Social Media Marketing and Tourism

Social media analyst Jeremiah Owyang was engaged by the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau to conduct a survey of social media use by travelers — the “socialgraphics” of Hawaii tourists. He and HVCB director for online marketing Kara Imai discussed their findings on “Bytemarks Cafe,” the weekly science and technology show on Hawaii Public Radio.

Audio from the interview will be available here [MP3] for a few weeks. Owyang also blogged about his visit:

Key Takeaways:

  • Finding out how your target customers use social media (Disclosure: Altimeter was hired by HVCB to conduct socialgraphics research), and where they are online is the first step in a social business strategy. We call this socialgraphics, learn more about it here.
  • Mom and pops, small businesses, and even large hotels can benefit from social media.
  • What happens at the destination (and how people rate their experience, even in real time) is a form of marketing.

Owyang was back in Honolulu to present at the Hawaii Tourism Conference. His remarks were covered by local ABC affiliate, KITV:

Many Companies Misuse Social Media

Like businesses everywhere, Hawaii’s tourism industry is turning to social networking media, like Facebook and Twitter, to attract visitors.

So a workshop featuring research into social media and traveling behavior was among the biggest attractions at the annual Hawaii Tourism Conference Monday at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group, who has researched use of social media by travelers, said while many companies have established Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, that doesn’t mean they are taking full advantage of social network marketing.

Photo by Burt Lum, used with aloha.

Ryan Ozawa

Ryan Kawailani Ozawa has immersed himself in new technologies and online communities since the days before the web. From running a dial-up BBS in the early '90s to exploring today’s dynamic world of "Web 2.0" and social media, he has long embraced and evangelized the ways in which technology can bring people together.