The companies who offer internet search engines use crawling know-bots to build their databases of web-sites and their pages. Skilful web developers, in conjunction with marketing staff will tune their web pages so that the know-bots find and index their web-sites clearly for their potential customers. This is called search engine optimisation, or SEO, and it has become an important role in itself. Skilful SEO can bring your web site up 'above the fold', that is, onto the top four or five search hits visible on the search result screen. Users have to scroll down to see those 'below the fold' so being above the fold on the first screen is the ultimate aim. See my slides to learn what the know-bots are looking for on the well-optimised web-page.
E-marketers need to understand what organics are on the Google search results. These are the unpaid-for top hits above the fold. Those hits with a pale coloured background are non-organics and will have to be paid for by the web-site owner if a user clicks through to the site shown in the link.
Companies can make use of the web pages that their target demographic most often use everyday. Before social media this would be banking pages, weather pages, commuter travel pages or newspapers. The screen real-estate of these sites became valuable as an advertising space. The business models of the social media sites include this concept that they can sell screen space to businesses who want to target a specific demographic group.
The advertiser takes their new product, which has been developed through marketing, and promotes it using timed campaigns. Campaigns are used as control and feedback loops by asking: 'If we do this what will the customers do?' Campaigns let the advertiser adjust a controlled variable in the way they promote the product and then see the results of that, both through visits to their web-site and also, hopefully, through changes in sales. You can launch and manage a campaign through Google Blogger, for example, to see how that draws in visits to your web-site. An editorial calendar which is tuned to the editorial calendars of target media is also useful since it provides an annual timetable for campaigns. World events, for example the Rio Olympics, should also figure in the editorial calendar.
Social Media Discourse Practices (SMDP)
Bernstein uses Habermas' writings to see when people have trust in an ongoing story. I explain this in more detail in my article on the internet; essentially the reader must see themselves in the story being presented by the social media and, after reflection, must have confidence that it is not written to deceive them (Mansfield 2001). Habermas explains that westerners have confidence in a story when it is in an ideal speech situation, and that new beliefs acquired in these situations will be taken up by the reader and begin to form part of their new identities (Mansfield 2001).
Synergies with the Destination's Place Branding
Morgan & Pritchard (2005) explain how a niche area or destination can brand itself to attract new visitors and we have seen in our own fieldwork in Brittany how small seaside towns can be invisible to unknown to visitors from Britain, for example. Skilful tourism attractions can exploit the branding being done by their local town or region to align their offering with that of the main promotional activities. In summer 2013 Dartmouth in south Devon embarked on this partnership process bringing together attractions, hotels and other service providers.
Knowledge Management Futures
It was hoped that Social Media might deliver the much sought after knowledge base, the know-where or know-ware for the tourism industry and its visitors. Ren, Pritchard & Morgan (2010) and our own look at what constitutes tourism knowledge in other Tourism Management modules here at Plymouth University discuss how a network of actors can generate knowledge about places which, if opened out can be networks of knowledge transfer, too. I researched into this during my doctoral work, especially with the G+ Community Travel and Books (Travel & Books 2014). The principal is that knowledge is crowd-sourced, as step further forward from FAQs, frequently-asked questions, so that a mature Community of postings would provide a knowledge base which can be searched on keywords. Innovation is still needed in this area.
Please cite these Toureme pages in in your work:
Mansfield, C. (2014) Toureme - Tourism Knowledge Transfer [online] Available at: eserve.org.uk [Accessed 25.9.14].
Bernstein, J. (1995) Recovering Ethical Life: Jurgen Habermas and the Future of Critical Theory, London, Routledge.
Caughey, J. (1984) Imaginary Social Worlds – A Cultural Approach, Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press.
Douglas, M. (2011) In the Active Voice, Abingdon, Routledge.
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.
Mansfield, C. (2001) 'Identity and Narration in Chris Marker's La Jetée and the Appearance of the Internet as a Symptom of Cold-War Anxiety' in Time, Narrative and the Fixed Image / Temps, Narration et Image Fixe Mireille Ribiere & Jan Baetens (eds) Amsterdam, Rodopi, pp.179-184. ISBN 9042013664 DOI: 10.13140/2.1.3937.0889 http://goo.gl/xJdbCm
Morgan, N. & Pritchard, A. (2005) 'Promoting Niche Tourism Brands' Journal of Promotion Management 12(1) 17-33.
Ren. C., Pritchard, A. & Morgan, N. (2010) 'Constructing Tourism Research - A Critical Inquiry' Annals of Tourism Research 37(4) 885-904.
Travel & Books (2014) Travel and Books Google Plus Community, Google. [online] Available at: http://goo.gl/XgA6N [Accessed 2.1.14].