August 22, 2014 at 3:23pm

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Photo sharing for the Tourism Industry

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From tourism offices to tour operators to hotels among many others, we know that there are millions of people the world over who enjoy traveling.

In today’s day and age, it is easier than ever for tourism professionals to connect with their target audience, regardless of the reason for doing so.

As most of us started with a website, we now realize that social media is a must have regarding the positive impact from marketing your organization to the right people.

The Benefits of Social Media in the Tourism Industry

A big part part of the tourism industry is about selling an experience. If somebody has never visited a particular country or destination, they must be convinced that they are missing out on something big.

This is an easier task to accomplish when you rely on the power of social media. While there are many social platforms to consider (especially niche websites), let’s focus our time and energy on the biggest:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter:
  • Instagram

Those tree platform, allow your next client to share any story in many ways, including the use of high quality images.

1. Expose your organization to a bigger audience.

We don’t think small when the word “tourism” comes to mind. Instead, we think big. Think like this: there are people all over the world who are willing to visit you (and spend a lot of money) as long as you are able to convince them to do so.

With social media tools, you can expose your organization or destination to the world. As your momentum builds, a “viral effect” will kick into high gear and you will begin to reap the rewards.

2. Enhance the user experience.

It is one thing to tell people what a destination has to offer. It is one thing to tell people why your organization is the cream of the crop. But rather than use words and words alone, why not enhance the user experience through the use of images?

You can share common experiences with your target audience, both by publishing content, such as positive reviews, while also evoking emotion through images. For example, a Hawaii tour operator could use images of the crystal blue water and beautiful palm trees to excite visitors.

Remember the old saying: a picture is worth a thousand words.

 

3. Create a memory that will draw each visitor back to your organization.

It is safe to say some visitors will contact you about your organization, but others will leave your website or social media profile.

Your job is simple: convert those who get in touch and do your best to keep others coming back. 

When you provide high quality information via social media, people will visit you often. Again, they are not all going to purchase, but the more times they come back the better chance you have of changing their mind.

 

How to Use Social Media in the Tourism Industry

Now that you are aware of the benefits of social media within the tourism industry, it is time to formulate some strategies.

The plan you implement today may not be the one you use next month. As long as you get started, experimenting with different ideas, you can eventually settle on something that works.

1. Photo contest.

Can you think of anything more engaging than a photo contest? Ask those who have been to your area to submit their favorite photo, with the winner taking home a prize, of course.

Pros: 

Cons:

  • You are the igniter of the momentum. You must broadcast the announcement of your photo contest to the world: journalists, local presse, bloggers, social media…
  • Of course you will have to curate your social media content because it’s your job to manage your contributors submissions and ensure a positive experience.
  • Be sure to provide a clear and bullet proofed term of use : no joke. Tips: check in your network if one of your connexion have organized this kind of operation in the past.

Not only does this generate interest for your organization and local area, but it goes a long way in getting people talking. Not to mention the fact that the images alone are sure to excite.

 

2. Use social media displays at upcoming events.

You probably take part in events from time to time. Many even sponsor their own event like Vélocéane

As you plan for your upcoming event, don’t overlook event technologies in the social media space :

Pros:

  • Bring fun to your guests. More and more people becomes journalist by sharing their experience on social network during the event. Make it fun, engaging and accessible to everyone by broadcasting live photos on site.
  • Bring your sponsors on your live display. Showing your sponsors logos is a must have so your social display becomes a source of revenue instead of a source of cost.

Cons:

  • Considerer the Total Cost of Ownership. Live display already proved their efficiency, but beware : do you have all the hardware that it requires? Do you have a TV/projector? Do you have an internet connexion?

When the opportunity arises, you may be surprised at how many people are more than willing to share their experience, photos included, online and onsite.

Spread the love.

As noted above, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the three social media platforms that will give you the most bang for your buck.

When you rely on all three of these, it becomes much easier to generate the desired result. At the same time, it will allow you to see which one provide the most value in terms of customer response.

For example, you may find that Pinterest users are more likely to engage than those on Twitter or Facebook. It may be a trial and error process, but in the end you will have mounds of valuable information.

Every year, the tourism industry rakes in billions upon billions of dollars. Is your organization taking advantage of all the ways it can generate business?

Author: Chris Bibey, Image: Josh Hallett  (Creative Common, no change made)

July 31, 2014 at 10:37am

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9 Ways Technology is Changing Modern Weddings

It’s safe to say that nearly all weddings today incorporate technology -to some extent.

From behind the scenes wedding preparations, to virtual guests, it’s amazing what you can do with a computer or a smartphone!

Technology allows us to connect with others, and share information faster than ever before, and it has had an especially big impact on weddings.

Read on to see some of the fantastic ways that technology is changing modern weddings.

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Wedding Announcements

Many couples today are opting for paperless invitations. Love them or hate them, paperless invitations have a number of things going for them; they save time, and loads of money. Traditional paper wedding announcements can be surprisingly costly, and it takes a lot time to address and stuff all those envelopes. Virtual wedding announcements have come a long way in recent years, with companies like Paperless Post offering beautiful, and tastefully designed virtual wedding announcements.

Wedding Updates

Social media is a great way to keep guests up-to-date on all of the details leading up to your big day. Creating a group on Facebook and inviting all of the guests allows you to easily notify guests of any changes. This makes updating relatives much, much easier than making individual phone calls. Plus, there’s no need to worry about “spamming” uninterested people with status updates. Keep your wedding-themed updates to the group, and allow interested guests to join.

Online Wedding Planning

You’d be hard pressed to find a bride-to-be who hasn’t heard of Pinterest. Technology brings a plethora of information to browse through, and allows brides-to-be to collect and display images of their favorite cake designs, ideal wedding dresses, and various moss-covered decorations. Online wedding planning has to be one of the best things that technology has done for weddings. Once upon a time, couples-to-be had to order though magazines, or were forced to settle with what was available in town. Yikes! Bridal sites today can refer you to caterers, wedding suppliers, musicians, and venues, and your wedding options today are virtually limitless.

Music Selection

Thanks to Google, YouTube, and Spotify, there’s never been an easier way to choose music for a wedding. You can look up music by genre, year, or similar artist, and can compile it all in in one place. When you have your playlist, use Spotify to download the music to a local playlist. This saves loads of time –and money, preventing you from buying music that’s not usually sold on a per-track basis.

Online Wedding Registries 

Online wedding registries are fun and simple to create. Creating a registry doesn’t take more than a few clicks, and then you can have fun adding various “necessities” to your list. It’s like a wish list –only better! Many guests actually prefer to gift using a wedding registry, since is takes the guess work out of gifting. They also allow your guests to refrain from purchasing you the obligatory toasters. It’s a win-win situation for all!

Simplified Travel

Remember what it was like back in the days before online booking? Today, booking is easier and more efficient than ever before. Plus, booking online also allows you to compare rates and find the best deals. If you are having a destination wedding, or are simply trying to help coordinate travel for out of town guests, online booking is the way to go. This comes in handy when planning the honeymoon as well. 

Virtual Guests

While it’s always best if everyone’s together, there are always guests who can’t make it. Streaming your ceremony live allows out-of-towners to still be a part of your big day –from a distance. If live video streaming is a bit much, you could opt for a live photo stream for out of town guests to tap into. It’s easy to set up! Simply open up a Sharypic account, and create your own album for your event. Then copy and paste two lines of code into your wedding blog or website. When your wedding guests upload their photos and tag them with your hashtag, your photos will appear in the live stream on your blog! It’s a great way to allow of town guests a chance to see your wedding. 

Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are a much-loved wedding tradition. While many couples send their guests off with home baked treats (which are always nice!) modern couples are choosing to present their guests with memories –in the form of personalized flash drives, or YouTube music videos –full of photos and footage from the big day.

Collecting Photos With a Wedding App

With all of the different social media websites out there, it can be difficult to track down of all the photos that your guests take at your wedding. If you want to make sure you can collect all of those special images, you may want to consider setting up a wedding app which will collect all of the photos for you in one place. With Sharypic, all your guests have to do is download the app, or tag the photos with your hashtag when they upload them to their social media accounts. Your photos will then be curated in one place for you to look at later. It’s a simple way to make sure you don’t miss any photos from your special day.

Another great thing about Sharypic, is the live printing feature. This allows you to offer guests the chance to print their own photos of your wedding. This is a perfect way for friends and family to choose -and print- their favorite shots from your special day. All you need is a printer that’s compatible with postcard format, and a Sharypic account, and you’re ready to go!

So there you have it: nine ways that technology is changing weddings today. 

From the planning process to the actual day, technology is changing weddings –for everyone involved. Sharing information with others is what it’s all about, and thanks to technology, this is easier now than ever before!

We look forward to the future, where technology will undoubtedly be impacting other aspects of weddings and bringing changes to every sector of our lives.

Here’s to a bright and happy future!

What do you think? What are some other ways that technology is changing modern weddings? 

Author: Christina Harman, Images credits: Katsu Nojiri (Creative Common, no change made)

May 22, 2014 at 3:44pm

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How Photo Sharing can Enhance your Event

Are you looking for a way to enhance your next event? While there are many steps you can take to better accommodate and engage attendees, here is an idea to consider: photo sharing.

There are two things we know about people who attend professional events:

  • They are visual
  • They are more than willing to share their experience via social media, many times through the use of pictures

Now that you have a better understanding of the basics associated with photo sharing, let’s take a closer look at three of the biggest benefits:

Photos are the most engaging content on social media sites.

You want your attendees to share their experience online, right? While text based updates will always be popular, more and more people are having fun with images.

Not only do people enjoy sharing photos via social media, but these have a much better chance of being shared by others.

From the perspective of an event organizer, there is nothing better than the thought of a viral social media storm.

A variety of ways to leverage photo sharing to enhance the event.

The sky is the limit when it comes to the ways you can use photos to take your event experience to the next level. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • The use of a photo curation service such as Storify
  • Photo contest to increase engagement and give people a reason to share
  • Broadcast images live during the event, such as through the sharypic platform
  • Embed images on your blog or Facebook fan page
  • Live print photos with services like Instaprinter or sharypic

Fun, fun, and more fun.

Even though professional events give people an outlet for networking and learning more about an industry, the fact that people should be having fun cannot be overlooked.

Photo sharing is fun on many different levels. From taking pictures to sharing these online, you know that people are going to have a more enjoyable time when they are encouraged to share photos in a variety of ways.

Bonus tip: have you given any thought to renting a photo booth for your event? Talk about a great way to get people involved. There is something about the opportunity to jump inside a booth and act silly that really gets people excited.

It won’t take long for you to realize that a photo booth has soon turned into one of the biggest attractions at your event.

Experiment Now, Benefit Later

If all this sounds good to you, the only thing left is to input photo sharing into your event strategy. You may be unsure of what will work best and what will generate the most response, but that is part of the process. When you experiment with a variety of ideas, it will not be long before you have a better understanding of where to focus your time and effort down the road.

With photo sharing, you are giving attendees the chance to have more fun and share their experience with the world. It is your job to provide photo sharing opportunities. From there, you can leave it to everybody else to take the idea and run.  

Author: Chris Bibey