The How, Why and When

New media, the internet based media form, has spawned the Social Media; social because the internet users or people are continually connected and interactive via the internet.? Tourism, as a customer driven service industry, is ideally suited to the Social Media.? Therefore successful tourism businesses have embraced the Social Media as a means of building brand loyalty.? The goal is to keep their company ?at top of mind awareness? so when the customer acquires the service they think of that particular company first.? However, there can be drawbacks. New Media has expanded far beyond the establishment of a web page to the Social Media. This article will outline some basic principles for using the Social Media successfully.

First of all, Social Media will be defined (See Wikepedia) as all types of internet forums, web logs, social blogs, and podcasts. A customer or a group of potential customers may originate the particular Social Media or the company may establish their own. A Social Media sponsored by an organization may or may not have a booking component to their network. ?Examples include TripAdvisor, Travelforum, Lonely Planet, or Virtual Tourist.? After establishing and the experience with a web page, a company need decide whether to establish their own Social Media.

There are many ways of defining the value of establishing a Social Media network.? First of all, the measures need to establish levels of engagement by the user.? Certainly the ultimate measure of engagement is a transaction.? But in the modern world of marketing an actual sale is the result of many factors.?? And by keeping a potential customer engaged your chances of a successful transaction increase exponentially.? Some measure of engagement include site activity, not just hits but average duration of visit, much like reach and frequency of traditional advertising.? Your site may be member driven, either with or without member fees. Your social Media site may simply be established to provide a readily accessible research and feedback group. There are a number of successful Social Media networks that have been established by tourism companies.