E-Marketing through Social Media & Web 2.0

Author: Dr Charlie Mansfield, February 2019. Overview & revision video available at: http://youtu.be/vrtE990dA6I

To cite: Mansfield, C. (2019) 'E-Marketing through Social Media and Web 2.0' Toureme [online] Available at eserve.org.uk [Accessed 14-Mar-19].


Also available as a Toureme Ramble Strip for your smart-phone at https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B77hFOe95-o4MWh3RV9MX2QybDQ

Last year we explored tourism knowledge through fieldwork and saw that beneath tourism products can be detected three basic activities for which tourism firms provide services:

1. something to eat,

2. somewhere to sleep,

3. moving around.

It is useful to break these activities down to the absolute bare basics like this because it helps to show two aspects of marketing, that is, added value and differentiation. Take the third from our list of underlying basic activities, moving around. This includes the flight or ferry that transports the tourists. One plane journey is pretty much like any other. However, if British Airways says this flight is part of its Harlequin Package giving you chance to change your return flight it has differentiated itself from other flights by offering added value. Consider a small foot ferry, too, it serves all year as a commuter link between a dormitory suburb of town and the main shopping area. It can endeavour to satisfy tourists' needs in the summer by drawing attention to some aspect of the dormitory suburb, perhaps a walking route or the interesting built heritage that is worth visiting.

The small pedestrian ferry firm can trade on tourism knowledge, too. The tourist who arrives from London or Paris for the week in the seaside resort has no knowledge of the attractions and services out on the other bank in the dormitory suburb. A specialist fish restaurant is over there and so the ferry firm can treat the restaurant as a customer, too, offering them a seasonal deal to pay to advertise their restaurant on the ferry and to subsidise a return ticket. With those ideas of marketing creativity in mind what can a journal article add to marketing knowledge:Marketing is the process of satisfying customer needs, and it is continuous throughout the product’s life cycle, while being a two-way level of communication (Kotler et al., 1996). Kotler et al. (1996) broadly define marketing as a social process through which individuals fulfil their needs by creating and exchanging value with others. These are the same processes that are being transformed by social media. (Hvass & Munar 2012, 94)

Hvass & Munar (2012) provide the reminder that marketing is not advertising. Once a product has been designed to satisfy customer needs it may be that advertising is necessary to communicate this new design. However, the tourism venture seeks out what it is that customers need all the time. Customers cannot design products. Creativity, which is often regarded as leadership in marketing terms, is needed from the tourism business. Most first-time customers do not know that when they take a sightseeing train journey across Canada that they will need to 1. Eat, 2. Sleep and, 3. Move around. Remember the list above? So the tourism company selling the product must do its marketing. Included in marketing may well be that they have to install beds.

Leadership is part of marketing. Leadership shown by the creativity to lead with new product designs is one type of leadership that the ferry owner showed in approaching the restaurant as if the restaurant were a customer, too. Spotting trends caused by other leaders is as important as leading from within. Van der Veen (2008) shows how celebrities are used as marketing leaders to add value to a destination product, and Busby, Ergul & Eng (2013) use the term imprimatur, to denote this type of personality whose celebrity or leadership status can stimulate followers. Imagine trying to shift the club scene from Ibiza to Malaga after an investment in new clubs on the mainland of Spain. Rather than tackling the branded clubs, Pacha, Amnesia, Space, Ushuaïa the DMO could arrange for key DJs and celebrity guests to live and work in the new club zone of Malaga. The cast of TOWIE, for example, were used by Marbella in summer 2014. Tuning in to this type of cultural tourism for the music and dance scene would require engagement with the customers who are buying this type of travel. Where are those potential tourists sharing ideas at the moment? Where is their quotidian cyberspace? Are they reading the Guardian online? Are they banking with Firstdirect? The DMO needs to tell the potentials that these celebrities and specialists, the DJs and promoters, are now working in Malaga.

Two pound ferry at Marazion, 2013 Charlie Mansfield

Market Size and Demographics: Remember, ABTA offer Consumer Trend Reports at their resource zone http://abta.com/resource-zone/publication/the-consumer-holiday-trends-report-2014


Work-Out 1

Marketing means modifying your offering to suit customers. In this first working exercise you lead a small tourism venture that provides walking tours of the Devon countryside. After a marketing research exercise, see Brunt & Danster (2000) for an explanation of this, you realise that your walking product is too general. Your walks are not tailored to any particular customer need. Now, show leadership and propose a way of marketing your walks. What would you change?

Is there any theory to help understand social media?

John Crotts and Bing Pan (2012) find they have to look back to the twentieth century to find theoretical models for social exchange. They take the work of Homans (1958), Buckner (1965) and Emerson (1976) and from that develop their list of key social rewards that will encourage continued communication exchanges, postings on social media sites:

(i) Opportunity

(ii) Prestige

(iii) Conformity

(iv) Acceptance Crotts & Pan (2012)

In my managed G+ Community for Literary Tourism. I try to interpret and apply these theoretical ideas from Crotts & Pan (2012).

Work-Out 2

First, make a web-site for your tourism venture. We are using Google's free web tools, so start with Google Sites. If you have not used it before there is a video on YouTube at

And I have made an example web-site for my fictitious tourism venture called Grand Rambles to help you with ideas, at this url:


The New Google Sites free web development platform is at thus url:


Use the free Google Sites "Blank Template" to make your new tourism venture web-site now. The other templates are more complex and may slow down your working.

Tip: Look for the + button at the bottom of the screen

Tip: Be patient. It can take over a minute for Google to create your site. Glance around the screen in case it has sent you a small red error message beneath one of the fields.

When you design your website, you should consider the following questions that might be asked by your new customers and include components within your design that respond to each of these clearly:

(1) What is your tourism or hospitality venture? For example, 'About Us', 'Where We Operate', 'Mission'.

(2) What do we provide? Core activity plus subsidiary services eg food.

(3) How much does it cost for different ages? And are there any promotional offers?

(4) What do we want you to do now you have seen our web-site (the customer)? This is termed the 'Call to Action'.

(5) How can we encourage new and return visits to the web-site? Consider SEO, Social Media, Web 2.0 Feedback links to, say, G+.

(6) How can the site be made useful to mobile users?

Be ready to talk through your design layout using a diagram to show where you deal with each of these requirements.

YouTube is a social media platform, too. It was bought by Google in 2006 for £883 million. The key aim of marketers using YouTube is to develop their own channel and then attract a following of subscribers to their channel. For example, a company offering equitation demonstrations to holidaymakers would shoot short, high-quality videos of training points and use them to promote its offering via a YouTube channel. YouTube channels are easy to set up once you have a free Google account. Google-YouTube provide some teaching resources for marketers, please watch this one of theirs to gain a better understanding of channels and subscribers:

How can subscribers help your channel?


Google Developers provide the HTML code to display a Channel Subscribe button:


In early 2017, our own tourism graduate from the University of Plymouth, Jason Billam established his own Travel Vlog Channel to earn from advertising. Please take a look at his development over the years below. And notice, too, how he uses the subscribe button to gain a following:


Why do brands enchant? article link

References and Further Reading

Bateman, P., Pike, J., & Butler, B. (2011) 'To disclose or not: publicness in social networking sites' Information Technology & People 24(1) 78-100.

Busby, G., Korstanje, M., & Mansfield, C. (2011) 'Madrid: Literary Fiction and the Imaginary Urban Destination' in Journal of Tourism Consumption and Practice (3)2, 20-37. DOI: 10.13140/2.1.2626.3684 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264250444_Madrid_Literary_Fiction_and_the_Imaginary_Urban_Destination

Crotts, J. and Pan, B. (2012) 'Theoretical Models of Social Media, Marketing Implications, and Future Research Directions' in Christou, E, Gretzel, U. and Sigala, M. (2012) Social Media in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality, Farnham, Ashgate.

Hvass, K. & Munar, A. (2012) 'The takeoff of social media in tourism' Journal of Vacation Marketing 18(93) 93-102.

Kasavana, M., Nusair, K. & Teodosic, K. (2010) 'Online social networking: redefining the human web' Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 1(1) 68-82.

Kotler P, Armstrong G, Saunders J, et al. (1996) Principles of Marketing: European Edition. London, Prentice Hall Europe.

Van der Veen, R. (2008) 'Analysis of the Implementation of Celebrity Endorsement as a Destination Marketing Instrument', Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 24(2-3) 213-222.