Tourism 'likes' social media

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2012, 12:00am


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Just how much commercial value does each 'like' on Facebook represent?

The answer is anyone's guess, but a growing number of companies in the travel and tourism trade aren't taking any chances.

Take the Hong Kong office of Garuda Indonesia. To celebrate its half-century in the city, the Indonesian flag carrier ran a campaign to encourage netizens to 'like' its page on Facebook with a chance to 'win' one of 50 tickets for just HK$50.

'We understand that Hong Kong people are price sensitive and so we had this HK$50 campaign ... to draw people's attention, and we have doubled our number of fans through this campaign,' says Riza Perdana Kusuma, Garuda Indonesia's general manager for Hong Kong and Macau.

'In Hong Kong, there are already over 3 million registered users and you can easily target a specific segment with targeted promotions,' Kusuma says. 'We foresee that we will continue to use Facebook to distribute our message and of course more special offers will be coming through the social media channels.'

The Australia page on Facebook took a different approach, posting a short film showing Australians celebrating New Year's Eve in Sydney to attract like-minded people.

It resulted in 85,000 more fans in just three days. The page now has more than 2 million fans.

'We engage very closely with our followers, listening and acting upon their feedback to deliver simple and effective content which inspires many fans to share with their own Facebook networks,' says Tourism Australia's managing director Andrew McEvoy.

'It's a massive multiplier effect and this is what social media and advocacy is all about.'

W Taipei is taking yet another approach to promote interactivity on Facebook.

The trendy hotel has launched a new auction tab on its page, allowing fans to bid for items such as holiday packages, hotel rooms, spa treatments, and food and beverages.

'W Taipei already has more than 20,000 Facebook fans and research tells us that the average time spent is 1.7 minutes per page,' says Cary Gray, general manager of W Taipei.

'We realise our page can be even more fun and 'adhesive' so we can attract them to stay longer on our page and explore what's new and coming.'