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Top 10 social media platforms for Travel companies…

Wanted to write this for some time now; as I see a lot of activity & innovative use of Software & Web Technologies

in the Travel market.  So listing the top 10 social media platforms Travel companies should be  seriously looking at …

1. Be there when prospective customers search

The obvious – SEO & PPV on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing

Auction sites – Priceline, Hotwire, Ebay

2. Reach out to your customers

During Emergencies (like the recent volcanic ash) or to fill up last minute beds / seats

Using – Twitter, Instant Messengers, SMS

3. Show everyone how good you are

Video clips of your new facilities, upgrades etc. on Travelistic, Youtube, Vimeo

PPV & PPC on online community sites – Linkedin, Facebook, Flickr

Blogs & Posts on Travel sites like Travelblog, Virtualtourist, Travelpost

4. Word of mouth

Distribute good feedback from your customers to attract new ones onto some of the platforms (mentioned above)

Look to improve current operations & remove bottlenecks from negative feedback

5. Bring your customers together

Man (and Woman) is a social animal and wants to belong to a community

Create groups in Facebook, Myspace, Bebo, …

6. Being available at their beck and call

Get into Mobile Applications – Iphone, Blackberry , Android & Symbian

(especially Android Froyo & Iphone OS4 as that’s headed into peoples living room through the TV)

7. Know what your customer wants to do

Even before they visit your competitors site

Tap into existing Trip planning applications – Tripit, flip.to, Worldmate

8. Know where your customer is

So that you can cross & up sell to increase ancillary revenue

Location based services – Gowalla, Foursquare, Whrrl

9. What does all this mean ?

Harnessing Business Intelligence out of Social Media – Autonomy

10. Future proof yourself

Gear up for Web 3.0 (the semantic web)

And if you still think all this isn’t for you; remember your competition is already planning some of this &

might spring a nasty surprise 🙂

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Google Plunks Down for Plink

Google, the search giant has picked up Plink, the maker of an Android application that can recognize and identify artwork.

“The visual search engines of today can do some pretty cool things, but they still have a long way to go,” Plink said in a statement announcing the deal. “We’re looking forward to helping the Goggle’s team build a visual search engine that works not just for paintings or book covers, but for everything you see around you.”

The deal was Google’s first British acquisition, would bring the popular PlinkArt application for Google’s mobile phone in-house. Plink would not be updating the Application focusing instead on adding new features to Google’s Goggles.