Here are all of the posts tagged ‘travel’.
Singapore Tourism Board (STB) recently commissioned We Are Social to investigate the emerging trends shaping people’s use of social media in relation to travel. We uncovered a number of interesting trends that we think will be relevant to all marketers – regardless of which industry they work in – so Singapore Tourism Board have been kind enough to let us share our key findings here.
We shared our findings in a presentation that I gave to a couple of hundred marketers at STB’s recent Marketing Lab in Singapore; you can read the full presentation in the SlideShare embed above (or read it here if that’s not working for you), but we thought it might be helpful to share some additional insights too, so read on below for some even richer context.
Just over one year ago, we blogged about the brand-to-brand banter that turned a near-miss PR crisis into a gold mine of meaningful engagement.
To recap: budget airline Scoot presented an airfare promotion on flights to Seoul, during a moment of political tension with its neighbour to the North. When SGAG called them out on this less-than-opportune timing, Scoot responded in the best possible manner on all fronts.
Instead of dismissing or ignoring the issue, they addressed SGAG in an approachable and light-hearted tone. With equal parts self-deprecating humour and subtle recognition of the events at hand, Scoot gently steered the conversation in a manner that disarmed a potential time bomb and cleverly charmed both Scoot’s and SGAG’s large audiences on social media.
In a recent crossing of paths, Scoot has posted a commemorative post that, again, demonstrates the invaluable nature of being a friend to your brands. SGAG’s trolling antics were far from over after the untimely promotion last year. While Scoot could have taken one of many courses of action, the brand decided to acknowledge their continuing banter, and celebrate a ‘good two years’ of troll-and-response. In doing so, Scoot highlights its own quick wit, and perhaps more importantly, its ability to carry on playful conversations–and maintain strong relationships–on a long-term basis.
This is Scoot, ‘walking the walk’ at a time when funny conversations between brands are so often dismissed as staged PR stunts rather than recognized as forms of genuine discourse. While not without motive, Scoot’s continued brand friendship with SGAG is a testament to the unparalleled successes that bloom from organic engagement — the kind of success that, ultimately, no amount of paid media can really buy.
WeChat surpasses 300 million users in January 2013
Tencent’s WeChat has recently announced an astonishing milestone, that it has officially surpassed 300 million registered users. TechInAsia reports further that the CEO of Tencent, Pony Ma, has confirmed the staggering user base of the chat app. This number is particularly impressive given the fact that WeChat was released less than two years ago, and is a relative newcomer in the field. It has established a dominating presence since it was first released on January 21st 2011, as shown by TechInAsia’s graph below.
WeChat has clearly gathered a considerable following in the past year. It’s only been four months since the chat app announced a user base of 200 million users; since then, it has continued to add an average of 25 million users per month. Pony Ma is quoted as attributing the considerable growth this year to the fact that WeChat (known as Weixin in China) went global, with an English version of the chat app in April 2012.
Instagram has 90 million monthly active users
44% of travelers in Asia are inspired by social media
A recent report by eMarketer suggests that social media is an influential force for travelers in the Asia-Pacific region. A study conducted in October 2012 by Redshift Research indicates that 44% of travelers in the region sought advice and inspiration on social media while planning their journey. This percentage is contrasted to the percentage of US and EMEA travelers, whose numbers hovered at 18% and 14% respectively.
While the gap is most significant in the category of travel destinations, it is important to note that APAC travelers are consistently more likely to use social media across the board, that is, with respect to all categories relating to leisure travel.
eMarketer further notes that the method of social media use also differs across global regions. 57% of travelers in the Asia-Pacific region turned to internet reviews, compared to 38% of US travelers and 33% of travelers from EMEA. It is interesting to note, however, that all three categories of social media use (internet reviews, online travel forums and Facebook) remained popular in that order, from most popular to least popular across all regions.
The top six reasons followers decide to un-follow brands
A recent survey by marketing house Performics cast light on the top reasons followers choose to un-follow brands on social media. As Resonance China notes, 49% of the participants responded that they had never stopped following a brand. While 18% responded that they had never liked or followed a brand, 32% indicated that they had un-liked or un-followed a brand on social media before.
Out of those who stopped following brand(s), 49% of them responded that it was because the brand posted content that was irrelevant to them. While the relevance of brand posts was the most popular reason, 38% of respondents also indicated that brands that post too frequently could also lead them to un-follow the brand. The third reason follows close behind, with 35% of respondents claiming that they un-followed brands because their expectations were not met by brand content. 22% cited a difference in values, and 18% un-followed a brand because they were already following too many.
Young Japanese adults show preference for Twitter, Facebook
TechInAsia reported on a recent study that suggests there is growing interest in Twitter and Facebook, particularly amongst young adults on social media in Japan. The survey specifically focused on the 19-20 year old demographic, and asked respondents to indicate their preferred social media platform. The results showed that 42.5% of participants used Twitter the most, while 16.9% chose Line and 13% chose Facebook as the preferred social media platform.
The poll also shed light on differences between male and female respondents. Twitter’s popularity was much higher amongst female participants, claiming more than half of the female vote (51.5%). By contrast, 31.6% of male respondents voted for Twitter as their preferred platform. TechInAsia further notes that the study cast light on growing interest in Facebook as well, as 41.3% of the participants said they would be interested in trying Facebook in the future.
APAC travelers rely on social media to make travel choices
According to a recent study, travellers in Asia Pacific rely heavily on social media platforms to make travel decisions. In a study that surveyed 4,600 people across 13 countries, 42% cited Facebook whilst 51% cited online travel forums as points of influence to help them make travel choices. A larger 57% cited internet reviews including travel blogs. In China (71%) and India (59%), travel reviews including blogs had a greater impact on the initial decision of the vacation destination itself. The internet is definitely becoming more influential than travel agents in Asia Pacific! It is also noteworthy that the results for Asia Pacific were higher than the global average when it came to reliance on social media to make travel choices. Globally, only 27% cited Facebook, 44% cited reviews by bloggers and 37% travel forums in the sources they relied on. The report suggests that campaigns that are aiming to influence travellers in this region have to integrate them on social media platforms as people place greater value on the recommendations they get from friends.
Penetration of weibo vs social networking sites in Chinese cites
Recently revealed Nielsen statistics draw a comparison between the weibo platforms and social networking platforms in China to investigate their penetration amongst the different tiers of Chinese cities. It is already a well known fact that weibo platforms are the most popular of all social media in China. Even in fourth tier cities, weibo platforms have a 100% penetration of its interent users while social networking sites have an estimated 60% penetration. Looks like Weibo is King in China.
Social gaming more popular among women
A recent study by Spiral Media reveals that social games are more popular among women in Asia Pacific than it is with the men. The survey was polled via Facebook social games across Singapore, Malaysia, the Phillippines and Australia. In each of these markets, on average 60% of the survey respondents were women. 92% surveyed in the Philippines placed social games as their top activity on social networks with 72% of them playing on a daily basis and 34% playing via their mobile phones. In Malaysia and Singapore, 89% and 86% actively played Facebook games. Managing Director of Spiral Media commented on the results saying,
Online audiences are becoming more fragmented than ever, social gaming is growing and has become a form of mainstream entertainment.
The results also revealed that consumers engaged for longer periods of time on social gaming, presenting marketers with new opportunities to engage their audiences.
Facebook aims for luxury brands
Facebook commissioned Sparkler to survey affluent Facebook users in the UK, France and Germany to find out the social media attitudes and behaviours of its wealthy users. The 1,991 respondents who were surveyed are the top 20% earners in their own industries with 80% of them identifying themselves as main or equal share breadwinners. Some great nuggets of insights can be gathered from this study. Only 15% of the affluent users were considered to be “unsocial”, i.e. those who have signed up for an account but are still skeptical about its value. 35% of the remaining are categorised as “Facebook observers”, they are the older segments on Facebook whose connections are mainly family and close friends. 62% of the Facebook observers say they access brand pages as their top information source to purchase goods and services. Whilst 13% of those who surveyed used Facebook for Business and Professional purposes, 21% were considered as “Facebook residents” since they used Facebook as an everyday communication tool. Facebook residents live and breathe the platform by replying to all messages and are also an image conscious, young generation. 16% of those surveyed are social media hungry as they considered Facebook a fundamental tool that allows them to connect personally and professionally. They see Facebook’s main function as a place to share their opinions. People in this category tend to have trust funds, engage with brands and enjoy special offers and are the highest mobile phone users. Facebook’s motivation behind identifying these groups was to prove to luxury brands that their customers can be found on the platform.
Social media becomes gift guide for holiday season
Gone were the days when we made a Christmas shopping list and checked those against promotion booklets. A survey conducted in the US by ConsumerSearch shows that during holiday season people looked to social media for reviews for gift ideas. It was interesting to note that only 7% of the respondents followed their favourite brands and checked out what’s popular as a gift idea, whereas 41% used social media for reviews.
Another similar research done by Deloitte showed that 54% used social media to find discounts and coupons this season whilst 26% went to the retailer’s Facebook page to do so.
Mobile gaming app ‘Draw Something’ is on a roll
OMGPOP‘s mobile app Draw Something is only 5 weeks old and has already amassed 20 million downloads, of which 12 million are active users. Shortly after it first launched, it was already downloaded more than 1.2 million times within 10 days. Altogether, users have produced more than 1 billion drawings, and 3,000 pictures are drawn every second as of March 11th. CEO Dan Porter says the allure of the game is its social nature; that it requires two people to play, which makes it a lot more engaging. One reason why it has seen so much reach is because of the shareability of the content – players want to show off great (and terrible) photos their friends have created. Porter’s next goal is to take down Zynga’s ‘With Friends‘ franchise. Let’s see how long it takes for that to happen. A few months maybe?
Sina Weibo’s real-name registration woes
At the moment, Sina Weibo’s real-name registration online counter shows that it has only a little more than 19 million verified users, certainly not anywhere near the 300 million registered users it has. With the deadline looming on March 16, Sina’s expectation that 60% of its users will register their real names and verify their accounts before the deadline appears to have been far too optimistic. The implications of its reduced user base could really hurt Sina Weibo as brands might now think twice about using it as a social media platform for engagement, especially since the user base has now shrunk dramatically. Where the penetration rate used to be nearly 60% of China’s Internet population, the current number of verified Sina Weibo users accounts for a mere 3.8%.
China’s mobile-only Internet population
According to research company On Device, 38% of China’s Internet population are mobile-only users, with the country’s rural population actually driving an annual 8% increase in mobile-only Internet usage in 2011. This could of course be attributed to the lack of infrastructure in rural areas that thereby prompts mobile-only use of the web from the get go, instead of starting off with personal computers. 45% of those surveyed for the report don’t have access to a computer, 16% feels it’s easier to use than a computer, 14% say it’s cheaper, and 8% think it’s faster. Feature phones dominate China’s mobile-only Internet population, where 75% own feature phones compared to 25% that own smartphones.
A video by Digital Visitor citing research from EyeforTravel captures the social media landscape in the travel industry. 100% of travel brands surveyed had a Facebook brand page, up from 82% in February 2011, while 75% had Twitter accounts, up from 64%. 50% of these travel brands had generated direct bookings from social media, with 20% using mobile for direct sales. The number of direct bookings made via mobile devices increased by 30% in Q3 of 2011. As a result, 61% of those surveyed are expecting to increase their investment in social media in the next 3 months. For more insights, check out the video below.
How social sites make money
This infographic from USBundles shows how some of the most popular social media platforms have become successful and sustainable businesses. Most are still relying on ads to drive revenue, in particular 77% of major social networks, while only 10% are in pursuit of new revenue channels.