Owning a Tourism Business is awesome

30 Mar 2010

Befriend The Search Engines

Befriend The Search Engines | UntangleMyWeb.com

22 Mar 2010

Social Networking Usage Surges Globally

According to the Nielsen Company, the global average time spent per person on social networking sites is now nearly five and half hours per month (February 2010 data), with Facebook accounting for the majority of that time. That’s up more than two hours from last year.

In arriving at that conclusion, Nielsen measured social network usage per person across 10 countries and compared that to data from the same time last year.

When looking at specific countries, Italy tops the charts with social network time per person just under six and a half hours per month (6:27:53), and Australia is a close second (6:02:34). The United States — which has the largest unique social networking audience — ranked third in usage with the average person spending just over six hours (6:02:34) on social networks.

What’s even more interesting is that Facebook — with its 400 million members — is far and away dominating the rest of the competition.
Facebook is the number-one social network destination worldwide and accounts for nearly six hours (5:52:00) per person with the average user logging in more than 19 times per month. What that boils down to is that the time spent on Facebook is almost five hours longer than the time spent on MySpace (0:59:33), the second closest social network in terms of time spent on site per person.
Nielsen also found that:
- Globally, the average Twitterer conducts three unique sessions for a total of 36 minutes per month.
- In the U.S. the active unique social network audience grew roughly 29% from 115 million in February 2009 to 149 million in February 2010.
- Active unique users of social networks are also up nearly 30% globally, rising from 244.2 million to 314.5 million collectively.
Image courtesy of iStockphoto, sbayram

Google Nexus One: Now With Multitouch

10 Mar 2010

Summary to tourism operators about link building

Great article about link building, here's his top 4 tips:

  • If you receive an email asking you for a link such as Alice’s put it in the bin. If it sound legitimate, just check out the PageRank, Domain name age of their website, just how I did it below.
  • Ask yourself: would visitors to the site I am getting a link from (their target market) benefit from reading your content?
  • If you are about to hire a link building consultant (so if you were to put yourself in the shoes of TNS here) why don’t you ask them to provide you a list of 3 sites they developed a link building strategy for and check the links they got using the Yahoo! LinkDomain command?…. Mind you, that wouldn’t be enough would it? If TNS was their client you would see a link form “our” website as a link (provided I was gullible), and you would think these guys are good and would have no idea about the black-hat SEO techniques going in the background!
  • This is why you need to ask any potential web partner what their link building processes are and if they cannot give you the full low down I wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot barge pole.
Full article here: Tourism Internet Marketing | UntangleMyWeb.com

5 Mar 2010

Social Media For Tourism specifically TripAdvisor

Brilliant, as I am asked for 101 TripAdvisor at least once a week! Read on and see more on his site:::: UntangleMyWeb.com

In Australia, TripAdvisor is one of the most well-known online reputation checker how I like to call it. For those who do not know, TripAdvisor is an Internet site that allows anyone to comment about their experience at any tourism/hospitality related business.

I am asked every second day for a step by step guide to TripAdvisor. As I did not seem to find a 101 Guide to TripAdvisor guide for tourism business owners, I thought I would fill the information gap!
beach huts
image credit Steve Crane
Every established web surfers will check what is being said on TripAdvisor about the property he is about to book. Some even first start their search on the TripAdvisor site. What is fantastic (for those businesses who have a reputation management strategy in place) is that it can work as your best ally in terms of promoting your business.

TripAdvisor has got such a strong online presence that your property’s page on the site will appear on the first pages of Google when your business name is keyed in the search field. Even before your own website sometimes (yep!)

TripAdvisor negative reviews : why you should be aware

abandonned hotel room

TripAdvisor can also kill your best marketing efforts - that is, if you have not yet tackled the challenge of online marketing or have chosen to stay “passive”. Why? Well, because anyone can say anything about anyone (aka: YOU) on the Internet (this is formally known as User Generated Content). Let me give you an example:
I was conducting an online marketing training session the other day with tourism operators.

Part of the workshop included the review of what potential guests might have said about their experience at your (accommodation) property on www.TripAdvisor.com. You should have seen the facial expression of a member of the audience, aka the accommodation property owner, when she realised that a past client has written an extremely negative review about her business.

If you are a tourism business for instance and decided to stay passive and not tackle the online world just yet, you are not simply staying in passive mode but doing your business some damage. People are most probably writing about you somewhere on the net. If not on TripAdvisor, probably somewhere else.

Tourism Online Strategy - How to I check my online reputation?

thinking baby
image credit Tub Gurnard
How do I check what is being said about me online?
  1. Simply Google your business name to start with. Have a look through the first few pages of Google and see what has come up. You are meant to find something you did not know about!
  2. Go to this page on TripAdvisor and put in your business name or part of it in the top left search box. Go go go, do it now!!! Also try your competitors!!!
  3. While catching up on my RSS feeds from my favourite online marketing for tourism blogs, I discovered a little gem: Todd Lucier from TourismKeys.ca mentioned www.twing.com which is a search engine that crawls online forums - you know, forums, these online bars how I like to call them, where you can ask a question and expect a lot of useful answers. I have checked what people are asking about my local tourism region, Australia’s Gold Coast, and its rather amazing! There are people asking about where to stay, if such and such property is friendly and other recommending other properties that they have already stayed at… Talk about free marketing!
  4. If you are even more game you could start checking if someone posted some photos of their holiday at your place on Flickr… If not, why don’t you start?

How can I take advantage of TripAdvisor to promote my business?

  1. First of all, you need to get listed on TripAdvisor. You can get listed as an accommodation provider, an attraction, a restaurant or a resource such as transport provider, information centre. You will be able to write a short review about your property, add a photo as well. Now, you have done the easiest bit. (if this is too complicated or you are starting to pull your hair out, drop me a line I just love to do all this stuff!). But how to get client reviews??
  2. How about about you ask each and every one of your client to visit TripAdvisor (make it easy for them, send them an email with the link to your property - just my 5 cents). If they have had a great experience, I am certain that they will be willing to help you out with your strategy a little. They can even upload their photos you know. If you would like more insight about this, contact me and I will give you a great little story!
  3. Next thing you can do is pull the testimonials of TripAdvisor straight into the homepage of your website so that any potential client can read about how much fun past clients had at your proterty! This is done using RSS feeds. This is how you add your trip advisor reviews to your website.

What will I do if someone writes a negative review on TripAdisor about my property?

  1. DO NOT STAY PASSIVE! Act! Respond to people’s reviews, and say your side of the story, and what you tried to do to fix the problem.
  2. You can also contact the unsatisfied client and offer them a free night at your property for instance. The end goal is for other TripAdvisor readers to see that you are aware of this unfortunate exception and that you are reacting. This is a very old term used in hospitality and called Service Recovery. You have most probably be doing so in the offline world. Now it is just time to realise that there are many more people reading and hearing about you online!
Happy Tripping!
Social Media For Tourism | UntangleMyWeb.com