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Travel industry news

18 Sep 2015

BY Matthew Parsons


Up Periscope, or dive, dive, dive? Charlotte Smith looks at how travel companies can embrace Twitter's new video tool

It has been eight months since Periscope was acquired by Twitter for $100 million.


Twitter was so impressed by the live video streaming site that it acquired the platform before it even launched.


Twitter’s Periscope is winning the social live-streaming race by a wide margin, according to data from Adobe Systems. In a world where dozens of social media platforms come and go, it is predicted Periscope will feature as a regular addition to your social media line-up, along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.


So how can travel brands use Periscope as an affordable, impactful marketing tool?


With the right approach, does it have the power to enhance your travel brand?


Periscope enables you to stream “live videos” from wherever you are in the world. Think Skyping, to the whole world.


There are plenty of articles online that cover how to get started using Periscope, but my top tips include: creating a good post title and description, which will catch your viewer’s attention; if your viewers ask questions, make sure you respond as the forum is interactive and some of the best streams are the ones that really engage with their audience; and ensure before you launch that key employees are trained and briefed on answering questions, and understand how you want them to present your business.


Overall, the potential for destination live video streaming is massive, yet the travel sector utilising Periscope for video blogging is relatively unheard of.


Being an early adopter of this technology means gaining a better segment of the market, and creates real opportunity for you to engage with a new audience. Destination tactics Using Periscope to “destination blog” is an affordable way of marketing, and can be conducted with a really small budget.


With minimal staff training and use of resources, travel companies can showcase destinations, accommodation and places of interest.


Travel companies sell dreams, be it skiing 30mph down alpine slopes, relaxing on a tropical beach sipping a pina colada, or carrying out volunteer work in Nepal. Travel companies have access to captivating ready-made material, which consumers instinctively want to view.


Why not try some of the following?

  • An accommodation tour with resort staff, to show rooms, pools, and other areas of interest.
  • Tour of the beach/shops/market. Then run a Q&A session with resort staff about the destination and why it is great.
  • Interviews with guests enjoying themselves.


Skyscanner is one of the most notable early adopters of Periscope. It did a fantastic promotion exploring the world, live-streaming consecutively for 24 hours.


Recruitment & HR

All companies face the age-old problem of how to attract the best staff and how to retain them in your industry.


As a business owner, I know first hand how challenging it is to attract and retain the best staff, without losing them to different industries or competitors.


Travel companies could use Periscope as a means of attracting people to their company.


Consider creating a behind-the-scenes Periscope initiative. Do Periscope interviews with different employees working in different business units around the company. Show prospective candidates what it’s like to work in the travel sector. From resort staff to customer services and marketing and finance, there are many operational and customer-facing roles individuals would love to hear more about.


Consider the following for attracting candidates:


  • Interviews with the managing director or HR director, followed by a Q&A session.
  • Interview with company recruiter – what do they like to see in CVs?
  • Q&A sessions with graduate scheme or team members. Discuss what they like and dislike about the roles.


Disaster and crisis management

Meanwhile, I am sure you are aware of the impact social media increasingly plays in corporate crises. Now, when a crisis strikes, events unfolding can be broadcast live via Periscope to the whole world. Sounds scary? The reality is, it is.


There is no way of getting away from this. Disasters do happen, but the way a company responds significantly impacts how it fares in a crisis.


With the launch of live-streaming technology, it would be sensible to preempt how to manage social media in such an eventuality. Place yourself in a position to respond positively in the event of a crisis.


First, claim your account; British Airways has set up a customer service handle, but notably it has yet to make a broadcast on Periscope.


Then formulate a plan, crafted by a crisis management expert, and make sure you and key staff members are appropriately trained and prepared to respond appropriately. Travel events This industry is notable for its many conferences and networking events, and Periscope is a great way of grabbing people’s attention – even if they are unable to attend your event.


Create a media buzz by broadcasting your seminar, travel tech product demo, or industry conference on Periscope.


For example, you might want to broadcast from your stand (“Join our stand at WTM 2015”) or broadcast the launch of a cruise ship or hotel.


Charlotte Smith, strategic marketing consultant, and former TTG 30 Under 30 member, helps travel businesses grow online. Go to charlotte-smith.com to find out more, or email her at charlotte@charlotte-smith.com

Bruce Martin, Ginger Juice: ‘Why tweet a photo… when you can broadcast live?’

Bruce Martin, Ginger Juice: ‘Why tweet a photo… when you can broadcast live?’

Live video is nothing new but Periscope makes it so much easier, enabling anyone to broadcast live.


The ability for people to broadcast live video has great potential within travel.


Why tweet a photo from the latest cruise ship visit when you can broadcast live from the ship? This approach would be much more engaging.


I also think it has interesting uses within the events sector. We’ve already seen a few live feeds from key industry events this year, with people tuning in from around the country. Will event organisers see Periscope as a threat – might potential delegates question why they should pay an entrance fee when they can view it for free from home?


Or will organisers love how it generates more coverage and extra buzz?

Ashley Quint, TravelTime World: ‘I would like to see it become a little more open’

Ashley Quint, TravelTime World: ‘I would like to see it become a little more open’


I don’t see Periscope as a social network – I see it as a tool for Twitter, and it reminds me of what Livestream did, using video and Twitter to provide the commentary.


It’s fantastic though, and much more accessible than YouTube videos or setting up a podcast. It would be a great tool when travelling, to share destinations with the current audience (Twitter followers) and people within the industry will be doing this more from conferences.


But I would like to see it become a little more open, so the streams could be saved for longer and made searchable.


Also the ability to embed (as you can on YouTube and Instagram) would be useful. You could then use them for blog posts or website pages in addition to the usual text/photo or professional video to give a different element, completing the circle – then it’s useful from a business point of view.

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