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m social media experts at the Facebook-hosted event ahead of TTE. Lee Hayhurst reports


Experts say human touch is key to social success


Success on social can be measured in many ways, but panellists agreed that the only way companies can ensure they meet their goals is to be human.


Speakers agreed a more sophisticated approach to social has emerged since the early days when firms prioritised amassing ‘friends’, ‘followers’ or ‘likes’. Today, success is measured


more by engagement, which can take many forms, including direct bookings, although attribution remains a challenge. HolidayPirates’ Cooper said:


“We’d love to see that direct link between the deals we post and conversion into bookings. Essentially that’s what we’re trying to do. “With multi-channel attribution,


it’s ite difficlt to pin down a specific booking with something you’ve done on social media. “So we look at how viral a deal goes, if a deal is shared by our community and how engaged the audience is.” Luxtripper’s Chaletzos said:


“Travel is social, it’s personal, so social media lends itself brilliantly to trael t is sometimes difficlt to attribute a user because they might have seen you on Facebook but come direct to your website.


BUSACCA: ‘The shift we’re seeing is to engagement rather than ‘likes’’ 80%


Instagram users who follow a business


“There are multiple ways to


measure success, and for different organisations what counts as success will be very different. We get a lot of leads.” Allison Busacca, travel product


marketing lead at Facebook and Instagram, said 80% of Instagram


users follow a business, indicating a desire to engage with brands. “The shift we’re seeing is


towards engagement rather than just ‘likes’ – having a really strong conversation,” she said. “It’s about creating engagement


so your followers feel they are a part of your brand, looking beyond just one metric and thinking about all of them together. “And it’s about being human.


Social platforms are essentially just different ways to communicate with your consumers – where they are and how they want to receive information.”


Fox tips the online world to split into three


Different approaches to online privacy around the world is causing the internet globally to fracture in to three distinct entities, it was claimed. Culture Trip’s Fox said the online


environment was now shaped by the GDPR data-protection regime


in Europe, the “free internet” ethos in the US and the restrictive approach in China. “There are huge differences in


culture,” he said. “We are probably at the very beginning of this new trend. “We used to build digital


businesses for the global community and there was one internet, but there’s probably going to be three in the future. “That has huge implications for


how you structure your business and what you do with your content and how you treat your users.”


COOPER: ‘Combining the three platforms will boost engagement’


21 March 2019travelweekly.co.uk71


Panellists give a to Facebook’s


integration plan


Panellists said they were excited about Facebook plans to integrate its platforms. This month, the social media


giant announced its intention to bring Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp together. HolidayPirates’ Nick Cooper


said: “That could be massive for us. At the moment, we have three separate strategies. [In future], you could have someone who’s inspired by your brand on Instagram and be able to WhatsApp their friends or share it on Facebook. “Because the success of our business is in engagement and our deals going viral, having them combined will only increase that.” Luxtripper’s Chaletzos said:


“Having a better ecosystem that connects is definitely better for business. It will be amazing if we can manage it all through one platform. Messenger is becoming a bigger channel for us.” Facebook’s Busacca said the


platform had recognised that firms don’t have the resources to support all of its channels. She added: “We are thinking about the integration to make it easier for you to support those conversations, to engage as humans across the three platforms.”


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