Owning a Tourism Business is awesome

4 Oct 2012

10 Great Ways To Improve Your Facebook Page’s Popularity

Facebook pages come in all manner of different shapes and sizes. Many are pretty lame, gaining very few likes and with hardly anyone talking about them. Obviously the subject of the page is the most important aspect – if it already has a sizable community then it will likely be doing well – but there are ways anyone can improve the popularity of their Facebook page, regardless of who or what their page is about.
There are several key areas to focus on when trying to improve your page’s popularity on Facebook. All of which are dealt with below. These are all common sense ideas that most people should have figured out for themselves already, but it’s surprising how many miss these core tenets and then struggle to understand why their Facebook page is listing badly and at risk of sinking under a mire of mediocrity.

Full article here: 10 Great Ways To Improve Your Facebook Page’s Popularity

21 Jul 2012

Social Signals Explained – What are they and how are they important?

Great article explaining in simple terms : Social Signals Explained – What are they and how are they important? — Social Metrics Pro

Social signal has never been so important. Now, how often do we take recommendations from people in our network? Quite often, right? Whether it is for an investment, an online purchase or a personal issue , we often consult our friends or other experienced people and experts in our network. We do it to get good advice from all parties so that we can arrive at the best decision to act on. A recommendation is like a VOTE that allows you to take a step in that direction. This recommendation, in the eyes of the search engines, is a social signal.
The concept of recommendation has now come to search engines in the form of “SOCIAL SIGNAL”. What does this mean? The inclusion of the human component, YOU, in the search engine results in a more organic and dynamic manner than ever before. How does it work? Based on your recommendations through Likes, tweets and Google +, which act as social signals.

17 Jul 2012

10 Tricks to Optimize Your RSS Feed for SEO

rss optimizationA good number of you already use Feedburner to syndicate your blog posts via an RSS feed. Let us discuss how to best optimize your RSS feed to provide the best value to your subscribers at the same time reap maximum benefits from your feed.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Its a technology that is being used by millions of web users around the world to keep track of their favorite websites. Darren has explained RSS in plain and simple English. Following graphic illustrates how RSS works. If you have never used an RSS Feed reader, try Google Reader.

Is Your Feedburner RSS Feed SEO Optimized?

If you aren’t already using Feedburner to syndicate your feed, now is the time to do so. Go ahead and sign up to burn your feed. And if you are already using it, read on to find out if you are using your RSS Feed to its best potential.

Full article here: RSS Feed Optimization Tips for your Blog SEO

8 Jul 2012

Twitter Advertising: Twitter Ads for small businesses

Twitter Ads can offer a great way to get attention on Twitter. The ad formats are quite unique and the Start Advertising section provides detailed explanation about their advertising products. Twitter allows you to set a budget, choose run dates and your target locations. Once you submit your request, it will be added to the advertising queue. There are three ways to advertise on Twitter.

First is Promoted Tweets. Promoted Tweets are displayed in Twitter search results or in user timelines. You only pay when someone retweets, replies to, clicks or favorites your Promoted Tweet. You don't pay for impressions on retweets and can extend the reach and cost-effectiveness of your campaign.

Trending Topics let users find out what's hot on Twitter right now and join the conversations. With Promoted Trend, you can purchase a trending topic. Your tweet will be displayed on the top of the trend search results. It is important to note that Promoted Trends are visible to all users, instead of a targeted group.

Lastly, Promoted Accounts can be used to quickly grow your followers. The Promoted Account is featured in search results and within the Who To Follow section. It will be shown to users who are most likely to have interests similar to your account. You can also target the campaign to specific geographical user base.

Twitter Advertising:

5 Jul 2012

How To Respond To Online Traveler Reviews - The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

In an increasingly technologically savvy world, it has become second nature for both business and leisure travelers to turn to the internet to research for a hotel destination, whether through a search engine, social media channel, brand website or online travel agency.  The internet has made it fast and easy to research properties, view photos, read traveler reviews, and compare rates from virtually anywhere--at desktop computer in their own home, on their mobile phone or on a laptop computer.  With the increased availability and access to information, hotels are not the only ones controlling their brand image and the content available to travelers and consumers.
The growing sophistication of online marketing in the travel industry has created more sophisticated consumers, who cut through the hype and marketing provided by a hotel and seek out independent opinions and reviews as their most influential source of information.  In a recent survey conducted by TripAdvisor and Forrester Consulting, 81% of travelers said reviews were important when deciding which hotel to book, and almost half said they wouldn't book a hotel unless it had reviews.
The relationship between OTAs, review sites and hotels has always beencomplicated, but with the proper knowledge and practices, the hotel and third party sites can grow to have a loving, successful relationship!  A major part of regaining control of the content about your hotel and making a significant impact in the minds of travelers is to respond to the reviews that travelers have posted online, often known as reputation management.
Here are Blue Magnet's top tips on how to respond to online traveler reviews of all types--the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Full article here: 
How To Respond To Online Traveler Reviews - The Good, The Bad And The Ugly | ehotelier.com

30 Jun 2012

Do's and don'ts in social media for niche travel companies

Another brilliant  article from Sam @ muchbetteradventures.com :
Social media sites are ten-a-penny these days and it can be tricky to keep on top of them all. With this in mind, it's becoming increasingly important for niche travel companies to understand and use these outlets properly in order to engage and entertain their various audiences, whilst also subtly exposing their products to new customers. 
This quick fire guide to the relevant social media sites is a reaction to observing some good examples of online networking but also a plea to kick some bad habits. 
In no particular order, here are the important social media networks that niche travel companies should be targeting and how.

Full article here Do's and don'ts in social media for niche travel companies

16 Jun 2012

5 Top SEO Tips for Small Travel Operators

Another brilliant little  article from Sam @ muchbetteradventures.com :
So, why would you want to optimise your site in search engines?
Simple really, what do most people do these days when they are looking for something (like a holiday?). Jump on a search engine – Google more often than not. If you want to appear on top of searches and grab those people already looking for you, then it’s something you’ll have to think about. Around 98% of clicks from Google go to those links on the first page, so this is where you’ll want to be if most of your sales are driven by organic traffic.
SEO is a slow burner, without immediate effects, but it’s got to be done, if we want to appear higher in search results. MBA has seen its traffic double over the last year – largely thanks to SEO – so it is worth it! 
As per our article a couple of months ago on Do's and Don'ts for Social Media, we want to pass on some of what we know to anyone interested, and so we’ve put together a set of top tips and resources for small travel operators to help you improve your SEO.

5 Top Tips for SEO

Full article here: 5 Top SEO Tips for Small Travel Operators:

13 Jun 2012

Top Twitter Abbreviations You Need to Know

Twitter abbreviations and acronyms are an odd mash-up of text slang, old school chat room phrases, common sense short forms and corporate buzzwords.  There is nothing more terrible than parsing a customer tweet and finding out what you once thought was a compliment was really a product slam or worse, a drug reference.  (Small personal anecdote – for the longest time, I thought HAGN was some form of Scandinavian slang for good-bye.)

While not quite a comprehensive dictionary of all things Twitter.com, what follows below is a quick-print glossary of common Twitter abbreviations.  Notice one we missed?  We would love to include it and credit you for the spot.  Just leave a note for us in the comments.
image courtesy of Twittonary.com
Technical Twitter abbreviations:
•    CC = Carbon-copy. Works the same way as email
•    CX = Correction
•    CT = Cuttweet.  Another way of saying partial retweet
•    DM = Direct message. A direct-message is a message only you and the person who sent it can read
•    HT = Hat tip. This is a way of attributing a link to another Twitter user
•    MT = Modified tweet. This means the tweet you're looking at is a paraphrase of a tweet originally written by someone else
•    PRT = Partial retweet. The tweet you're looking at is the truncated version of someone else's tweet.
•    PRT = Please retweet, a plea to put at the end of a tweet
•    RT = Retweet. The tweet you're looking at was forwarded to you by another user

Industry Twitter abbreviations:

•    EM = Email Marketing
•    EZine = Electronic Magazine
•    FB = Facebook
•    LI = LinkedIn
•    SEO = Search Engine Optimization
•    SM = Social Media
•    SMM = Social Media Marketing
•    SMO = Social Media Optimization
•    SN = Social Network
•    SROI = Social Return on Investment
•    UGC = User Generated Content
•    YT = YouTube

Conversational abbreviations:
•    # = start to a hashtag, or a way of organizing subjects on Twitter
•    •    AB/ABT = About
•    AFAIK = As far as I know
•    AYFKMWTS = Are you f---ing kidding me with this s---?
•    B4 = Before
•    BFN = Bye for now
•    BGD = Background
•    BH = Blockhead
•    BR = Best regards
•    BTW = By the way
•    CD9 = Code 9, parents are around
•    CHK = Check
•    CUL8R = See you later
•    DAM = Don’t annoy me
•    DD = Dear daughter
•    DF = Dear fiancé
•    DP = used to mean “profile pic”
•    DS = Dear son
•    DYK = Did you know, Do you know
•    EM/EML = Email
•    EMA = Email address
•    F2F /FTF = Face to face
•    FB = Facebook, F--- buddy
•    FF = Follow Friday
•    FFS = For F---‘s Sake
•    FML = F--- my life.
•    FOTD = Find of the day
•    FTW = For the win, F--- the world
•    FUBAR = F---ed up beyond all repair (slang from the US Military)
•    FWIW = For what it's worth.
•    GMAFB = Give me a f---ing break
•    GTFOOH = Get the f--- out of here
•    GTS = Guess the song
•    HAGN = Have a good night
•    HAND = Have a nice day
•    HOTD = Headline of the day
•    HT = Heard through
•    HTH = Hope that helps
•    IC = I see
•    ICYMI = "In case you missed it," a quick way to apologize for retweeting your own material
•    IDK = I don't know
•    IIRC = If I remember correctly
•    IMHO = In my humble opinion.
•    IRL = In real life
•    IWSN = I want sex now
•    JK = Just kidding, joke
•    JSYK = Just so you know
•    JV = Joint venture
•    KK = Kewl kewl, or ok, got it
•    KYSO = Knock your socks off
•    LHH = Laugh hella hard (stronger version of LOL)
•    LMAO = Laughing my ass off
•    LMK = Let me know
•    LO = Little One (child)
•    LOL = Laugh out loud
•    MM = Music Monday
•    MIRL = Meet in real life
•    MRJN = Marijuana
•    NBD = No big deal
•    NCT = Nobody cares, though
•    NFW = No f---ing way
•    NJoy = Enjoy
•    NSFW = Not safe for work
•    NTS = Note to self
•    OH = Overheard
•    OMFG = Oh my f---ing God
•    OOMF = One of my friends/followers
•    ORLY = Oh, really?
•    PLMK = Please let me know
•    PNP = Party and Play (drugs and sex)
•    QOTD = quote of the day
•    RE = In reply to, in regards to
•    RLRT = Real-life re-tweet, a close cousin to OH
•    RTFM = Read the f---ing manual
•    RTQ = Read the question
•    SFW = Safe for work
•    SMDH = Shaking my damn head, SMH, only more so
•    SMH = Shaking my head
•    SNAFU = Situation normal, all f---ed up (slang from the US Military)
•    SO = Significant Other
•    SOB = Son of a B----
•    SRS = Serious
•    STFU = Shut the f--- up!
•    STFW = Search the f---ing web!
•    TFTF = Thanks for the follow
•    TFTT = Thanks for this tweet
•    TJ = Tweetjack, or joining a conversation belatedly to contribute to a tangent
•    TL = Timeline
•    TLDR/TL;DR  = Too long, didn’t read
•    TMB = Tweet me back
•    TT = Trending topic
•    TY = Thank you
•    TYIA = Thank you in advance
•    TYT = Take your time
•    TYVW = Thank you very much
•    W or W/ = With
•    W/E or WE = Whatever or weekend
•    WTV = Whatever
•    YGTR = You got that right
•    YKWIM = You know what I mean
•    YKYAT = You know you're addicted to
•    YMMV = Your mileage may vary
•    YOLO = You only live once
•    YOYO = You're on your own
•    YW = You're welcome
•    ZOMG = OMG to the max

Common hashtags and chats:
•   #BrandChat = private chat about branding
•    #CMAD = Community Manager Appreciation Day
•    #CMGR = Community Manger topic chat
•    #FB = The user is sending this post to Facebook
•    #FF = Short way of saying Follow Friday, or a recommendation that others follow the user
•    #in = the user is sending this post to LinkedIn
•    #LI = This user is sending this post to LinkedIn
•   #LinkedInChat = For general use questions and questions about marketing/self-promotion on LinkedIn
•   #Mmchat = Marketing and social media chat
•   #Pinchat = a chat for maximizing Pinterest use
•   #SMManners = Social media manners chat
•   #SMMeasure = For discussion of analytics and mesaurement, lead by MarketWire and Syomos
•   #SMOchat = Social Media Optimization chat lead by Stanzr
•   #SocialChat = Social media chat lead by SocialParle.
•   #SocialMedia = an all-inclusive chat for subjects big and small in the subject of Social Media

Many thanks to Business InsiderWebopedia, and the Twittonary for their excellent information that helped pave the way for this Twitter abbreviation compilation and to Mashable for the compilation of social media Twitter chats.  Looking for an explanation of Twitter terms, phrases, neologisms and slang that go beyond abbreviations?  Be sure to click through to see the awesome resources they have made available.

Top Twitter Abbreviations You Need to Know | Social Media Today

7 Jun 2012

8 rules to survive Penguin update of Google

1. Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
2. Do not use redirects cloacking or to cover up their true place.
3. Do not send automated queries to Google.
4. Do not overload the page with keywords unrelated.
5. Do not create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
6. Do not create pages with malicious proceedings as phishing or installing viruses, trojans or other malware.
7. Shun the pages “doorway” created only to be seen by search engines, or other types of websites such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
8. If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that will give users a reason to visit your website first.

8 rules to survive Penguin update of Google

Tips To Recover And Survive Google Penguin Updates

What really is Penguin’s objective?

One major reason for the Penguin update is to prevent over-optimization of links in terms of anchor text. Their algorithm aims at valuating links from relevant sites rather than non-relevant sites. The objective is to discourage overuse of anchor text and emphasize on niche/content relevancy of linking sites. Reliance on anchor text is no longer a deciding factor when it comes to SERP.

Getting your dates right

However, before we get all ‘hyper’ about linking the first thing is to check the dates since you noticed a change in traffic. A drop or an improvement in traffic after April 24th is an indicator that you have been hit by Penguin in a negative or positive way. Changes before this could be a result of Google’s Panda 3.5 update.

5 Jun 2012

Submit a Blogger(Blogspot)sitemap to Google webmaster tool

Step by step guide for blogger, WordPress and selfhosted WordPress blog to submit their blog’s sitemap to Google. So whenever you post new article (post), Google will get informed about your blog/site updates.In my last tutorial, you learned how to submit your blog/website to google through Google Webmaster Tool, next we step, we have to do is “Submit your sitemap to this tool. For this process first you need to learn what is sitemap, how to create sitemap for your blog. Process for creating sitemap is different for Blogspot (blogger), Free WordPress, Free weebly and Self-hosted WordPress. Here, is a guide for all platforms to create sitemap and submission to google. After adding my blog’s sitemap to google, I’ve seen 20% of traffic increases from google search engine, though my blog contains only 20 post..
Full instruction here: Submit a Blogger(Blogspot)sitemap to Google webmaster tool

2 Jun 2012

How to write a press release

Great article from Sam @ muchbetteradventures.com :

The press release is the primary way of letting journalists know your news – whether it’s a new product, something innovative or a bit of news which is of relevance.
There’s a standard way of writing them, which if followed, will increase your chance of it being read by the right journalist at the right time.
At Much Better Adventures we use the press release service from TravMedia. They are an online press release service which many travel journalists use to find press releases and also request information. We often reply to information requests, suggesting our members’ itineraries, however we also post press releases on behalf of our members.
To help you make the most of a press release opportunity, here are a few top tips to make sure yours is as good as it can be!

Full article here: How to write a press release

29 May 2012

'How to Invest in Guest Facing Technologies'

Smart TVs, Google TV and even IKEA TV - with all it’s versions TV is quite a mess nowadays. But that's not all: network infrastructure all of a sudden takes center stage - just think about the importance of WIFI on guests wish list (hey, we want it fast, secure and free) and the exploding bandwidth demand.
Smart TVs, Google TV and even IKEA TV - with all it’s versions TV is quite a mess nowadays. But that's not all: network infrastructure all of a sudden takes center stage - just think about the importance of WIFI on guests wish list (hey, we want it fast, secure and free) and the exploding bandwidth demand. 
Add new „must have“ mobile gadgets flooding the market every 3-6 months and you will admit the times we live in are a real blessing – although, primarily for „techies“.  
If you have to decide on the long run and invest in technology for very diverse but nonetheless demanding guests thats quite another story.
To help you steer through this disruptive times at-visions released a whitepaper about „How to invest in guest facing technology“ with main focuses on Hotel TV, integration of smart devices and internet access.  There is no absolute answer to this challenge but there are some principle ideas which might help a lot finding the best possible individual solutions for your property. 
Go to www.at-visions.com/how-to-invest and download the free white paper now (no registration needed).

Free Whitepaper for Hotels: 'How to Invest in Guest Facing Technologies'

Last-Click Attribution Models Give Marketers Incomplete Picture

Marketers are used to having to prove digital advertising’s worth, but findings from Econsultancy and Google Analytics suggest the majority of marketers worldwide failed to use attribution models that properly depict the influence of each ad format and marketing channel on the consumer’s purchase path.

Instead, they justified and planned digital marketing investment using last-click attribution models.
The last-click attribution model was the most common method used by marketers and agencies worldwide. Under this model, the last click receives full credit for any revenue generated.

Some last-click models factor in both marketing and paid advertising influences, but under the paid search last-click model, only paid ad formats such as search and display are credited. Social media or organic search clicks do not receive credit, which makes it difficult for marketers to justify investment and spend on non-advertising marketing tactics or to know from where else they are driving purchases

Last-Click Attribution Models Give Marketers Incomplete Picture - eMarketer

13 May 2012

A WordPress Theme Framework that Works: Genesis by StudioPress

If you’re building a website these days, you’re in luck.
WordPress has revolutionized the ease and power of what a website (or blog) can do and be. Now, with the emergence of theme frameworks, you can take WordPress even further (and even getmanaged WordPress hosting along with it).
As you’ll see in a moment, the Genesis Framework for WordPress is much more than a mere WordPress theme. It’s an underlyingframework of immaculate code that’s been built to achieve three important objectives.
Let’s take a look at each of these objectives, and why they matter to what you’re doing online …

A WordPress Theme Framework that Works: Genesis by StudioPress 

13 Jan 2012

4 Great Alternatives to Klout ~ LockerGnome

Klout has become the standard metric of “influence” for social media users. Although Klout can be beneficial for some businesses and other users of social media to ascertain the value of other Twitter and Facebook users, it is easy to game the system and create a falsely amplified score. If you’re looking for an alternative to Klout that has a more accurate interpretation of a social media user’s reach or impact, consider one of these other services instead.

Here: 4 Great Alternatives to Klout

Best Podcasts on Social Media

There are many ways to acquire information on the topic of social media ranging from blogs to books to Twitter. As part of our efforts to aggregate useful resources for Online Marketing Blog readers on topics related to digital PR, search and social marketing, we bring you this fine list of the best podcasts on social media.

Where did this list come from? I started out with a small list of my own and then reached out to the 5000+ people following @leeodden on Twitter as well as direct queries to some of the most respected social media marketing and public relations professionals on the web. The same podcasts were recommended repeatedly.

Of course it’s not really an official OMB “best” list until readers vote for their favorites. Please have a listen to the podcasts below and then take a moment and pick your favorite podcast on social media in our poll at the bottom of the list.

SocialMedia.biz – JD Lasica runs one of the oldest blogs on social media and produces a nice collection of videos and podcasts on social web platforms and people. (Subscribe)

For Immediate Release (FIR) - Every Monday and Thursday, UK based Neville Hobson and California based Shel Holtz come together for this well produced podcast covering PR and technology topics including social media issues and news of the day. (Subscribe)

Marketing over Coffee – This highly regarded podcast by marketing veterans John Wall and Christopher Penn covers both traditional and new media marketing/social media. (Subscribe)

Talk Social News – Kipp Bodnar and Wayne Sutton create and publish this weekly podcast about news and innovations in social media through interviews with industry leaders and also share their own opinions. (Subscribe)

Buzz Marketing for Technology – As Global Director of Integrated Marketing for BearingPoint, Paul Dunay has a lot to say about B2B marketing and social media through how to and interview podcasts. (Subscribe)

Managing the Gray – C.C. Chapman produces this marketing podcast focusing on new media, social marketing and PR with a mix of tips, insights and occasional interviews. (Subscribe)

Marketing Voices – Jennifer Jones runs a marketing consulting firm and has one of the few podcasts dedicated to social media and does so for Podtech. Her podcast talks about social media and how it is impacting marketing today through a series of insightful interviews. (Subscribe)

6 Pixels of Separation – Digital marketing rockstar Mitch Joel gives a “marketing wake up call” with with his expertise and insightful interviews on many social media centric topics from blogging to crowdsourcing. (Subscribe)

Across the Sound – Joseph Jaffe produces a weekly podcast that discusses the world of new marketing, media and PR. (Subscribe)

Marketing Edge Podcast – Albert Maruggi of Twin Cities based Provident Partners operates one of the longest running podcasts on marketing and PR but the focus is definitely on social media. (Subscribe)

Find and Convert – Bernie Borges publishes one of the few podcasts that combines social media and search engine marketing. (Subscribe)

New Comm Road - Bryan Person’s podcast about the best tools and tactics in new media (Subscribe)

DishyMix – Susan Bratton interviews successful media and internet execs, many of which are involved with social media. (Subscribe)

Be the Voice – David Spark produces a very interesting mix of interviews with social media luminaries and thought leaders. (Subscribe)

User Friendly Thinking – Bizzuka CEO John Munsell and marketing director Paul Chaney discuss topics congruent with their company services including web design, content management, Internet marketing and social media through discussion and interviews. (Subscribe)

Inside PR - Toronto PR professionals Terry Fallis and David Jones along with appearances by Martin Waxman and Julie Rusciolelli combine expertise and wit to create this public relations podcast that focuses on their observations of and experiences with social media in the PR world. (Subscribe)

Best Podcasts on Social Media