Travelocity draws in dreamers on Twitter and Instagram with #iwannago campaignNews / Technology | OnlineBy Nick Vivion | March 21, 2014Share This article was originally published on Travelocity recently took to Twitter and Instagram to splash out on a multi-week brand campaign under the hashtag #iwannago. The campaign encourages users to generate content by asking submissions for a dream trip via the campaign hashtag. The requirements are very simple: Follow @roaminggnome on either Twitter or Instagram.Tweet/share a photo of a dream destination using #iwannago.Travelocity picks winners, offering 2 tickets to fly users wherever they want to go. The submissions are already pouring in, so Tnooz sent over some questions to both Twitter and Travelocity about how the campaign is going, what other examples there are of fantastic travel marketing on Twitter, and generally more about this particular initiative on the social media platform. Up first: Twitter talks to Tnooz about Travelocity and travel on Twitter Twitter's Head of Travel Accounts Mike De Jesus took some time to answer some of our questions via email. What are some of the best examples of Twitter promotions in the travel space so far? Here are a few great examples that we’ve seen recently: Virgin America does a great job of running weekly flash sales and being a reliable resource for discount fare sales. The company keeps its content fresh and relevant, and make sure to tailor their messages to travelers in specific locations.Brands like Priceline (with William Shatner and Kaley Cuoco), Travelocity (with the Roaming Gnome), and Hotels.com (Captain Obvious) do a fantastic job showcasing their brand’s personality on Twitter. These brands leverage their celebrity partners and personas to give their brands a fun, human voice on Twitter that users can relate to and engage with.And of course, Travelocity recently ran a Promoted Trend, which resulted in high volume + engagement from the Twitterverse. It centered the campaign around the hashtag #iWannaGo and encouraged the country to share their dream travel destinations for the opportunity to win one. It was the number 1 trending conversation in the U.S. for that day!What recommendations do you have for other travel brands considering using Twitter as part of a campaign?It's important to utilize a consistent voice on Twitter, and to use the platform beyond just reactive customer service. Virgin America does a great job of responding to customer service inquiries in a timely and conversational fashion, but also showcases its fun, stylish, and conversational brand personality that really resonates with the target audience. They also use Twitter to highlight new flight routes, new amenities, and to engage users with fun contests. Advertisers must realize that your customers are on Twitter, and that you have a chance to influence them at all stages of the travel process - from inspiring a trip, to acquiring new travelers, all the way through retention and loyalty. There are 1.6 million conversations happening about travel on Twitter every single day. We see that travelers take to Twitter everyday to discuss their travel plans and seek advice. It’s important for brands to tap into these conversations and create a relationship with these users so they can be activated into purchase decisions once a user is ready to make them. Some good examples of brands who do this are Priceline, with its focus on aligning themselves with big cultural events, like the Super Bowl or the Oscars, via catchy and creative rich media (including Vine) that they tweet out to Twitter users (potential travelers) who are engaged in conversations about those events. AirBnb is another example. They had a large campaign around SXSW this year. Gave their users and customers a chance to hang out with Snoop Dogg in Austin at SXSW. They also had a multi-channel approach, spanning outside Twitter. What specific qualities of the Twitter experience lend themselves especially well to the travel space?Twitter has always been a mobile-first company, putting travel marketers in a unique position with a unique opportunity. When people travel, they bring their mobile devices. Twitter then provides an opportunity to connect with users in relevant ways, via the device that consumers and travelers favor more and more: mobile. Twitter is also a conversational and real-time platform, which offers travel marketers a way to align with conversations or topics or events that the Twitterverse and their potential customers care about. It also challenges marketers to ensure they are being timely and relevant. How does Twitter see itself integrating more with the travel industry? I would love to see more and more travel brands take advantage of the Direct Response advertising solutions recently launched by Twitter. This will ensure that travel marketers are taking full advantage of all the strategies Twitter can play in all stages of the travel cycle and the conversion funnel, including strategies that focus on driving direct bookings. I see more and more brands and organizations across the vertical including Twitter in all stages of the travel cycle, especially in-market engagement. I would love to see more brands encourage in-market tweeting and sharing from their guests, so that over time, travelers become the authentic voices of the airline, destination, or hotel, sharing real, rich experiences that they had while traveling. --- Next up: The Travelocity team talks about the marketing effort The Travelocity team, including the Director of Brand Marketing and CMO, share more about the background, reach, and engagement of the campaign, and responds to a question relating to last year's Expedia partnership announcement. Please share more about the campaign. From Brett Steiger, Director of Brand Marketing, Travelocity: This campaign is a natural progression of our two-way communication and ongoing relationship with our customers. Last year, our advertising messaging focused on asking consumers to “Go & Smell the Roses.” They responded with a resounding, “Yes!” In that process, we continued a dialogue and found that people naturally want to share with their friends, their families, and with us where they “wanna go. So, when we launched our new series of “Go & Smell the Roses” ads on CBS’s All-Star Edition of “The Amazing Race” on March 9th, those spots were tagged with the hashtag #iWannaGo. In the days that followed, we launched comprehensive digital, advertising, public relations and promotional efforts that encouraged consumers to use #iWannaGo to share their dreams with us and to enter to win their trip of a lifetime. From March 6 through May 5, 2014, consumers can tell The Roaming Gnome where they wanna go by posting dream travel tweets, photos or videos on Twitter, Instagram or Vine using the hashtag #IWannaGo. Two winners selected at random will win their dream #IWannaGo trip, and will be announced via social media in April and May. As part of this integrated campaign, we really pushed the envelope within the social channels. We actually took over the #iWannaGo hashtag with a Promoted Trend from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12, to ensure that everyone on Twitter would have the opportunity to engage with us and enter to win their dream trip. What are the goals of this campaign?From Bradley Wilson, CMO, Travelocity: Our primary goal in this campaign is to inspire consumers to dream of travel and follow those dreams. From a quantifiable perspective, we want to build long-lasting relationships with our key customer audiences – consistent with the early success we saw last year around rejuvenating our brand. We aim to increase our social engagement and drive overall social impressions, as this is a channel in which we can have ongoing, two-way conversations with these key consumers and build loyalty with this engaged group. What are the metrics of the campaign?Bradley Wilson: The amazing and genuine reaction to this campaign can best be seen in the Tweets and the Instagram images people are submitting. Teachers writing their dream destinations on the classroom chalkboard. Young couples hand-in-hand dreaming about their honeymoon. Brothers wanting to go visit sisters, and parents wanting to take their kids on adventures. The true metrics are in the incredible dreams that consumers are sharing. But, the campaign, by the numbers, has been wildly successful as well. In the first 10 days of the #iWannaGo campaign: @RoamingGnome gained more than 10,000 new followers on Twitter.Posts from @RoamingGnome garnered average impressions per day (in millions) of 6.25 times higher than a normal posting.The Promoted Trend on March 12th garnered 57 million impressions in one day. In the first 10 days of the campaign, the #iWannaGo integrated efforts resulted in Conversation rates (number of audience comments or replies per post) that were 26 times higher than an average posting, with Applause rates (number of favorite clicks per post) that were 5.6 times higher than a normal posting. Our @RoamingGnome posts already have one of the top engagement rates in the travel industry, as he travels the world and shares his adventures. So, these campaign engagement rates have really raised the bar to a new level of true interaction with consumers. With more than 20,000 contest entries in 10 days, and engagement levels that are far beyond industry standard, this #iWannaGo effort has already been the most successful social campaign in our history. Further, we have seen a remarkable improvement in all of our internal engagement metrics with our key audiences – all of which provide confidence that we are continuing to drive equity and value for our brand. It has also offered a way to connect our brand with a wide range of social influencers, from Toronto to New York to Los Angeles and millions of combined followers. The landing page for this contest was not a metric that we were overly focused on. We set out to connect with customers who we could create long-term relationships with. We also ensured that engaging with us was simple and natural – using a hashtag in Twitter and Instragam, forums that consumers are already well versed in. So, the majority of the “traffic” in this campaign is happening on those social channels, in the form of engagement with the precise customers we want to be engaging with. How has the campaign been received so far?Brett Steiger: To say that the campaign struck a chord with travelers all over the country would be an understatement. What this campaign has done is capture and celebrate this common sense of wanderlust that people have. It is not just a contest, but a way for them to stop their daily routine and daydream for a moment about what they would love to experience. What has been fascinating is to see how the nature of social media continually shapes this campaign. The days of having one campaign idea and pushing to an audience have come to a close. This is an era of real-time marketing, where engaging with consumers and enabling them to shape the way they interact with your brand is the way to gain attention and win loyalty. For example, in the first three days of the campaign, the number one #iWannaGo destination was Australia, followed closely by Italy and Hawaii. Then, one person’s #iWannaGo dream inspired another’s and another’s. By day 10 of the campaign, the top dream destinations looked like this: The submissions range from funny to serious and everything in between. So, each one is engaging in that it represents a travel dream someone shared with us and with their social network. Here are a few that really engaged and delighted our internal team, from the heartfelt to the creative: Given the recent Expedia partnership, how does this promotion entrench the brand proposition of Travelocity? Bradley Wilson: Travelocity is rooted in our Go & Smell the Roses rally cry, and the #iWannaGo promotion takes this mantra one step further by getting would-be travelers to put their dreams into action. The more we think and talk about our travels dreams, the more realistic they become. #iWannaGo is a conversation that we are already innately having in our day-to-day interactions — around the water cooler, on social networks and among family and friends. There’s always a new place you want to go, a new restaurant you want to try, a new experience you want to immerse yourself in. Travelocity wants to know all of those “IWannaGo’s” and help people make them a reality. Now, not only can consumers tell us where they want to go, but we can better turn that dream into a reality with the expanded distribution and enhanced technology of this new agreement. Full contest details and rules can be found here. NB: Gnome image courtesy Shutterstock.