Travel Trends – .youarecrazy, Social Media Survey, Consumers Don’t Trust Blogs*

.youarecrazy – Finally, a few more rational individuals, and in this case organizations, have begun to question ICANN’s absurd recommendation of additional top level domains.  Domains such as .delta, .motel or the ever-popular, .courtyardbymarriott.

The Association of National Advertisers is sounding a big warning about a proposal to open up top level internet domain names from the current ones like .com, .net and .org to a wide assortment of character strings.

…the switch would create an expensive nightmare for marketers, raising cyber-squatting and copyright issues that could cost marketers considerable money to fight.

Hopefully comments and concerns such as this one will cause ICANN to reconsider the current domain extension plan.

Social Media Usage in the Travel Industry – Our counterparts at GoSeeTell are currently surveying members and peers within the travel industry on their current usage, strategy and thoughts on social media and social media marketing.

Numerous studies claim that social media sites like the ones mentioned above have a huge impact on buying behaviors, especially for travel products.  How are destination marketing organizations (DMOs) reacting? What are best practices? Is this a fad or is social media here to stay? To find out answers we have put together this survey. It is being sent to over 100 DMOs all over the United States.  The purpose of this research is to determine the current use of social media in the US tourism industry.

So, if you are a CVB or DMO within the US, please consider taking the survey.  Data and reports such as this one will benefit the entire industry as we develop new marketing channels.

People Don’t Trust Company Blogs – Crap.  Really?  Only 16% of you trust our company blog? By this point, most of you have seen the report from Forrester that consumers don’t trust company blogs.  Thankfully, Forrester went on to explain that stance:

Make no mistake. This is not a plea to give up on blogging.

It is a plea to be thoughtful in how and why you blog.

…This means that if you blog, your goal should be to create a blog about which people say “I like that – I don’t think of it as a company blog…

Perfect.  Honestly, who wants to read a blog that does nothing but praise the Duracell battery company (for example) and how innovative it is?  No one.  Consumers want some kind of value in return for their time spent reading the blog.  Quality content.

If you have hordes of fans, blog for them. For the other 99% of brands it doesn’t apply.

The same idea of passion that we have talked about in relation to SMS marketing and Facebook also applies here.  Hordes of fans = passionate.  Or, they will read a blog about your product.  Case in point, the Coca-Cola Conversations blog.  A blog dedicated to Coke history and memorabilia.

Blogging is still an excellent medium to connect, market and converse about your product, but only becomes truly beneficial with quality content and conversation from a consumer point of view.

As for the *, while the statistic of 16% is a headline maker, it does not tell the whole story.  So, don’t plan on breaking out that little chestnut of knowledge at your next board meeting…unless you have time for the rest of the story.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.