‘Likes’ on social media are a currency of sort with people and brands alike. Having a huge amount of followers is considered tantamount to success. But is it really?
Is there more to social media than we see on the surface or is it just a game of numbers, customer’s whims and constantly changing trends?
Statistics reveal that quality content and customer engagement is more important than numbers of followers because the latter can be gamed by social media users. According to this article:
- Engaged customers frequent their favourite casual dining restaurants 56% more per month than actively disengaged customers.
- Engaged customers are 28% more likely to visit their favourite fast-food restaurants every month than actively disengaged customers.
- Engaged hotel guests spend 46% more per year than actively disengaged guests.
Social media has changed the face of advertising. From an optional medium that’s often dismissed to the star of a campaign, social media has travelled far in the world of marketing.
Travel brands have been quick to jump onto the social media ‘brandwagon’.
With the avalanche of social media networks in our lives, and it’s multiplying popularity as a medium to connect with people, travel brands, too, have made their presence felt in this virtual marketplace.
Each brand has built up its symphony, though most sing a repetitive note. It’s up to brands to set themselves apart and make music with the world.
Some campaigns have wooed us with their creativity and panache.
What makes these different from the rest? It is the realization that the quality of engagement makes all the difference.
Brands must court customers like lovers and each has a different style.
As in the quote, most brands follow the herd and clamour for attention in a repetitious manner. Many forget that they need to stand out.
In the rat race for likes, shares, engagement and going viral, they forget that music must be made, instead of a standard formula of paid and sponsored posts promoted by influencers.
These are just tools. It’s what you do with them that matters.
The way forward is clear, once you stop looking at the numbers and take a multi-dimensional approach. These brands have identified goals and communication strategies based on what their goals are.
Engagement is at the core of success.
Content has to be dynamic and interactive in order to engage customers who are bombarded with brands all the time. The correct use of hashtags and keywords can work miracles to catapult a brand to stardom and success.
A whole lot of factors unite to make a campaign successful. Apart from reaching a lot of people, you have to reach the right ones, which can be done by a careful selection of demographics.
Social media sites have constantly updated tools for calculating engagement and number of clicks by which you can monitor your brand and nudge it in the direction you need. If your content is good, your brand will snowball into popularity with ease.
In this article, we list 10 of the most engaging travel social media campaigns. Let’s look at how and why these campaigns wowed us with their distinctiveness and sheer ingenuity.
- 1. KLM
- 2. Social Networking Mile High Club – Lufthansa Airlines
- 3. Le Bar Guide – Stella Artois
- 4. MakeMyTrip.com
- 5. WOW Airlines Offers Snapchat Enthusiasts a Chance to Travel the World
- 6. A Map App for That – Vodafone
- 7. Pig-a-Pult – Manchester Airport
- 8. Twitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Twitchhiker
- 9. Ding Dong Merrily in the Sky – Spanair
- 10. Jump To The Beat – Hotelsbycity.net
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Everyone loves being connected. Back in 2010, KLM decided to do something really nice with all the personal information available on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
After ferreting out each passenger’s personal information from Foursquare and Twitter, the airline staff purchased gifts according to the boarders’ personal tastes and presented more than 40 passengers with the gifts while boarding.
Needless to say, customers were enchanted by this delightful and courtly gesture and shared it on their social networks. The campaign garnered a whopping 1 + million impressions on Twitter.
2. Social Networking Mile High Club – Lufthansa Airlines
Lufthansa airlines have proved that it has a finger on the pulse of what’s popular in today’s times. In a cleverly executed move, it launched an app called MySkyStatus which can be set to automatically update arrival and departure time.
The coolest feature here is that they also upload flight altitude, thus allowing the poster to create a wow factor, even as a link to Lufthansa Airlines page is provided and promoted. What a wonderful way to engage with customers!
3. Le Bar Guide – Stella Artois
Lift, shake and point! No, this is not a new dance move. It’s the augmented reality app from Stella Artois called Le Bar Guide. It’s a rather stellar idea which allows you to find bars that sell Stella in your vicinity.
Hold you phone aloft, give it a shake and hold it downwards to find the nearest bar. You can also search using other relevant filters to find what you’re looking for, even if it’s a cab that you want to order.
To celebrate India’s Independence Day, MakeMyTrip.com came up with a beautiful social media-driven campaign, especially the Then and Now feature which tied in places of historic note with the different parts of the freedom movement in a visual style that was mesmerizing, especially to young people.
#DilHaiHIndustani wowed hearts with the mobile responsive graphic novel. It began with #freedomtotravel that asked people to list which places they felt most free and why.
Offers, milestones, history, contemporary issues and a modern up-to date-outlook, this campaign had it all. View the graphic novel here: India’s Journey Into Independence.
5. WOW Airlines Offers Snapchat Enthusiasts a Chance to Travel the World
In the time that it takes to cook Ramen, fans of WOW airlines could actually win a trip to some of its 28 destinations AND create content for their Snapchat.
With wanderlust taking over the world, travel blogging jobs are the things dreams and stardust is made of. For this golden chance, all they had to do was create an impromptu 2-minute film, save the video file, and upload it to the company’s microsite.
Four very lucky winners were the chosen ones to experience this fabulous opportunity. Not only that, but they also interned for the summer creating stories for the brand.
It was a win-win situation where the winners got a fabulous job experience and the airlines gained content that was unique and heartfelt, this winning them more users.
6. A Map App for That – Vodafone
Simple but effective, Vodafone’s #ukhols campaign is rather endearing and makes use of Twitter and Google maps to deliver its premise. With the hashtag #ukhols, people could tweet their holiday locations along with other details like name, age and sex.
These details would pop up on the map along with any photos posted to Twitpic. Isn’t that cool? I personally did find it slightly stalkerish but I can see the draw for people who love sharing their locations with friends.
Check out their results here: Vodafone reveals initial #ukhols results
7. Pig-a-Pult – Manchester Airport
The most tedious thing about an airport is waiting. Manchester Airport saw its chance and took it to make something fun and lively out of a boring routine.
One of the most fun campaigns I’ve seen, Manchester airport successfully showcases the different worldwide destinations that it caters to a la Pokemon.
It created an augmented reality game where players had to catapult Piggles to one of the airport’s destinations; very cleverly, making people aware of all the different places it could take you to.
The person who could catapult Piggles the furthest won an iPad and other players stood a chance to win exciting holiday vouchers.
(Note: No pigs were harmed in this campaign)
8. Twitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Twitchhiker
The answer to the universe may be 42, but Paul Smith got his answers in 30! He is a hitchhiker who decided to travel as far from home as he could manage.
This exciting trip was offset by rules that made his story really exciting. His experience was delivered in small bites that were perfect for the Twitter platform.
- He could only travel or stay with one of his Twitter handle followers.
- He could plan up to 3 days ahead but not more.
- His suitcase would decide what he could buy.
- He could choose his accommodation but had to continue his travels in 48 hours.
If he had no options within the time limit, he had to return home having lost the challenge. The Twitchhiker Project took place on March 2009. Paul made it as far as Stewart Island in New Zealand, and with the aid of several thousand people on Twitter raised £5,285 plus £949.82 in Gift Aid for Charity: water.
Twitter was used to incredible effect to make this story viral and Paul now has a book about his adventures.
Read about his adventures here: The Twitchhiker Project
9. Ding Dong Merrily in the Sky – Spanair
With the popularity of unboxing videos and reaction videos, this was too good an opportunity to miss.
Spanair multiplied the festive cheer of Christmas Eve with labelled gifts for every passenger that were placed on the conveyor belt to be picked up with their luggage.
The reaction videos were filmed and uploaded to YouTube. The video received over 320000 views. The English version received 285000. Just watching it brought a smile to my face.
10. Jump To The Beat – Hotelsbycity.net
Hotelsbycity.net launched a bizarre campaign inspired by the bed flip videos circulating on social media. Customers had to get a picture clicked of them jumping on a bed and post it to the website called Bedjump.
Some hotels jumped on the bandwagon and held events and offer to promote it. It’s essentially a fun, attention-garnering activity to promote the website which worked remarkably well.
Read more: ‘Bed Jumping’ Craze Storms the Internet
These were some crazy, heartfelt, funny and exciting travel-related campaigns that have impressed and inspired us tremendously.
With tech advancing at a rapid pace, this is only a precursor of what the 4th Industrial revolution could bring with internet and social media playing a huge role in travel marketing campaigns.
This is the time to dream big and travel far both literally and proverbially. Bon Voyage!
© 2018 – 2019, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, an award-winning online publisher, and an online branding consultant. She is also the author of Devi2Diva, a book on emotional self-care for women. In her spare time, she writes science-fiction novels and poetry and chills with her two-legged and four-legged kids.