Tips

Social Media Marketing for the Tourism Industry

East Africa’s tourism industry has long been a major sector of the East African economies and will continue to grow as a result of other economic prospects such as oil discovery in the East African countries. Many stakeholders such as hoteliers, tour and travel agencies in this lucrative industry are yet to embrace social media to gain a completive edge and attract more tourists.

With growth in the social media usage locally and in the west where most tourists come from, the industry stakeholders need to strategically position themselves with the use of social media for marketing.

Most content for tourism destination sites and players is lacking in the digital space. A search for Uganda hotels on online travel booking tools such as Expedia.com returns some big 3star-5star Uganda hotels with profiles that lack a basic photo. How would you have tourists to book into your hotel if in the minimum you cannot have photos to showcase your hotel on platform such as Expedia.com, Facebook or Your Website?    The tourism industry stakeholder should ensure they observe the following in the minimum.

Expedia.com > Hotels > Uganda > Kampala Hotels

  • Have Regularly Updated Websites

Individual stakeholder big or small should have regularly updated websites that show case their products and services. A website is an affordable marketing tool for companies at all levels hence there should be no excuse for your hotel, lodge, tour and travel company to lack a website.

  • Use Content Marketing On Social Media Platforms

Travellers and Tourists are continously going to depend on online social recommendations and online reviews in their decisions to decide which hotel to book or which travel agency to use.  Have you put up your content such as articles and photos to regularly showcase your product and service? Are you doing it strategically on platforms regularly visited by travelers and those popularly known social media platforms?  There are free blogging tools such as WordPress, Tumblr on which you can post regular articles about your services. Facebook, Flickr provide excellent photo tools to showcase PUBLIC events hosted at your hotel or served by your tour and travel agency. You should expect to get good reviews and social recommendations if you are offering a good service and using these social media tools well.

  • Use of Video Marketing

Creative videos to market your hotel will not cost a fortune to do. These videos when uploaded and shared on YouTube or Facebook can go a long way in convincing potential clients that you are the perfect hotel to serve them.

A social media strategy for tourism industry stakeholder that sees them make use of blogging, pictures, and videos on different social media platforms will increase their web presence and result in more tourists visits to East Africa and more booking to the hotels and agencies  that will be doing this social media marketing right. In addition this kind of social media marketing will in the long run be cost effective and long lasting.

Are you a player in the tourism industry, contact HiPipo Digital Agency Arm for a variety of services ranging from web design to social media marketing.

4 Things You Must Do Before You Start a Big Social Media Campaign

In this new fast growing social media era, the aspect of numbers has stuck into the heads of many business managers, marketers and social campaigns managers of different products.

They don’t care how engaging their content and promotion is to the people they intend to reach but only mind about the numbers in terms of likes, followers etc.

When you have a campaign to run on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, think of the kind of content that you plan to distribute to your subscribers, you must test it if you can. Below are 4 things you can do before you start;

#1.Test your tools and content among your friends

In your small company of 2 – 4 or the big company of 100s, start testing your soon coming promotion or social media campaign amongst your friends, employees and business partners. Share content and ideas that closely relate to what you intend to run in the coming campaign and get to know what your dear friends think. Don’t let them know it is something you intend to run, just let them freely tell you what they think; they might get biased and eventually impress you when they know your intentions.

#2.Make different alternatives of content and have a plan B

If you intended to run a campaign about how harmful it is for one not to register their SIM cards, don’t run sample illustrations only about cases of phone theft. Think of other things that closely relate to your case and get to engage your friends through the social activity. They will like, dislike, report, mark as spam, praise or recommend what they think is impressive through their comment. Remember social media is freedom media. When your plan ‘A’ fails, quickly try out plan ‘B’.

#3.Mind the time and day when you post what!

You might not get the right responses when you post the correct content at the wrong time or day. For heaven’s sake, we have just woken up and you are posting sad stories made out of your own imagination, they are not even close to true, Ok, it is true that such things happen. But, Save that sadness for some other appropriate time. Think of what you would want to know at that time and share exactly that! The people you intend to serve think like you do.

#4.Assess followers/friends/fans comments and reactions

Lastly but not least, take some time to understand, compare and analyze the views of those dear friends, their views will help you make important decisions that will help you harvest a successful social media campaign.

To spend campaign ads money on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, make sure you have followed the tips above. Otherwise, you will risk your campaign being unsuccessful.

Contact HiPipo Social Media experts to help you out today.

Is your content worthy of social thumbs up?

Companies are spending money and time to grow their brands using social media. Content marketing has become part of their strategy. Unfortunately sometimes when you check out a brand page stuffed with social widgets to share, like, plus or tweet, you are faced with 0 or 1 share/like/tweet. What are the brands getting wrong? Simply some brands are not thinking about whether their content is worthy of social thumbs up.

As your brand ventures into content marketing, put yourself in your users/customers/visitors shoes and ask yourself these questions;

  1. Why should someone read your content?
  2. Why should someone believe what you say?
  3. Is your content going to help someone grow their business? (if it is business targeted)
  4. Does your content add value to someone’s life?
  5. Why should someone like, retweet or Google +1 your content? Will it be of value to someone’s inner circle of friends?

Asking yourself these questions will help you think through you content.

Contact HiPipo Social Media experts for Consultancy and implementation of your social media campaigns

Develop Your Brands Editorial Calendar- Starting With What You Already Have

Web 2.0 and Social media in particular has changed individuals and brands from content consumers to content creators. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress, YouTube, Pinterest and several other platforms are here to be embraced by brands. If your brand is considering content marketing consider some of the following tips.

Start with your content repository

It is most likely that your brand has some content such as photos from historical events. Look them up and think of creative stories you can tell with these photos. With the available social media tools this historical content can come a long way to boost your social media strategy.

Get an Editorial Calendar.

One straight plan to failure is having no plan. Brands should have a social media editorial calendar that helps direct how often they should publish and what they should publish when. As you draw up this calendar, pay attention to dates that are not only important to you but also important to your customers. For example as you plan your brand’s tech expo, bear in mind that your clients may be music fans hence mark out dates for important music events and have something for your clients that relates with music.

blogging editorial calendar

Use  several social media platforms but cross pollinate sparing

With so many social media platforms, brands are challenged and sometime lost in choice for which platform to use. Make your homework well to pick which platforms will serve which content from your editorial. You do not have to use 10 social media platforms as this may be costly in time and money and not necessary deliver the best return of investment yet a careful and strategic use of 3 platforms may bear amazing results.  Plus avoid cross pollinating where the same content is shared on all platforms. Have a unique content approach for every platform you choose to use.

If you are in East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda), contact HiPipo Digital Agency arm for your social media services. We shall gladly work with you to implement your social media strategy.

 

Using Social Media is Must

Sometime in 2011 HiPipo Team made a presentation to a middle level marketing manager in one of Uganda’s BIG companies (name withheld) about an online social media related event. The old school middle level manager in this BIG Company assured us that online market is not important to them since their product is for the mass market and the masses are not online but in villages! We tried to present our case to this manager but he was so hell bent in his old school belief and could not open up to new reality that village or town, mass market or niche market, social media is for everyone. We gave him several case studies of international and local brands that are embracing social media but he could not pick a leaf.


Strangely sometime in early 2012, I landed on this manager’s products and brands pages that they had opened on Facebook! I am most inclined to think this could never have been his idea but I guess his bosses saw that they are either using social media or their brand(s) will be seen as local! I am afraid, this middle level marketing manager and others of the kind risk turning jobless if they do not wake up to embrace social media. Using Social Media for business is a must for the following reasons.

1. Consumers are turning to social proof.

Consumers are more and more tuned to check out a company’s website, social media pages as evidence of the companies brand strength. Brands with engaging social media presence are seen as big, having a human approach to their services and having an influence in society.

2. Your competition is tapping in the social media market.

Mass market or niche market, when you do a Google search you most certainly will find a social page relating to that market. If you are not there, your competitors will be there and that signals to watch your back. Companies in Uganda and the rest of Africa are starting to spend big sums of money to build their social media presence. If you aren’t already, then you should critically reflect on your reasons why.

3. Your target audience is somewhere using social media.

Village or town, your audience will be on social media soon if it is not yet there already. Social media is not a preserve for those with computers since mobile penetration is fast growing in Uganda, Kenya and the rest of Africa. Facebook mobile usage is on fast increase just like mobile web is growing. In December, 2011 Facebook reported 425 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products. Uganda counts over 400,000 people using Facebook and over 5 million people using the internet and growing every day. Young and old, rich and poor are embracing social media and your target audience will be among these.

4. Google is giving thumbs up to social strength of pages.

With Google+ in the equation, Google is adding social media factors in ranking of pages for search engine. If you have a website and you think it is enough to grow and represent your brand, think about making it relevant with social tools.

As you digest the above reasons why Social Media is a must, HiPipo digital agency arm welcomes your queries on how we can help you to establish and grow your brand(s) social media presence. Check out our social media services page and contact us now.

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