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As you move more money and / or time towards social media efforts, how are you handling resource management (i.e. staff / tech or new media partner) ?

7 Minute Read

Irene Morgan – Regional Director USA & Canada, Destination NSW Australia

There’s a lot of digital media outlets out there. All have a lot to offer in many different ways. We have limited resources to manage digital partners and outlets so we try to keep it simple: Does this platform reach our target audience? Can it deliver the key messages for our destination? Can we track responses and bookings from this promotional opportunity?

Katarina Mancama – Marketing Manager, Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa

We have chosen a narrow range of social media to engage on, as it is crucial to be timely and consistent in this fast-moving medium and our human resources are limited. When recruiting, good knowledge of social media marketing will be a very important skill for potential candidates.

Will Bolsolver – Natural World Safaris

We had to make the decision whether we were going to be a traditional travel company marketing and advertising down the standard routes (newspapers, magazines, etc.) or whether we would concentrate on online marketing efforts. The online efforts have a much higher return for a company our size and offer much wider exposure to a broader client base. The result of this decision is that we now allocate the majority of our marketing budget towards website maintenance, publishing web articles and also working on larger SEO campaigns and PPC Campaigns. This is handled both in-house and also by freelance consultants.

Word-of-mouth advertisement is the most effective means for us.

Denis Yasinko – Project Manager, Wild Russia Travel and Adventures

For our inbound destinations such as Elbrus, Kamchatka and Baikal we concentrate all the efforts on the product quality. Then most of the marketing is done by our partners who sell these destinations in their countries. To sell our international tours (e.g. Nepal, Tibet, Peru, Venezuela etc.) to our Russian clients we use all the range of marketing resources – SEO, SEA. There’s no considerable bias towards SMM, nevertheless it’s an important sales medium. Still, the word-of-mouth advertisement is the most effective means for us. Therefore we make sure our clients get the best service and tell their friends about us.

Tammy Leland – CoFounder and International Program Director, Crooked Trails

Every member of the Crooked Trails team is responsible for following our social media campaigns, marketing, etc. Content is created with our social media staff person but other staff are to always read it and make comments.

Lubomir Popiordanov – CEO, Odysseia-in Adventure Travel Company

Odysseia-in has 3 Facebook pages in English, Spanish, German, each one is handled by the respective product manager of market (English, Spanish, German). There is no outside staff dealing with social media. Every 3 months Odysseia-in issues a Newsletter to all its partners and clients presenting a kaleidoscope of discoveries and adventures to be experienced in Bulgaria and on the Balkans. It is completed with the support of journalists and travel writers from all over the world.

Ben Stubenberg – Cacique / Chief, Caicu Naniki Ltd

We have moved just a few resources to social media efforts, specifically Facebook, to round out our website, which is our main marketing tool. Limited research for us indicates that Facebook does not do much to attract customers. It does serve to update activities, which may be of interest to people logging on the website, but people seem to want specific descriptions of an adventure tour/experience they can book.

Anders la Cour Vahl – Deputy Director, Visit Greenland

We have allocated more time towards social media in-house, but have also given the Greenland regions full access to upload content…This has greatly reduced the costs for each company involved and increased the outreach and effects.

We have allocated more time towards social media in-house, but have also given the Greenland regions full access to upload content. This has been succesful because we can now share social media platforms; each region does not need to maintain their own distinct platform – often with great need of resources and little gain. We can pool followers in order to reach a larger audience. With the regions we settle on specific themes, which are then enforced by content from both national and regional sources. This has greatly reduced the costs for each company involved and increased the outreach and effects.

Rick Kemp – Director of Marketing, Churchill Wild

Encouraging all staff (and some guests) to participate in blog posts, picture sharing, etc. Promoting guests’ stories (blog, Facebook, newsletters).

Becky Harris – Owner, Viaventure Central America

We are still very fledgling in the arena of social media but certainly we have quickly seen that you need a dedicated and experienced resource in this area and you need to spend money. We are investing in staff – a dedicated communications manager and new media, such as video, as a key way to increase awareness of our lesser known destinations and attract new business. We know we have a lot to learn in this area and are excited to move forward.

Todd Gehrke – Director of Group & Conference Solutions, Telluride Tourism Board

We have aligned ourselves with a 3rd party provider specialized in both social media as well as the active resort industry. Internally we have allocated staff to focusing specifically on our social media channels and engaging our visitors.

Marie Friede – Managing Director / Founder, African Profile Safaris

Being a small company we can’t really afford to employ a full time person or agent to do this for us. So we have decided to join forces and form partnership with journalists inviting them to travel. Secondly, our tourism board had a number of workshops on online training, so we had staff members who love to surf the net attend this and focus mainly on Facebook and Twitter. Instead of using work time to be on their own Facebook, they now love to see who can produce the most likes or shares for a safari / Namibia article or African Profile Safaris item. It created a positive spirit in our office since our consultants have a great amount of knowledge of our country and through Facebook they get a platform to share this knowledge and great pictures with an audience.

Richard A. Mitsoda – Managing Director, Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas

If you don’t have the time or knowledge, then you need to search and contract others that have the ability. We contract a third party while working with them closely to develop integrated goals supportive of our marketing and social media/blog partners.

Alex Herrmann – Director Americas, Switzerland Tourism

Important in this process are partnerships, e.g. with tour operators or other partners, to grow the base of likes and followers, and to increase user interaction and involvement.

We have built the skills and capacity in house, at the head office in Switzerland and in our main offices around the world, including in the office in New York. Important in this process are partnerships, e.g. with tour operators or other partners, to grow the base of likes and followers, and to increase user interaction and involvement.

Alejandro Gonzalez – Venezuela Elite 

Dedicated staff.

Natasha Martin – Online Marketing Specialist, Namibia Tourism Board North America

We spend a lot of time investigating the functionalities of new softwares, there are so many in the travel space! We do our best to automize as much as possible, and plan ahead, for example by having monthly content calendars. Having said that, at NTB North America we have two full time people working on social media monitoring and management.

Their passion, their loyalty, armed with their product knowledge and new social media education will serve us better.

Manal Saad Kelig – Co-Founder & Director of Marketing, Gateway To Egypt & Great Wonders of Egypt

We are introducing our staff to more social media education as we believe it can be more effective this way. Their passion, their loyalty, armed with their product knowledge and new social media education will serve us better.

Kathy Stewart – Director PR, Butterfield & Robinson

We have added a new member to our staff to handle communication. Their role will be to coordinate all of the B&R communication including the blog, e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and trip specific information. We wanted to make sure we were gathering information from our staff and guides on the road and sharing this information with the B&R audience.

David DiGregorio – Head of Marketing & Communications: North America, South African Tourism 

Early in the process we realized that to do social media right, we would need a dedicated new media partner to manage the day-to-day. We therefore retain a social media management agency, Sparkloft Media, to provide this service to us under our directive.

Natalie Morris – Head of Sales, Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel

Trying to keep staff up-to-date with latest technical developments is tricky as there is little formal training for these activities. Much of our social media campaigns are ‘trial and error’.

Fan Na – Director – China, PureQuest Adventures

Social media, i.e. Facebook, is not a strong method for us, since we’re facing B2B market. Currently, we still use the traditional ways such as attending trade shows. However, we’d love to learn more about how to use social media in the B2B market.

Hernan Acevedo –  Incoming Tourism Manager, Voyage Colombia

At the moment me and my assistant are deciding how to handle all social media activities and we have an Intern that is helping us execute since we do not have enough staff to do it. The internship porogram at our company is permanent.

Loren T. Siekman – Founder & President, Pure Adventures

More staff and more consultants are handling this for us. We believe in the power of these various media; so we have to do it right and consistently.

Dan Oberlatz – Owner, Alaska Alpine Adventures

Honestly, we’re simply trying to leverage technology – this year it’s a new reservation system – to free up a bit more time to handle our social media marketing efforts. Any adventure travel company knows the trick to success- wear as many hats as you possibly can making absolutely certain that none are ever dropped. And you better get damn good at drinking from a fire hose.

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