travel and hotel business has been extremely dominant in social media and WEB 2 arena. I was lucky enough to make friends with some amazing people involved in the Web content and marketing business, and not  only did they help me in my position at Tamares to build our sites and bring results, but along the way I learned tremendously from them and in turn they learned a lot about the travel and hotel industry.

We all know sales & marketing is an endless job/function: there is no limit what can be done to generate revenues followed by profit – if done smartly. As we grew in Tamares in our E-commerce activities, I was able to attain a content employee and outsourced technology and SEO. In the end these new media’s and channels require constant attention and a much focused targeted approach in order to reach the right customers for each product.

Reminder:  I am leaving Tamares to open my own marketing company: COPELAND LTD – Hotel Consulting by Design, schedule to open this coming October.

The Winning Photography by Niro Taub and Moti Stepak

I was amazed at the results of Tamares Facebook campaign for Israelis this last month. We got more than 5,000 likes in just a month and a half by offering a promotion of freebies if friends sent a picture asking “Daniel – get me a vacation”.

The amazing fact is that most of the likes were from woman between 31-41 years of age – and not just youngsters. We ended up signing many new members in our loyalty program and converting them to sales! Hotels are so much an experience product and so is Facebook in today’s world…

We do need to remember that we are in the business of revenues and profits. Following how many fans/friends/likes /video clicks are very important – as long as we know how to measure conversion to dollars!

The good news is that this new media’s are more cost effective than traditional medias, and of course more measurable. Now Facebook advertisement is less per click than Google – who knows what’s next…

I do believe that travel social medias such as TripAdvisor are still more important from a improvement product perspective. TripAdvisor is about travel and hotels. A hotel can stand out as different when looking for a destination .We get to see/hear feedback from those who have been in our properties and if not ignored we get to improve.

Let’s not forget at the end of the day – what sells is the hotel experience and not necessarily the price or promotion we offered, which usually is offered by many others. TripAdvisor and other sites are great platform to force us to be different in what we offer and not fall in price wars…

Facebook is an amazing opportunity if targeted properly – not only to communicate, but to optimize our websites in search engines!

See how these two giants are joining forces:

http://technorati.com/lifestyle/travel/article/tripadvisor-and-facebook-get-friendly/

● http://travel.usatoday.com/destinations/dispatches/post/2010/06/tripadvisor-taps-facebook-friends-for-advice/96568/1

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