Travel Trends – Social Fallacies, Smaller DMOs, Leading Hotels, Benchmarking, Disneyland Gets twitterjacked

Social Fallacies - A great post from our colleague Jason Baer at on the 6 Dangerous Fallacies of Social Media.  Here is the teaser, click to Jason’s blog for the full post.  A must read for anyone who is planning a social media marketing strategy…which would be all of you!

1. Social Media is Inexpensive
2. Social Media is Fast
3. Social Media is “Viral Marketing”
4. Social Media results can’t be measured
5. Social Media is optional
6. Social media is hard

Great stuff, thanks Jason.

Are Smaller DMOs Adopting New Tech Faster? – Another interesting blog post from Stephen Joyce at T4.  A bit techie (a lot of big words!), but an interesting subject to consider.  Here is a good quote from the post:

Many of the DMOs in established North American and European markets have invested heavily over the years in technologies and strategies that are now becoming outdated.  The problem that arises is that there are positions and processes that are tied to the technology that cannot be readily replaced with new emerging technologies.  Given that these organizations are often publicly funded, they are also tied to a strict process of due diligence and vendor screening.

When Promos Go Bad – From Ad Age comes the story of how the hotel group Leading Hotels of the World was overwhelmed by a $19.28 per night offer.

In a case study of how technology can sometimes fail a brand, Leading Hotels of the World — with 450 luxury hotels in North, South and Central America; Asia; Europe; and Africa — advertised a promotion last month to celebrate its 80th anniversary. It offered consumers a chance to win two nights at any of its properties between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15 for $19.28 each night.

Some 150,000 people registered for the promo and were directed to a dedicated site Oct. 1 to attempt to book the $19.28 rooms.

The site crashed almost immediately. Most people were shut out; those who did get into the site were not able to book any rooms.

“Consequently, consumers have a shorter fuse, so it’s critical to execute with near perfection and never mismanage expectations.”

For anyone thinking about an ‘out-of-the-box’ online promo, perhaps a quick read of this article is a good idea.  And making sure your servers can handle the added traffic.

Viral Benchmarks Prove Elusive, Study Says – Newsflash! Agencies and organizations are still having a hard time measuring ‘viral’ campaigns.  Possibly more reassuring than encouraging, a new study highlights the vast differences that exist when it comes to benchmarking viral campaigns.

“The survey shows there’s still a lot of unknowns and differences of opinion about viral video,” said Josh Warner, president of Feed Co., “by agencies, brands and even within the different departments of agencies.” Warner added that for most the uncertainty hasn’t dimmed enthusiasm for the marketing method. “Clearly, for many, the value of the viral video isn’t in dispute, as long as it’s well executed,” he said.

More than half of the agencies surveyed (56 percent) said they were pleased by the results of previous viral efforts; only 3 percent were displeased. But the level of viewing to benchmark success varies considerably, Warner points out. Twenty-eight percent of respondents considered 1 million views successful; around 22 percent each would settle for 500,000, 250,000 or 100,000 views.

Of course, 1 million views for one CVB would be amazing, but that same campaign might be a failure for another.  Perhaps an easy way to evaluate the success of a viral campaign or (some) social media would be to look at the total number of views (which is always growing) and compare that against your current web traffic.  What percentage increase in web traffic or, in this case interaction with your brand / organization, would you consider a success?  If you receive 1 million visitors a year, would a viral campaign that resulted in 100,000 views or 10% increase in brand interaction be considered a success?  For most of us the percentage increase would probably be under 5%, but factor in the work / cost and it could be considered a success.

A rough way to determine ROI to be sure, but at least a way to place your viral campaign in perspective, rather than against a larger competitor.

Twitterjacked! – A short and perfect example of how to protect your social media footprint.  While on twitter the other day, I came across the @disneyland account.  Unfortunately, the team in Burbank / Anaheim does not own the account, which is apparent by the one and only tweet posted:

Please contact if you’re interested in this Twitter account.

Or, get out the checkbook.

Even if you never plan to post or use Twitter, make sure you own your name so that no one else can profit from it.  Register, set the profile to private and hold on to that name.

Plus, you can even check your username or destination name across most of the major social sites in one spot: It could not be easier.

Don’t get Twitterjacked!

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.