social media (29)

Is Travel on Twitter Getting Tired?

9008783866?profile=originalLet me get my "conspiracy theory" out here first: Imperialistic, giant players like Google, Twitter, Facebook build  social nets to ensnare us into doing their bidding by populating them to an extreme, which in turn makes big bucks for them. Are we then willing tools of their master plan to do their bidding?

But to lighten up, it may simply be that I'm on social media overload. Or maybe I'm struggling to find relevance with the travel category in Twitter.
But when I look at streams on, say, #so

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9008745469?profile=originalOr, Are Facebook and Twitter a Waste of Time for the Travel Marketer?

How surprising is this: In the second half of last year, fewer that 1% of visitors arrived at a hotel or travel booking site, "via a social media link or a link shared by by a friend," reports

Does this mean hotels are wasting their time chasing the Holy Grail of Twitter and Facebook? Could be.

We love our friends' photos and status updates, the report goes on to say, and it's very true that social media

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I noticed that most every time I  stray outside the narrow range of “Travel on Twitter” topics, I’m unfollowed.

When I question someone’s viewpoint, for example, or offer an alternative way of looking at a travel topic, I get into Twitter trouble.

Recently I raised a question about a traveler’s Tweet which expressed her love of horses and pate.. and how she loved to eat horsemeat pate.

What followed was an aggressive flurry of “mind your own business” comments from the Twitter universe, or “don’

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Travel is measurably one of Facebook’s fastest growing, strongest vertical, and this is the year Facebook will target travel as a major sales initiative.

As we reported in New Media Travel recently, impressively, 52% of the site’s users said that when they view Facebook, they already “started dreaming about a holiday even when they didn’t have one booked. And 95% use Facebook for ‘travel related activities’ prior to going on vacation.”

So what’s the bad news?

“Travel related activities,” may not me

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Place Pins Pushes Pinterest Into Travel

It’s pretty amazing that Pinterest is valued at 3.8 billion dollars, even though it has no revenue. 
But that hasn’t stopped the popular image-driven site from expanding its reach into travel.  

The company, started in 2009, has more traffic from its mobile applications than its website, and co- founder Evan Sharp went so far as to say Pinterest is "probably the last big website...the last start up to become high-profile on the web.”

With the company's recent roll out of Place Pins, the more th

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Anatomy of a Twitter Suspension


Anatomy of a Twitter Suspension

So it begins innocently enough.

I Try to send a Tweet from an active, important  account I manage. The Tweet doesn’t send.

Error Message: “There was an error sending…please select the Social Network and try again.”

So  I try,  and try again.

Then it slowly dawns on me:  There’s more here than meets the eye.
I sign into the account, and there it is: “Your Account Has Been Suspended.”

Caution light flashes: The suspension occurred the day after I published a mildly critic

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Does Twitter Make You Paranoid?


Someone in my home feed on Twitter only posted the number of followers he/she gained. And the number of followers he/she lost. Every day

"Today I lost 5 Followers and gained 3."
"Today I lost 1 Follower and gained 0."
And so it went.

The steady drumbeat of the daily report fascinated me: I wanted to know why these followers came on board or jumped ship.
I wanted to know why they followed and unfollowed this rather humorous, clever person.

Then of course I started seriously to wonder the same ab

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Will buying an airline ticket soon be as personalized as buying a suit from a sales person? Probably, as trends go.

It's no surprise that airlines want to personalize their relationships to their customers. If they can figure out how, it would be a huge step toward making the ticket-buying process a lot more individualized, and rewarding.

And why shouldn't it be?
After all, buy a book from Amazon or any savvy online retailer, and you're guided to other books you might like based on your readin

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Social Media Powers Family-Travel Trends


by Kyle McCarthy (Family Travel Forum) and Kaleel Sakakeeny

Forty-four per cent of adults bring children (and grandchildren) along on leisure travels. Taken as a group, they take more trips per year (4.5)
than business travelers (3.9), Gen Y (3.9) or Gen X travelers (3.5), according to the 2012 Portrait of American Travelers (MMGY Global/Harrison Group).

Parents, fueled by social media, are becoming more vocal, more demanding and more interested in what travel businesses can do for them and their

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In essence, travelers will create and share their own travel experience. They, not tourism officials or travel writers, will shape and determine the nature and quality of travel.

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis , Director of the eTourism Lab at Bounemouth University (UK) , tells us what we already intuit: the world "is going to be totally interactive, using personalization, context information and inter-connected devices" that will change the face of travel, already a dynamic, fragmented industry.

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We reported frequently in New Media Travel that hotels notoriously use photos of empty swimming pools, restaurants and rooms in their marketing material for fear of offending potential customers. Their thinking is that couples without children, for example, will be discouraged by pictures with children in them, while families may be be turned off by photos  featuring adults.

Enter Socialgraphics which claims the days of travel marketers having only the basic customer information they ask for, a

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What would you guess most determines how we choose a hotel? Price? Location? Recommendation by a friend or someone else?

In a connected social media world, it's surprising to discover that what our friends, and friends of friends recommend, say on Facebook or other sharing platforms, counts for only 6.8 % in determining what influences our hotel choices.
"Past experience" weighs in at 11.9%.

In truth, according to what actually influences a hotel choice is location.
For exa

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9008749894?profile=originalRadio Netherlands"There are more than 40 million widows in India - 10 percent of the country's female population. And for the majority of these women, life is what some have described as a "living sati", a reference to the now outlawed practice of widow burning."

Enter Nicki and Kria.

Blog Entry: Late January: BostontoBindis

"Thursday night Nicki and I sat in front of a group of about fifty widows and single women. They sang for us, covered our shoulders in white shawls, had us light a cand

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New England is not an easy place to get to know, especially in its winters when the dark and the cold and the snow hold the land in a formidable grasp, and the people disappear into their homes and cafes for months.

But that can also be the fun part of New England, and especially the iconic state of New Hampshire

Here the spirit of Robert Frost is alive and well, his woods fill with snow, are dark and deep, and the lights on the landscape come from villages in the hills,  and especially old in

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You can’t blame travel suppliers and companies for their myopia.  For all too many years they’ve had a Pavlovian response to their brands: promote them, and get around to taking care of customers later.

Or maybe never.

In spite of all the brouhaha that suggested social media is the way to connect with and service customers, the facts speak differently, according to

They report that 62% of customers are looking for more support through social media. But, brand reputation an

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Of Twitter, Burgers and Hotels

From NMT Images
Of Twitter, Burgers and Hotels

I don't much like case studies. The ones that business school students labor through.

I prefer the kinds of quick case studies I get in Entrepreneur magazine.

In his “Talk of the Town” column in this month’s magazine small business “thought leader,” Chris Brogan, talks about Joe Sorge who runs AJ Bombers, a burger place in Milwaukee.

Sorge does with Twitter something close to what we reported Chicago and other cities are doing with Foursquare.

He trolls
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Travel’s Problem With Pinterest


First, we’re glad Pinterest  backtracked.  Pinterest’s  pinmeister and co-founder,  Ben Silberman, is no longer asking  followers to " avoid self promotion."

The CEO and his fellow pinners are saying that  the Pinterest etiquette that frowned on pinning ones own content, is dead.

Originally, the fast-growing site wanted its members, as put it, “to share all the beautiful things they find on the web,”  and eschew pinning their own content, thus the advice against “self promot

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What's So Great About Pinterest?


There are two common questions I hear often as a Social Media Consultant:

1 – What is Pinterest?

2 – What do I do with Pinterest?

Pinterest is actually not new. It was conceptualized by Ben Silberman and Paul Sciarra in 2009. They originally tested in on a College crowd and then in live form to the public shortly thereafter. Remarkably they now enjoy 11.7 million unique visitors and it is one of the fastest growing and most popular Social Media (listed in Top 10) Sites.

So on Pinterest, you

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For this year Tnooz shares a study done by Simpliflying where they analyzed the data from a recent EyeforTravel report understanding how travel companies are approaching social media in 2012.

Here are some interesting findings from the study, Social Media and Mobile Strategies for the Travel Industry 2011:

  • Location-based services such as Foursquare will be huge this year. Almost half of all the airlines surveyed wish to increase their presence in location-based social networks in 2012 (they’re goi
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There’s no doubt marketers and brand managers are spending lots of human and real capital to leverage the power of Social Sites, especially Facebook and Twitter. But does it do them any good? Meaning, do consumers promote brands via Social Media regardless of how hard those brands try to get in front of consumers?

eMarketer says very clearly that 57.8 % of US Facebook users had not mentioned a brand in their status updates as of October 2011. reports the same figures in its

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