Posts Tagged ‘youtube’

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Reaching the Masses via Social Media: What the Royals Got Right

In United Kingdom on August 13, 2011 by sdaniellebenjamin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

When you think of those people and groups that use social media well, there are a few types that easily come to mind: people in their late teens to mid thirties, the super internet savvy and… the royals?

Believe it or not, the Queen and her posse of royalty are fairly active via the social media networks. Granted, perhaps it shouldn’t have come at such a surprise considering more than 80 percent of the UK population is online. I just arrived in London this morning and started checking out various tourist sites and attractions. Of course, Buckingham Palace (and the dress) was top on my list. Low and behold, when I went to view the official website for The Royal Collection, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were effectively using a couple of social platforms to reach the masses.

What the Royals Got Right

Twitter: With over 225,000 followers, @TheBritishMonarchy is leading the way as it engages its audience of both the English and “fans” from across the world who love to follow the celebutante royals. By regularly tweeting information on events and activities taking place at the Palace, one can easily plan a visit around the daily schedules that most interest them. While this is a significant first step, the Monarchy may also consider more two-way conversation with their audience. When appropriate, answering questions or sharing thoughts based on Twitter comments they receive can be a way to show that they are in touch with those who follow them.

Flicker: No, we’re not suggesting that anyone do that to the Queen. BUT the Royal Collection website connects visitors to its flicker page where they regularly post photos of weddings, marches and other exciting happenings of the Palace. The visuals provide an easy storytelling opportunity that can be easily incorporated into the existing site as a way of moving the visitor through a historical narrative of a day in the life of a royal. In this way, the visitor isn’t just looking at pictures, but they can begin to imagine themselves living the “privileged” life.

How Can the Queen Take it Up a Notch?

  • Despite concerns that Facebook is declining in the UK, the immense popularity of this social media site makes it almost impossible to ignore this platform. Establishing a Royal Collection facebook page where people can “friend” the royals and have easy access to photos, page links and other interesting tidbits would be another way to invite the commoner into their world.
  • Just this July, YouTube had its biggest month of traffic ever in the UK. As video watching on mobile devices continues to grow, this opens up another avenue that the royals can employ to share footage with the people. Who wouldn’t love to see the changing of the guards or a celebratory event at the Palace… and then easily share it with friends and family across the country and the world via their smartphone or other mobile device?

I am so excited about my first time in London and my plan is to see as many sights and experience the city for all that it has to offer! The Buckingham Palace is definitely staying on my list and the social tools the royals use just make it easier for me to stay up-to-date and get the fullest out of my visit.

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Bollywood: Raising the Social Media Profile of the World’s Largest Blockbuster

In India on July 12, 2011 by sdaniellebenjamin Tagged: , , , , , ,

What do you get when you combine an exciting, melodramatic plot (think star-crossed lovers, twins separated at birth or dramatic reversals of fortune) and a few good song and dance numbers? Simple: you get Bollywood, the largest film producer and one of the largest centers of film production in the world! The informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry is derived from Bombay, birthplace of the Hindi-language film industry (and former name of Mumbai), and Hollywood, center of the American film industry. But no matter its etymology, Bollywood is solidifying itself as the cinematic giant in the global film industry with cultural influences that stretch far and wide.

A quick search online will pull up several websites that give movie reviews, share celebrity gossip and sneak previews on upcoming Bollywood films, including the popular site BollywoodWorld. Coming up second in Google searches of Bollywood – just after the Wikipedia entry – the site touts itself as the premier source for the latest information on this cinema genre. And while the site provides enough information to educate any film critic, it has not found a strong foothold in the social media arena to really carry its wealth of information to the Indian and global audience.

The following are two easy social media strategies BollywoodWorld may consider to expand its reach and attract more visitors to its website:

1. Create a permanent YouTube page for BollywoodWorld.

Highlighting trailers of upcoming Bollywood films on YouTube, the preeminent video sharing site, stands as an immediate social media strategy to amplify the voice of this site. The Indian culture is steeped in storytelling and the uniqueness of Bollywood films lend themselves to an interesting, exciting piece to share and watch again and again. While hosting mini-videos on the website is a good start, the global dominance of YouTube creates a new platform the website can use to attract new visitors both in India and from around the world. To take this video sharing capability to another level, BollywoodWorld should also use the StumbleUpon Video service as a way to encourage viewers to positively rate the films they watch so that they can “stumbled upon” by their peers and friends. 

2. Use Facebook to interact with Indian users through a gaming approach.

While Orkut was once the dominate player in the Indian social media playing field, Facebook use has increased and the social media giant is exploring new ways to reach out to this audience. Just this month, Facebook announced that it was introducing Facebook Credits for Indian users – a virtual currency that is popular among gaming enthusiasts. By creating a BollywoodWorld Facebook game, users can test their knowledge of random movie factoids, celebrity insights and famous liners from the most popular films. Providing fun ways for this audience to engage with each other and with the site will not only increase the number of Facebook fans, but also drive more traffic to the website.

BollywoodWorld has made a good start, because there is some truth to the famous movie line, “if you build it, they will come.” Now it is time for this film industry site to take it to the next level. While they have the content to entertain visitors for hours, the site lacks is a comprehensive strategy to attract more visitors. By incorporating and better using a few digital communication tools, BollywoodWorld is sure to see an uptick in web hits and a much more engaged audience.

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The Key to Jumpstarting Norway’s Tourism Marketing Campaign

In Norway on June 20, 2011 by Amira E. Tagged: , , , ,

Norway: The Happiest Country in the World. That’s an accolade that’s hard to come by with 193 competitors around the globe. National Geographic recommended it as one of the “20 Best Trips of 2011.” Even CNN listed it as one of the World’s Top Destinations for 2011 — #5 to be exact. But somehow, an avid traveler like myself has never heard Norway described that way. Frankly, I’ve never heard anything about Norway from any of my well-traveled friends. Why is that? And why hasn’t Norway done anything to attract us?

Well… actually, they have. Innovation Norway, the tourism board for Norway, launched a social media campaign called Norway. Your Way. in 2010 to increase awareness of Norway as an attractive and desirable tourist destination in Europe. They described it as “a competition to find 5 adventure seekers from Europe to compete and challenge their own boundaries in a beautiful wintery Norway.” The competition required consumers to submit a creative piece inspired by Norway.

Watch the campaign’s teaser video here:

Over 1,400 entries were received from five countries (UK, Italy, France, Germany and Russia). The five winners (one from each country) set off on their journey in February of this year, accompanied by Norwegian explorers Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen, and the challenge ended earlier this year. Innovation Norway’s strategy was to leverage word-of-mouth marketing through each of the 5 winners who documented their 10-day trip through Norway.

norway-your-way

Frankly, I think the campaign is genius. It harnessed the collective powers of Norway’s bloggers, tweeters and social media gurus to encourage entries, vote on the best ones and then follow the campaign throughout. But now that the short-term campaign has ended, is Norway reaping the desired ROI of their initial strategy?

VisitNorway.com – Norway’s ongoing tourism marketing campaign is active on Facebook (+ US-specific page), Twitter (Norsk, Spanish, German, US) and YouTube, with several accounts on each (to serve different foreign audiences). They even have an app for Android and iPhone that serves as an in-depth travel guide to Norway, with thousands of hotel, restaurant and attraction listings. They’ve attracted a total of 28,207 Facebook fans (on both pages) and 10,176 Twitter followers (across all accounts). All in all, I think they’ve done a pretty terrific job of covering all their bases.

Now what, though? How will Norway keep attracting people? With a population of over 4.5 million people, close to 95% of Norwegians enjoy seamless, high-speed Internet access. That’s even higher Internet penetration than North America, Singapore and the entire continent of Europe. Not only that, over 50% of Norwegians use Facebook on a weekly basis.

With stats like that, Norway has an incredibly valuable untapped national treasure: its very own citizens. Norway needs to shift its tourism marketing into the hands of the every-day media-savvy Norwegian. Who better to capture and tell the beautiful story of Norway than its very own? With hundreds of bloggers, thousands on Facebook and Twitter, Norway can create an army of its nation’s own brand ambassadors with little money and effort.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against Norway’s initial strategy of using tourists to generate creative content that would then hopefully “go viral online.” On the contrary. I think Norway is on the right track. They should move forward and take their strategy to the next level by engaging tourists at every touch point of their visit.

I have three recommendations for Norway’s ongoing tourist engagement on social media. These could be incorporated into a long-term campaign in partnership with major tourist hotspots (airports, transport hubs, hotels, restaurants, outdoor attractions).

  1. Facebook Places and Foursquare: People love being in everyone else’s business. It’s in our nature. So naturally, if our friends are checking in at Oslo International Airport, we’re intrigued. Encourage tourists to check in wherever they go, virtually creating an online logbook of their entire trip. And, more importantly, marketing Norway’s beautiful destinations for free.
  2. Gogobot and TripAdvisor: We all know by now that word-of-mouth is the most powerful marketing tool. We believe other people more than we believe advertisements. By the time most of us are nearing the end of a vacation, we’re not thinking about writing reviews. But when we have a great experience, we’re usually willing to write one. So, why doesn’t Norway take advantage of that goodwill and ask tourists to recommend them on travel sites where other travelers can see their reviews?
  3. Twitter: Twitter has two very cool features: location-based tweeting and photo-inclusion. The best tweets are specific and visual. Imagine all your friends tweeted their travels with great photos of beautiful, far-off lands. Now, imagine you knew exactly where those photos are taken! Sounds like a sweet deal to me.

Norway is definitely on to something. They understand the importance of social media presence. They understand the power of user-generated content. Now, if only they would remind their two most valuable stakeholders to spread the word… Personally, I think they’ll strike gold.