How Social Media Has Transformed the Tourism Marketing

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With so many long weekends coming up such as Ram Navami, Vaisakhi, Good Friday etc. many of us are probably on the verge of planning our next trip (with the help of our laptops and smartphones obviously!). How do you usually plan a holiday? By checking out pictures of the destination on various social media platforms? Reading reviews? Well, that’s what We (the millenials) usually do. So let us take a quick look on how social media is changing the way we make travel plans.

The rise of Internet and the increased popularity of social channels have brought about a drastic change in tourism marketing and how! Thanks to various platforms of social media, now millennials can choose-book-travel with just a click in the palm of their hands.

The Internet has made our lives easier in more ways than we can think of. For the 21st century travelers, everything can be sorted through smartphones and apps like TripAdvisor, BookMyTrip and so on and so forth.

The millenials these days depend on the social media content posted by others (peers) to decide on their travel destination. Based on that they go ahead with the following options-

  • The hotels available according to their choice of rate.
  • Activities available like – outdoors (hiking, cycling, safari rides etc), shopping, visiting museums or historical places.
  • Weather forecast to help pack appropriately.

And the list goes on.

Sites like Instagram, Facebook and Tripadvisor give us a fair idea about places that we’d like to visit. Photos, videos, check in, feedback, reviews and ratings are important for travelers as well as the hotels and resorts. Thus social media content is immensely influential to either inspire future travelers or put off potential customers from visitng a certain place.

The fact that social media is transforming tourism marketing can be seen in the way hotels and resorts are adapting to a highly digitalized promotion of their brand by engaging millenials in contests and campaigns. Through their social media presence, brands are trying to solve customer queries and complaints. This helps in building strong reputation among current and potential customers. Social media therefore, plays the role of a listening tool for the company to know about their guest and the reason for their visit.

Travel agencies have also adapted to a more digitalized approach to keep up with the new technology and marketing trends. The customers need compensation in the form of loyalty points for the social media content they share with their network. That is the basic reason loyalty programs play a key role in the tourism and hospitality sector.

With the emergence of hashtag tracking and check ins, hotels can find out about their passionate guests and reward them in many ways. This makes the travelers stay a more memorable one as well as adds bonus points on social media feedback column for the hotels/resorts. The brands loyalty programs also help the customers to be more incentivized to participate and add value to a place.

The prevalence of social media has no doubt disrupted the traditional customer service models for hotels and travel agencies. Hence curating positive reviews and social shares play a major role in the tourism and hospitality sector and help build brand loyalty and make customers aware of what the destination has to offer.

We would probably never plan holidays the way our forefathers used to, thanks to Social Media! Smart Traveler, Happy Traveler.

 

PR for the Renaissance of Art & Culture

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In the era of materialism, when commercialization rules over business ethics and principles hardly a few PR agencies understand their responsibilities, too. The Yellow Coin Communication (TYCC) is a young team of socially conscious people who believe that even a small initiative of the positive people/groups can bring a bigger and better change in our society. They don’t just hope for the best, they make efforts and help others in exhibiting their best talent before the right people.

Recently, it helped women authors in raising their voice at Women Writers’ Festival, supported the Tantu (Odissi Dance Saga) for its revival and promoted the Agra Music Festival to save the legacy of Indian music maestros. TYCC has boosted these events in all the media formats and helped the organizers by sharing their thoughts with the masses.  Yes, it is a PR agency that is not restricted to serve corporates and celebrities only, but it is always open to support every change that can bring the best of our society.

The Women Writers’ Festival 2017 focused on themes around women in the workplace – how they must think, and what they must do to inspire more women to pursue meaningful careers. In this unconventional event, writers, business journalists, and academicians threw light on the changing landscapes for women professionals.

The passionate, creative and committed team at TYCC worked tirelessly to make people aware of Women Writer’s Fest across a range of media.  And, their vast experience of managing the cultural & literary festival helped women writers a lot in delivering their messages to the masses.

On the other hand, Tantu, the unique dance production by famous classical dancer Madhur Gupta, not only explored the challenges of showcasing the traditional dance form- Odissi in contemporary vision but also showcased the generation to generation difference in the dance form.

Agra- The city once famous for legends of World Music like Tansen and Nauhar Bani, lost its musical charm as the time passed. And, with Agra Music Festival the aim was at promoting the long lost Agra musical heritage around the globe. The event that also held in February could make a desired impact in the media with the PR strategies of TYCC.

The Team TYCC always aspires to deliver its best and inspires you to come your best.

 

 

Social Media Round up – February 2017

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There were lots of big announcements, innovative features, and product updates to keep the social media word abuzz during the month of February. Here’s what your favourite social media channels were up to the last month.

Facebook

Say Bye-Bye to the old Facebook inbox icon. No, Facebook isn’t really doing away with the inbox icon. But a minor change did take place in its user interface last month. The old inbox icon got replaced by the Facebook Messenger icon. And this is not just the end to it. Facebook is integrating the Messenger app into its desktop version, and the whole messaging experience is about to change.

However, this upgrade has not been made available to all as it is just in the ‘testing’ phase. Neither has Facebook made any formal announcement regarding the same.

So let’s hope that the new interface for Facebook desktop is something to look forward.

 

Whatsapp

For some of us, Whatsapp is the prime medium of communication in our day to day lives. Its most reliable no-nonsense features make it a one of its kind app used mainly for texting and calling/video calling. But it looks like this February brought in some major changes in the lives of all Whatsapp users.

Just like the other powerhouses like Snapchat and Instagram, Whatsapp has now launched a new feature! No points for guessing…It’s the Story feature! It is no different than what we are already using on Instagram and Snapchat. The feature will allow users to share images, videos, and GIFs as their status that disappears within 24 hours. Anything new! No.

But considering the Whatsapp user base which is over a billion as compared to its competitors, it is likely that this feature might help the app dwarf all of its rivals and ultimately spell doom for the company which came up with the original idea of the Story feature in the first place!

Instagram

This February saw many updates in the world of social media. Lately, instagram was in the midst of the update-whirlwind and for all the good reasons.

Yes, now we don’t have to post a thousand different pictures from the same party/event in separate posts and make our followers frustated. Instagram has finally made our lives easier. Now we can upload up to 10 images in a single post. Be it videos, boomerang or normal pictures – all in one single post. Sounds good! Right?

Now we don’t have to choose the ‘best picture of the day/night’ anymore. Go ahead and post all of those amazing pictures that you clicked with your friends over the weekend. We are here to swipe, view and like them all.

Happy Instagramming!!!

Trends that will Lead Digital Marketing in 2017

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In an era where more and more people are readily shifting from analogue to digital ways, digital marketing is like a forest fire that probably cannot be stopped. The digital way of marketing is growing at a rapid pace with no geographical border restrictions. Sooner or later it will take over the traditional marketing methods and with increasing number of PR companies offering digital marketing services, today every business has a chance to flourish in the online world.

Keeping up with the rapidly changing digital trends is a challenging job to do, but the benefits of adopting these trends are completely worth it. Sooner you go on the adoption process, better are the chances of attracting the target audience and staying ahead of your competitors.  Some of the trends that will dominate the online marketing world this year and needs to keep on a tab for formulating an effective marketing strategy are as follows:-

Augmented Reality

The craze for the famous 2016 game Pokémon Go might have faded down in the gaming world but it gave marketers an all new way of interacting with the customers. The huge success of the game has shown that the consumers are ready for the augmented reality (a technology that blends the digital and physical worlds) experiences.

Live –Video Streaming

Nowadays, most of the social media platforms like Twitter (via Periscope), Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have come up with live video offerings; these videos are loved a lot by its users. And, has made the marketers understand that the in- the- moment visuals will result in a greater impact in the saturated world of content.

Excellent Content Quality

With a rise in the number of companies adopting digital marketing services, the digital world is getting more and more crowded day by day. It’s of no use in being part of the crowd only those who stand out in the crowd are benefiting the most. And to stand out in this crowded digital world, one needs to have a high quality of interactive content that reader can connect with.

Native Advertising

This surely is one of the oldest trends of e-marketing but will gain more prominence this year.  As consumers continue to condemn most of the conventional advertising with ad-blockers and a diminishing trend of banner advertising will see a rise in native advertising. Without disturbing the users it appears on a platform matching its form and function as if it was part of it only.

Conversational Experience

The messaging and social networking apps like Whatsapp, Facebook, Snapchat and Wechat are gaining extreme popularity among the masses of the world. While being active on the chat platform, users can engage with the brands in their feeds and buy their products with the help of retailer’s chatbots.

Social Media Marketing and Start-Ups | Part 2

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Previously we spoke about how Social Media can give an equal footing to both startups and gigantic organizations. However, initially investing in paying social media consultants and agencies might be tough for startups that have just started entering into the trade. Here are more ways to ensure that your social media works without a huge sum of money in hiring an expert.

Add all Your Personal Contacts

Use friend finding features that are available on various social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc to find your friends, family, and acquaintances.  You can begin by popularizing your business via your most close people who would be willing to help you in sharing and promoting your dream work. These networks also suggest people to you based on your college, previous work, and interests. So, you might get to be reconnected with a lot of people who have been away for long.

Link your Social Media with your Website

Small social media icons should be placed in the header, sidebar and the footer of your website. Putting a link to your social media pages on your web pages helps to strengthen your integrated communicational network.

Add Social Icons to Your Signature

You need to ensure that anyone who communicates with you knows about your startup and for this, you should start by adding your links to your top social accounts in your email signature.  You can avail various free services to make professional signatures with all these social links.

Cross-Promote Your Social Accounts

If you have a large following on one of your social accounts, you should encourage its members to connect with you on other platforms. This can be done by sending a simple tweet or a message or the like to all your contacts and encourage them to follow you on other platforms too.

Remember Social Media works slowly and it does not do wonders within a week. You need patience and perseverance to make the strategies work. For more practical tips on using social media for gaining a business advantage, keep an eye on this space.

Social Media Marketing and Start-Ups Part 1

Social Media is a great tool for starting any given marketing activity both for veteran organizations and completely new start-ups. While big organizations do not have great financial constraints to enter any given marketing platform, Social Media is a powerful tool to give startups a chance to advertise their products on an equal footing with the big fishes out there due to its cost effectiveness.73337-oe6on5-700However, just a mere presence on social media is never enough to drive results. To have a real chance of competing with the big brands, start-ups need to have a calculated plan to carefully enter the market – which is the social space, then penetrating these markets – meaning building an identity on different platforms, and finally promoting their products. So, Social Media is to be used judiciously and strategically to produce desired results. Crafting a real Social Media Marketing Plan is not a cup of tea, but that doesn’t make it rocket science either. Consider the following tips to frame your own strategy without having to pay for an expert.

Creating Strong Social Profiles

A strong, detailed and complete profile is the first step towards a good Marketing program. A profile picture with an aptly fitting logo and branded cover pages must be added to all your social media accounts considering the requirements of the platform used. Always match the dimensions according to the platform. Add your company website to your profiles in the description box. And do not start promoting the page unless you have posted at least 10 interesting updates that resonate with your brand and make people interested in it.

Curate Quality Content

Research and create exciting forms of content that would sell. However, a rule to remember while you create content is to make content that sells, and always keep away from making a sales elevator pitch. You need to talk about things that interest people and not talk about your offerings. For example- a Tour Operator might talk about the different winter sports that take place in his city and a shoes manufacturer may talk about the history of shoe making. You may also opt to write something that is completely different from your offering as long as you are hitting the right audience and making them like your content. By content, we do not only mean written content. Content can take various shapes and forms, like it being a video, a melody, an image, a photo or an info-graphic. All of this is content and if you get the right content half your task is accomplished.

The Blog Shall Continue …

Read on: Social Media Marketing and Start-Ups Part 2

The New Rules of PR

Although Traditional PR and the third party ink will always remain highly important for any given business until the newspapers go out of print, yet adopting the newer form of PR approaches has become inevitable.  The online world has grown as never before and being invisible on the digital platform may make you invisible to opportunities.

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The concept of making other influencing channels talk about you to derive benefit for your brand image is core methodology of PR, but the tactics to achieve this have changed. The role of the journalists has been taken over by bloggers and influencers. Subject matter expects are the new luminaries. And this modern trend has been capitalized upon well by smart marketers.

It is probably very wise to say that a lot of businesses have an online presence, but is that presence really worthwhile? Unless, the mediums are used well, and strategies are conceived properly, no benefits can be sought from this presence. The presence of you company on the web can be viewed from three angles; Owned Media, Earned Media and the Paid Media.  Out of these three, the Earned Media is what we are more interested in from the PR perspective.

After you set up your digital destinations across channels, which forms your owned media, it is not of use unless people are directed to it. Search engines play an important role in getting traffic, but to really make an appeal to the consumer, something different is needed. The audience will not listen to you speak about yourself. People would need other bloggers, influencers and critics speak about you. Now to motivate them is the real deal!

Your Public Relations activities should revolve around strategizing communications that would interest bloggers and influencers who are not interested in cold e-mailed press releases pitching to cover your brands and products.   Bloggers often times do not write about what doesn’t interest them, so unless you are able to create that interest and sensation around your company or events, modern day PR might not be your cup of tea. In that case most of the marketers cover their inefficiency by asking influencers and bloggers to cover them by paying hefty amounts of money, and in such cases it is not PR despite getting a 3rd party endorser.