I love traveling. A major activity of my trip planning is the quest of cheap air tickets. I usually start my search with Expedia. Expedia, headquartered in Bellevue, is the largest online travel company in the world. Many of you may know that Expedia was spun out of Microsoft in 1999. It has localized websites in 30 countries worldwide.
Expedia has a huge fan following in social media – Facebook (1,775,844 likes), Twitter (138,384 followers), Pinterest (2,745 followers) and Google+ (1,061, 513 followers). Expedia’s Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ pages have intriguing vacation destination photographs that remind you that if there is heaven, it is on earth.
Expedia has used a different strategy for each social media channel. I find the content on its facebook page to be very comprehensive spanning campaigns, vacation destinations information, travel advisories, customer FAQ, jobs openings and videos. Expedia uses twitter for time-sensitive content like promotions and chat. The content on Pinterest and Google+ is more like that of a travel magazine. Expedia has aggressively used social media to incentivize its fans to participate in sharing their travel experiences through various contests. For instance, Expedia/NFFTY’s Find Yours campaign selected three winner films from the users-generated mini documentaries and short travel-based films. Expedia Trip Tips has integrated Expedia’s social media campaigns with travel bloggers to engage new audiences.
My takeaway from Expedia is that the key to a successful social media campaign is to understand your audience and design your strategy to cater to users’ interest.