Social

When it comes to social media and implementing it into a travel company, the one constant question should be is, “How does this affect my ROI?” For many businesses, there is the sense that social media is an ethereal, unquantifiable thing, but this shouldn’t be the case. As the figure below shows, social media listening can be used in a multitude of ways, like anticipating customer problems, understanding and identifying sentiment, measuring a company’s share of voice, as well as keeping track of a company’s brand. All of these are important in their own right and, together, they can give a casino company deep detail into marketing campaign performances and attribution analysis, which should help with planning and implementing future marketing campaigns.

 

A good example of how a company can test whether a social media solution would work for it is to consider the experience of a telecommunication company that proactively adopted social media recently as mentioned in R.E. Divol’s article Demystifying social media. “The company had launched Twitter-based customer service capabilities, several promotional campaigns built around social contests, a fan page with discounts and tech tips, and an active response program to engage with people speaking with the brand.”46 In social-media terms, the investment was not insignificant, and the company’s senior executives wanted quantifiable ROI, not anecdotal evidence that the strategy was paying off.46 “As a starting point, to ensure that the company was doing a quality job designing and executing its social presence, it benchmarked its efforts against approaches used by other companies known to be successful in social media.”46 According to Divol, “the telecommunication company advanced the following hypotheses46:

  • If all of these social-media activities improve general service perceptions about the brand, that improvement should be reflected in a higher volume of positive online posts.
  • If social sharing is effective, added clicks and traffic should result in higher search placements.
  • If both of these assumption hold true, social-media activity should help drive sales—ideally, at a rate even higher than the company achieves with its average gross rating point (GRP) of advertising expenditures.”46

The company tested its options. “At various times, it spent less money on conventional advertising, especially as social-media activity ramped up, and it modeled the rising positive sentiment and higher search positions just as it would using traditional metrics.”46 The results were quite conclusive: “social-media activity not only boosted sales but also had higher ROIs than traditional marketing did. Thus, while the company took a risk by shifting emphasis toward social-media efforts before it had data confirming that this was the correct course, the bet paid off.”46 Just as importantly, the company had now created an analytic baseline that gave the company confidence to continue exploring a growing role for social media.46 It is very easy to quantify search rankings and it is pretty obvious that if a casino company ranks higher in Google search, it should garner more business, whether that business is for hotel rooms, F & B and/or retail sales.

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