Social Media’s Coolest Travel Companies

Planning on taking a vacation this summer or you already have, well here’s just some cool Social Media ideas I came across in regards to not completely plugging out of Social Media all together during your next vacation.  As my summer has been filling up with travels to Cyprus, Cancun & Maui, I’ve noticed that although it is a vacation it is also fun to stay plugged into the Social Media world and try to use it to help others or myself….

BEFORE WE HEAD OUT ON VACATION THERE’S AN IMPORTANT AIRLINE SAFETY VIDEO

Now we all know what happens when we board the plane and they begin to start explaining the safety video but who ever thought an airline-safety video could be fun? Air New Zealand did. ANZ employed the ever-bedazzled Richard Simmons to deliver the familiar preflight lesson of how to don your oxygen mask (or “take a breather!” as he says). And the disco-rich video wasn’t just for flyers: it has had almost 2.6 million YouTube views since its March 2011 launch—try getting that kind of virality from your basic seat-belt-fastening snoozer.

Social media, after all, has become an essential part of the way we travel—with everything from trip planning to photo sharing. The SMITTYs came about when we saw travel companies doing some pretty cool things in the social media space, and we wanted to recognize their efforts. So we asked airlines, tourism boards, car-rental companies, tour operators, cruise lines, and others to give us their best efforts from 2011.

HOTEL DEALS

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

The hotel company created and promoted special rates for Facebook and Twitter. The depth of the discounts (as low as $89 a night) drove a high volume of bookings and awarded them the Best Social Media Promotion of Travel Deals, Global Hotel or Resort Chain.

Four Seasons Hotel Austin

Ultimate Austin Scavenger Hunt: The property organized a photo scavenger hunt; fans and visitors submitted pictures of the hotel and Austin landmarks on Facebook or Flickr. The first 100 participants to complete at least half the tasks received an overnight stay or other prizes.  Lots of brands have photo contests; adding a scavenger hunt was a fun way not just to engage fans, but also to utilize the popularity of Facebook’s photo-sharing functionality.

FOOD & DRINKS

Foodspotting, an app favorite for food photographers, launched less than a year and a half ago.  Foodspotting began in 2009 when cofounders Alexa Andrzejewski, Ted Grubb and Soraya Darabi put their heads together to address what they felt was a lack of proper food reviewing apps. A few months later, they launched in beta at SXSW Interactive in March 2010.

My favorite way to describe Foodspotting? If Flickr and Foursquare went out on a date, ate too many oysters and drank too much champagne, the result 9 months later would look very much like Foodspotting. Using the mobile app, users can snap a photo of a dish, tag it and share it with friends on Foodspotting or via Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc. It’s also a helpful guide if you’re ever looking to spark your appetite. Simply open the app and search for photos of food taken nearby.

Why Pinterest Should Matter to You

This most recent player in the field of social media might seem like it doesn’t fit into your marketing model. Here’s why you’re wrong.

If you could promote your brand via what the Wall Street Journal boasts as “the hottest start up…in Silicon Valley,” would you jump on board? Well, if top brands such as Martha Stewart, Michael Kors, Pepsi, and Nike see the potential, it’s probably a good idea to follow suit.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can “curate and share things you love.” With millions of new “pins” a week, not only do “pinners” consider posting and reposting stuff they love fun and inspirational, but also Pinterest has already proven itself as a powerful social media platform. Businesses are joining Pinterest to display product, create brand awareness, build communities and, in some cases, grow profits by leaps and bounds. SO START PINNING!

Now these are not the only apps by any means that are out there, I am sure that there is some 10 year old kid coming up with the next hottest and greatest app on the planet but I just figured I’d share what I’ve been using and has helped me keep in touch with friends and family although I am thousands of miles away…

Make sure and add me on Twitter so I can retweet your pics/posts http://www.twitter.com/monicoperez

Are you on Pinterest…Me TOO: http://pinterest.com/monicoperez/

Want to learn more about the power of Pinterest check out this article: THE POWER OF PINTEREST

Let’s just stay connected and have a fun summer! Also if you have any apps you enjoy or want to share please post….

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