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Social Networks strategy for GlobalJourneys

Social media’s popularity is still growing and connecting people from all over the world. People are driven to their followers/friends/favourite blogs as they are more and more to spend time on social networks.

According to Nielsen Company Report, a global information and measurement company, today nearly 4 in 5 active internet users visit social networks and blogs.

The influence of social media and networks is then proven true and corporation should not underestimate the benefits they can bring about.

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Still a fervent and enthusiast consultant for GlobalJourneys and its social media strategy, I have so far: ūüôā

  • elaborated a micro blogging strategy to promote GlobalJourneys marketing campaigns
  • input an external wiki strategy aimed to create an attractive content about useful words needed when travelling and aimed also to gather a community and generate traffic around the brand presence on web

In this article I will tackle the last but not least objective of GlobalJourneys that is to improve communication between partners and customers through social networks using.

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First of all the global travelling agency encounters issues to communicate well with its travel tour partners because of the distance. Indeed, the company has to deal and negotiate prices with people from all the continents as it provides package tour in Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Oceania. Moreover, knowing the face and interests the person you are corresponding with can be so advantageous when dealing prices.

Then, costumer’s relationship and satisfaction is also difficult to maintain for the same reasons cited above.

No need to be a genius to understand how effective social networks would be to solve those issues and improve communication between partners and costumer. ūüėČ According to James Watson: “Facebook and LinkedIn are the most popular but there are many niche networks on specific topics”. His reflexion made me think about how to use those niche networks for GlobalJourneys as it has its business on a specific topic: travel. I decided to focused on Pinterest and Flickr, which are may be not niche networks anymore but are focused on a specific topics: share of picture. Indeed, we can easy relate picture to travel!

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For now, GlobalJourneys is present  but not very active on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. However, a lot of other social networks exist and would be relevant to use for a travel agency company.


LinkedIn: adding all the partners they are working with on LinkedIn will build a community on LinkedIn around travelling and help Global Journeys to find new partners. It will help also employees to know better who they are dealing with as they will be able to know collaborator’s interests and to build a relationship. Moreover, such a community on LinkedIn will be visible by others and potential customers.

Pinterest: the scrapbooking site is still growing in traffic, attracting more and more people. It is a very appealing network because it is visual: everyone can appreciate and discover with pictures people’s hobbies, passions and interests. Perfect for a travel agency company. Actually, Global Journeys would not to the first one to use Pinterest as a social media strategy. Indeed, Andrew Hackey social manager at G Adventures, reckons their Pinterest strategy as a success as it increased their popularity on Facebook¬† and adds it brought also a “positive feedback coming from our customers”. Therefore, Global Journeys should also share its pictures on the Travel category of Pinterest and encourage people to repin their favorite pictures. It is also in the corporation interest to suggest its customer to follow it, they will then be able the pictures of the places they have been to with the travel agency or¬† the places they would like to go to and may choose to travel again with GlobalJourneys!

Flickr: Flickr reputation is not to be done anymore. 50 million registered members and 80 million unique visitors. As this network is also a visual one, the travel agency could take advantage of it and share its pictures from all over the world. Then, it can create and join groups within Flickr to become more visible. Finally, to be able to be associated with the most beautiful pictures, the company can request others to add pictures to its group. Moreover, GlobalJourneys can also create pools on Flickr about future destination for instance. This will definitely engage potential costumers!

For a travel agency selling trips all over the world, it is easy to make people dream. Pictures and social networks together are a great tool that GlobalJourneys should use more. It will help the company to have more traffic on its website, to have more likes on Facebook and more followers on Twitter. In a nutshell, this strategy will appeal costumers.
May be it can work out for other companies as well? other sectors?
What do you think?
A debate/brainstorming can be raised!

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GlobalJourneys team’s other social network strategies are here, here, here and here!

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References:

Nielsen Company Report

Travel companies see potential in scrapbooking site Pinterest

Wiki strategy for Global Journeys

Wikis reputation is not to be done anymore: they are efficient to organize and coordinate work or a project. Their main characteristic is the possibility for each user to add, edit or delete the content of the wiki and are therefore useful for team work. Google docs for instance has helped several of teams I have been part of to realise amazing and remarkable projects. ūüėČ

How can they be used a corporation to reach its objective and be part of a strategy? James Watson, in his lecture, said wikis are “not suitable for structured workflow, where steps happen in pre-defined sequence and require authorisation, sign off, version control”. According to him, we can’t use wikis to the financial module of GlobalJourneys or its customer registration process. We had to think to a particular process the company use or create another one that could fit the use of wiki.

Within the framework of Global Journey consultancy project, my team and I have elaborated several strategies using wikis which will ensure the achievement of its objective cited in my previous article.

To attract more regular traffic on the website and the Twitter and Facebook pages, a solution would be to create an original, attractive and original wiki. As Global Journeys organise world-wide trip, a relevant wiki is about language teaching. Indeed, Global Journeys can write the most useful phrases each traveller needs to survive in a foreign country. The company can then encourage customer to add others one that would have been interesting to know and then may relate it to an anecdote to make the wiki more interactif.

The wiki will be divided into themes (why not country) and everyone registered will be able to add a useful information.

Where someone books for a trip, he is advised by mail to register to the wiki as he will find some useful information and after his trip a link to the wiki is emailed again to encourage him to bring his contribution.

The wiki will also be accessible from the Twitter page and the Facebook page and the Global Journeys team will promote. The team will also make sure no bad or deformed vocabulary is written thanks to frequent rereadings. They will use revision history from the change log.

The wiki will attract more and more traffic as the database of vocabulary will improve and increase and may become a promotion tool if even people travelling on their own hear about the wiki: they may choose their next trip with Global Journeys!

Et voila ! ūüôā

Do you have other ideas of using wikis? Share them with me ! ūüôā

Blogging strategy suggested for Global Journeys

Global Journeys is an Australian company specialized in the organization of coach-tours and river-cruise all over the world. They are collaborating with carefully chosen tours operators.

They focus a lot on customers service and are very active on replying to expectancies on Facebook (they most of the time reply within 24 hours) but they less than 300 likes. However, they are quite absent on Twitter as they only tweeted 23 times and have 23 followers of whom I belong. ^^

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With my co-workers, Leo, Sukshan, Prapat and Kiki, I have identified several relevant challenges the Enterprise 2.0 strategy of the company that are :

  1. Engaging with customers
  2. Customer satisfaction : be available and answer to customers expectancies
  3.  Active web presence and updating : improve visibility
  4.  Attractive and relevant Information
  5.  Marketing & Campaigns
  6.  Reputation

After research on the company and several analyses, we concluded that even though Global Journeys tries to focus on customers satisfaction and is available on Facebook, the company is almost invisible for the non customers and the potential future customers. Actually, we noticed that it will be easy for the travel agency to increase its web presence.

We identified very soon that micro blogging is the perfect tool for the company to improve its web visibility. Moreover, micro blogging will help to promote easily and in a cheap way a marketing campaign. Indeed, via Twitter and Facebook sharing to its followers some deals or information is easy.

In order to answer to these challenges, we have identified 5 strategies. Each of us will tell and explain furthermore one idea. You can find the other strategies we developed here, here, here and here. ūüôā

The strategy I will develop in this article concerns the 1., 2., 3.

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Strategy #3 : Using micro blogging to promote marketing campaigns.

Global Journeys does not have time or money to hire an agency and develop an ad campaign. Micro blogging is the solution for the company. Indeed, it is less time and money consuming as once it is launch a large spread of worth-of-mouth can be expected. In order to increase the number of like/followers and become more visible, the company can create a marketing campaign with micro blogging.

Several success stories can be cited on promoting a brand thanks to micro blogging. Adam Brain, head of all the revenue for Twitter, has revealed the main strategies to adopt on the subject. For a travel company such as Global Journeys, the relevant advices I have considered are :

  • create and use the brand hashtag (eg. #GlobalJourneys)
  • use of promoted tweets
  • use a promoted account

What does promoted mean? A promoted tweet will appear at the top of a research or will stay first in the stream of your followers. A promoted account will be suggested to Twitter users in the suggestion tab.

As the promotion on Twitter is not free, our team had to think about other strategies Global Journeys could use to promote its brand using micro blogging.

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Special recommendations from the Enterprise 2.0 consultant team :

Twitter :

  • Create some deals under the hashtag #deals. The tip is to ask Twitter users to follow Global Journeys page and then increase considerably the number of followers. As the deal can be weekly or monthly, you can attract the customer regularly. It creates an engagement from the customer as he might take a look at Twitter expecting new deals.
  • Display weekly the tips everyone should know when travelling. For instance, how to avoid to be ripped off in some situation or extra unknown places without tourists… As in the previous recommendation, it will create a weekly traffic on the Twitter¬†profile¬†and attract followers.

Facebook : the same deals created on Twitter can be spread on Facebook as well and attract more and more consumers.

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References :

Adam Bain : head of all the revenue for Twitter

Build the brand with promoted account

Let’s disclose some airport social media strategies

When you plan a trip, do you really care about which airport you want to go through?

Before I came to Australia, I was more concerned about the price than the airport I would land on, as long as it was in Brisbane! ^^

Actually, airports do many efforts in order to attract customers. On second thoughts, an airport can make customers feel like travelling by plane more often, make them feel like being in the airport is already visiting and discovering new places. And if you travel for business, as you visit a lot of airport, you may be able to appreciate more the airport effort for customer satisfaction.

I searched some strategies some airport develop with Enterprise 2.0 tools and what are their goals and I found 5 important ones :

  • engaging with customers : empowering customers that lead to¬†build a community (more and more customers)
  • web presence : free advertising for the airport ; branding
  • customers service : customers satisfaction is a key point
  • crisis management : in case of bad weather condition for instance, airport have to keep in touch as much as possible with their customers
  • revenue : no need to explain ūüėČ

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To achieve these goals, some airports have had very nice ideas:

London Gatwick Airport:  a big screen displays its twitter page. This way, people can tweet about issues that need attention and the airport can reply and try to solve the problems. Every customer in the airport can then be aware the efforts the company deploy in order to fulfill their expectancies. This improves considerably customers satisfaction for those who tweet and also those who just see the screen as they know the company is very attentive.

Changi Airport: in order to promote their largest shopping mall, they organized a flash mob performance. The flash mob was supposed to represent what it would feel to win 1 million $! 400 performers came to run the show. You can see the video here. The event built an entire community around the big shopping area and as the video has been seen 350000 times, it is also free advertising.

Manchester Airport: during the volcanic cloud ashes crisis in ¬†2010, Twitter has helped a lot the company to keep in touch with their customers. Indeed, it used Twitter stream as a news stream because the first source of dissatisfaction in those crisis period is the lack of information displayed. It helped a lot to calmed down the customers. After that, the airport has been ranked as the World’s number one airport on Twitter. This way they achieve to manage the crisis and to improve their customers satisfaction.

There are I think very interesting strategies which will certainly help some INB students of my class ūüėČ

You can click the link below for more success stories on airport Enterprise 2.0 strategies.

INB students! First of all you have to define your goal!

If you had to work on one strategy between focus on customer satisfaction, financial focus or internal business process focus, what would you choose in prior?

You can comment and argue on this page! ūüôā

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Resources :

Top 10 social initiatives by airports

Manchester takes off with top Twitter status

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Adoption of Enterprise 2.0 : how to success?

Even though some issues can be met when adopting social media tools within a company, don’t forget about the numerous benefits :

  • time-saving,
  • increase of collaboration amongst employees,
  • higher employees engagement,
  • diminution of company email,
  • increase of connections between need and knowledge
  • … and so on !

While keeping in mind those advantages, we will tackle the issues when adopting Enterprise 2.0 tools.
The most important hindrance is the employee adoption. Indeed, if they are not given the incentive to adopt those tools, the company is heading to disaster.

Those are summarized in 6 advices :

  1. Help from the top: senior executives are drivers
  2. Helping user to scale: organization should not try to scale up what they prefer but wait to see if it works amongst employees before.
  3. Place it in the workflow:  by online team communication, project updates or reporting
  4. Appeals to ego and needs: instead of money which make participation non qualitative
  5. Target users: choose champions: enthusiastic users with a rich personal network
  6. Balance risk management approach: maintain the right balance between freedom and control : Social Media Policy.

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To illustrate the need of follow these tips, I have selected some enterprise cases.

   Example #1 : Telefónica O2 is a European telecommunication company. In 2010, they decided to adopt Yammer, an Enterprise Social Network tool designed for company collaboration, file sharing, knowledge exchange and team efficiency. It is a clone of Twitter that displays a topic centred content : microblogging.

In order to make the adoption easier and perennial, Mark Allotey, now Manager of Internal Digital Platforms (tip #1), asked the heaviest users of social media tools already existing within the company to become Champions in order to enhance motivation among their collaborators (tip #5). He also used gamification in order to get more people online and active on the platform (tip #4).

Now Telefónica O2 has 32,000 Yammer  members in UK and Europe and 34% are active.

   Example #2 : Microblogging via Yammer at CPA Australia : adopted at first by a few employees in order to get use to the functionality and to begin a word-on-mouth process (tip #5). Then CPA launched invitation to all the employees to use the tool.

One year after, 66% of the employees where members at the platform and surprisingly the  Participation Inequality Rule (Neilson 2006) was beaten up as instead of the 10% contributors in most of the social media communities, CPA had 35% of its employees active users of the platform in 2010.

   Example #3 : Google wanted to enhance the use of social media tools by its employees. The giant decided not to reward them with financial bonus knowing it would lead to irrelevant, low quality and non sustainable contribution. Instead, the company decided to incorporate use of blogs and wikis in the workflow by using them as reports for employees work ( tip #3).

This way, using social media become part of their job and was not consider any more as in addition of their daily tasks.

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I have already tackled the Social Media Policy necessity in a previous article (here) (tip #6) in order to avoid all the risks related by the online presence of a brand.

One point forgotten by the case study I have analysed is the particular use of social media tools by seniors employees. If seniors users are drivers, most of seniors employees do not master social media tools and need more time to learn about them. When only 66% of a company employees can receive information about team communication and project updates, it means that 33% are not really aware of the company evolution.

I think it is a pervasive issue and companies should focus on reaching a 100% employees membership of the platform and should provide training for those who do not find these tools intuitive. It would be my tip #7 as a future Enterprise 2.0 consultant ! ūüôā

What do you think about it? ūüôā

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References :

Replacing the water cooler: connecting through enterprise microblogging

A Case Study of Micro-blogging in the Enterprise: Use, Value, and Related Issues

Six ways to make Web 2.0 work

Adopting Enterprise 2.0: A Case Study on Microblogging

Legacy risks in Social Media for the Olympics

Having a Social Media Policy for is an incontrovertible asset an organization must have. Indeed, we cannot ignore that employees and other stakeholders use social media tools every day and can be associated to our brand and reputation.

I have been very interested by IOC (International Olympic Committee) because the elaboration of the Social Media Policy for such a wide organization is very difficult. Especially for the London Olympics Games which have been the first Olympics to focus on social media and have been hyped as the ‚Äúworld‚Äôs first Social Games‚ÄĚ.

Major risks related to the use of Social Media for the organization have to be considered. On a lecture at QUT, Malcom Burrows, lawyer from DundasLawyers company and specialized in legal issues faced by organizations in Social Media, has enumerated the essentials risks an organization could face. I have selected some of the risks among those he defined I judged appropriated for IOC.

-Major Risks :

  • False content and/or misleading behaviour
  • Reputation Risks
  • Breaches of the Privacy Act : protect integrity of the athletes
  • Discrimination
  • Loss of confidential information : disclosure of confidential information or personal information
  • Ambush marketing

To reduce those risks, IOC has created Social Media Blogging and Internal Guidelines . This policy define the scope of the authorized use of social media  in particular by the athletes. The rule #40 has especially created issues : it stipulates that athletes could not tweet, post ang blog about any brand. Numerous athletes have fought against particularly on Twitter with the hashtags #rule40 #WeDemandChange2012.

In this particular case, the Social Media Policy is double-edge because it is such a wide and public event that searching to control information as photos and videos is hopeless. However, during this world wide event, it was necessary to have a policy in order to:

  • Maintain athletes to their amateur status
  • Avoid marketing around the scope design by the official sponsors of the Olympics
  • Prevent unauthorized commercialisation of the Games
  • Protect the integrity of the athletes
  • Protect the spirit of the Olympic Games

When a company can dismiss an employee if he did not respect the Social Media Policy, the IOC has known some difficulties to make it apply. Indeed, if IOC cannot fire an athlete, it cannot also take back medals or threaten with a fine because of the bad branding it could bring. Here are two examples of the utility of having a Social Media Policy with raising the difficulty to administer.

   Example #1 : For instance, this Social Media Policy has let to dismiss Voula Papachristou for her racial comments during the Games. Indeed, The Olympics Games are symbols for tolerance, gathering, open-mindedness and should not be a field for discriminate behaviours. Then, Social Media Policy was an incontrovertible asset in order to react and dismiss the athlete from the competition.

¬† ¬†Example #2 :¬†But the Social Media Policy in the particular case of the Games is also difficult to make apply. For example, the advertising campaign for Louis Vuitton mused by Michael Phelps, which is not an official sponsors for the Games was difficult to manage. The IOC have claimed for a sanction for this abusive behaviour but have undermined its reputation because as Phelps is adulated by the public, the organization could not penalize him by taking back his medals for instance. That was a perilous situation that the Social Media Policy even though well defined, could not settle…

Those two examples show the importance of having a Social Media Policy in order to reduce the risks but establish that it cannot erase them especially for such a world wide public event. You have also to deal with reputation.

In what way do you think Rio could learn a lesson from London Olympics in order to monitor social media using in a more effective and less likely way  to uprise athletes angriness ?

If you have any ideas, leave a comment ! ūüėČ

How IBM successes to enhance its employees enthusiasm

Nothing like the best multinational technology corporation to illustrate how can a company implement Enterprise 2.0 tools in order to achieve productivity,to regulate its reputation and manage to passion its employees.

I think we can learn a lot of this big company !

In his article, Casey Hibbard lists all the social media tools that IBM make available for all its employees. I sum up them into a potential strategy applied by the giant corporation. Its strategy? Creating branding via its IMBers interaction with customers.

The 2 main key of its strategy would be :

  • loss of control
  • empower

1- loss of control : IBM do not own a Twitter account or an official blog ! The presence of IBM on the web is only due to IBMers who  use Entreprise 2.0 tools to interact with customer. IBM make available a blogging platform for all its employees and do not control them. Actually it come true that they regulate themselves. They only have a social media guideline which get onto each one responsibility and releasing property information prohibit.

And it works ! They are 100 000 to blog on internal blogs and 200 000 on LinkedIn.

2- empower : to encourage the IMBers to be active on the web and to improve IBM branding, the corporation try to make them feel belonging to the company and its values. Good tips they use to achieve this aim are :

  1. let IBMers elaborate the social media guidelines
  2. offer them many tools to express themselves
  3. offer them opportunities

Indeed, IBM provide tools as :

  • a blogging platform,
  • an internal wiki,
  • a social bookmarking site Dogear,
  • a by-product of Twitter that is ¬†Blue Twitt and
  • a by-product of Facebook that is Social Blue.

I have taken a look to the blogging plateform and actually a lot of employees post regularly on their blog about their activities within the company but also their passion. The company seems more human this way! All these tools enable employees to create a good branding for IBM without any control.

IBM provide also some opportunities as the company ‘jams‘, a 3 days event where every employee can express themselves on an online forum. This experience have been successful and have provided very constructive content, according to IBM.

This seems to be a great way to enhance employees faith for the company!

I just hope that nevertheless, IBM checks¬†continuously¬†the blogging activities of its employees… Because their contribution must stay positive in every circumstances (even if the company is in a crisis period!).

Actually, I have taken a look at some rateyourcompany¬†websites and IBM is not so well graded… That means even though the internal tools provide a good branding because of the guidelines, if there is an opportunity to rate the company in an external way , the employees may be more negative. There is always a risk of a negative impact on branding.

Finally, IBM provide all these tools and opportunities in order to assure itself that its employees will not use others, external ones, that let more negative branding about the company. It seems worth it ! Don’t you think?

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