Role and Significance of Social Media in Tourism Marketing Name Institution affiliation Date Discuss the role and significance of social media in tourism marketing. You must consider the broader context of ICTs, new channels including smart phones, and the implications for the tourism industry and consumer experience…
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Travel involves movement through geographic space and time. Technologies take parts in all functions of strategic and operational management. Nowadays, social media is the main route where information is being shared and delivered in tourism, and also where offers made by the tourism suppliers are promoted. “According to a study made by Lab42, more than 50% of people who use social media when planning their trips change their plans depending on what information they learn from social media. For those people who had changed their travel plans, 43% of them even changed their hotels or resorts.” As information is so important to tourism, technologies provide both opportunities and challenges for the industry (DimitriosBuhalis, 1998). Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein have define social media as “a group of internet-based applications that build in the ideological and technological foundation of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” The users of the internet form virtual communities where they each have an anonym and protected identity. Consumer-generated content (CGC) is generated by the use of social media. It includes a variety of new and up-and-coming sources of online information, which are created, begun, distributed and made use of by consumers. This is done with the intent of enlightening each other about products, trademarks, services and concerns (Blackshaw&Nazzaro, 2006). In contrast, to the supplier- generated content (SCG) that is made available by marketers and suppliers, social media are created by consumers to be shared among themselves. With the enormous amount of data available to the travelers, the internet constitutes an important platform for information exchange between consumers with shared interests, as well as industry suppliers (e.g. attractions, hotels, and transportation sectors,), mediators (e.g. travel agents), regulation bodies (e.g. governments and executive organizations and non-profit organizations (e.g. destination marketing organizations) (Werthner& Klein, 1999). Today, Web 2.0 also referred to as Travel 2.0 in tourism, includes a range of new technological applications such as media and content syndication, mash-ups, AJAX, tagging, wikis, web forums and message boards, customer ratings and evaluation systems, virtual worlds, podcasting, blogs and online videos (vlogs) (Schmallegger& Carson, 2008). These social media include a wide range of applications, allowing consumers to “post”, “tag”, “digg”, or “blog” on the internet (Xiang &Gretzel, 2010). For example, Facebook, which is a social media website, allowing users to add friends, send messages to people and update their personal profile to notify friends about themselves during the travel; weblogs, individual or a group of people maintain a website with regular entries of commentary, description of events, or graphic materials like videos or images. Some travelers write travel blogs about their experiences and memories of the trip, which are online travel journals, also known as travelogs. YouTube, which is a website for sharing videos, which users can upload and distribute videos. This is a platform where vloggers (i.e. video blogging people) can record their traveling memories into video and upload onto YouTube for others to view, instead of typing a passage for people to read. There are many other
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The “technology” in the ICT consists of systems, services and tools that enable information storage, retrieval, communication and dissemination ICT includes all those electronics which manipulate, store, transmit and/or receive and extract information in the form of digits or binary.
New features of World Wide Web emerged, that resulted to the establishment of a new form of World Wide Web.The term Web 2.0 has been often considered as similar to the term ‘social media’ (Wankel 61), reflecting the advanced potentials for social interaction and participation in the creation of web content (Wankel 61).
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGY. The Daily Telegraph dated July 23, 2012 carried a story “Social Media without an effective Marketing Strategy is Lame; Marketing without an Effective Social Media Strategy is Blind ” With the digitalization of the global markets in the twenty first century, it is undisputable denying the influence of social media in the global business affairs, particularly with respect to marketing strategies.
As such, this can be viewed from the perspective of social media and social networking sites, which marketers have infiltrated to put across the message to potential tourists and other players in the hospitality sector. Social media and social networking work closely together in the realization of the goals of tourism marketing to potential clients and other interested parties.
The growing importance of tourism in the global market has compelled countries worldwide to involve in promotion of their respective tourist destinations (Madasu, 2013). The promotion of tourism necessarily requires use of marketing mix strategies.
Many social media marketers actually start the social media campaigns without actually having a well laid down plan. Having a mature social media strategy is the key to achieve the consistent results from the social media strategy. Creating social media strategy actually, allows having measurable goals and provides a direction to the marketers.
This is the ultimate marketing strategy for this smart phone because it is designed in a manner factoring all the social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ are all covered by this
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