One of the best things about social media is that you can be innovative or daring without spending a lot of money. If you spend a lot of money on ad campaigns or you try to take a risk and fail, you can lose a lot of money and place your business at risk. If you take a risk with low-cost social media campaigns, there is nothing to lose but an awful lot to gain.
Surprise your guests or users
This was a campaign that was superbly executed by KLM in 2010. They took information from Twitter and Foursquare and managed to identify passengers who were checked in and waiting on their KLM flights. Staff members then checked the social media profiles of these users and then bought small gifts relating to the user or their reasons for travelling. These gifts were then passed to the passengers when they were boarding their flight.
Over 40 people received a gift and the company received more than 1m impressions on Twitter alone! This was a big campaign and a lot of work but can you imagine doing something similar, even once a day or week for a guest who is checking in with your or has booked with you?
It could even be something as simple as finding a customer who has tagged you in a Twitter or Facebook comment before using your service and then rewarding them with a free drink or voucher.
One of the most common and enduring pranks or jokes associated with travel revolves around garden gnomes travelling and sending pictures and/or postcards back to their owner. Travelocity took this one step further and created a gnome character with their own presence on social media sites and even chat roulette. The character had a blog and posted regular updates, engaging and interacting with users from around the world. Creating a character and then creating storylines is a great way to develop a following on social media.
This is a common offering but the Las Vegas Palm Hotel knows how to do this right, with their “Klout Klub”. This is a scheme that allows guests who are signed up to club to get bonuses if they share photos, content and experiences with their followers. This is a very simple promotion to run and it can really engage users to sharing content.
Again, if you want people to share content and discuss what you have to offer, incentivise people. Virgin America offered a free roundtrip between Los Angeles and Toronto. The competition was for people who shared content on their Twitter account and who were linked to the site.
This is a really simple way to get more followers and to ensure positive content is shared about you.
Create a game
People love playing games on their smartphone or tablets and having a game created is a brilliant way to engage your audience. Manchester Airport created a game, similar to Angry Birds, which saw players catapulting pigs to airport destinations which could be reached from Manchester Airport. The trick was that you got more points if you landed near to the destination you were travelling to. There were iPads and holiday vouchers up for grabs but the Airport benefitted from a lot of people engaging with them, providing contact details and a lot of added publicity.
Allow users to create content
It is important to create content but it can be time consuming and a lot of hassle. This means if you can motivate users to create content for you, either on blog posts or social media, you get all the benefits with none of the hassle. STA Travel achieved great success with their Buzz site which was a source for content created by users and the company.
Encourage people to check in
This has been such a long running tactic on social media that it is almost overlooked these days! Companies like Avis have achieved great success in getting users to log into Facebook Pages and Foursquare, providing offers or discounts as incentives for users to tag in when they are online.
Cash in on crazes
There are always internet crazes taking place, with the Planking phase being a great example. There was also a phase of Bed Jumping, where hotel guests would snap and share images of them jumping on their hotel bed. HotelsByCity were keen to make the most of this craze, setting up a website for people to share content and there were even hotels trying to break world records for bed jumping. Staying in touch with latest trends can help you to have a big impact online.
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