Social media in the travel industry, v. Expedia

The travel industry is a naturally social environment, with travelers regularly sharing their adventures, opinions and deals with their friends and family.  Travelers are also typically sophisticated consumers, with a strong sense of value and a deep passion for what they do.  This seems to be the perfect community to engage via social media, and it is instructive to evaluate the social media strategy of two of the largest players in that industry, Expedia and

Expedia, Inc. – Has an actively managed social presence developed as a part of an overall social strategy kicked off in 2011, this strategy includes the creation of a media consulting practice for online travel agents – Has had a historically acrimonious relationship with social, but one which they recently realized must be actively managed; they are currently treating social media as a secondary marketing channel, effectively hosting their social presence as a store-front for people to ‘stand around’ in the hope that they’ll become customers.

These two different approaches to social media play out in the firm’s strategy and tactics:

How many social media channels do they participate in?

  • Expedia – Many with an integrated strategy, including Twitter, Facebook, Slideshare, YouTube, various blogs, Social presence on, phone apps, Tumblr, google+, Pinterest and the like.
  • – Only the largest, treating them as store fronts which may drive traffic to their sales property, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and phone apps.

How often they participate in those channels?

  • Expedia – Constantly, including a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly communication calendar which includes many different communication channels and engagement types, from broadcast messing to interactive chats.
  • – Daily automated Facebook page pushes and tweets

How engaged are their communities?

Expedia –

  • Facebook=1.9M likes, 4k active communications
  • Twitter=21k tweets, 200k followers
  • YouTube=18k subscribers
  • Phone apps=10s of millions of downloads –

  • Facebook=1.8M likes, 56k active communications
  • Twitter=14k tweets, 42k followers
  • YouTube=6k subscribers
  • Phone apps=10s of millions of downloads



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