Hashtagio, a Canadian-based social media technology company, is breaking down borders between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many other social media silos to help companies attract and retain visitors through authentic storytelling. Hashtagio’s social media aggregation platform gives brands the ability to harness the power of user-generated content from multiple platforms, keeping users engaged with the brand at the website.
Canadian airline WestJet used Hashtagio’s platform to create a “mini miracles social hub” on their blog, during their award-nominated, 2015 Christmas Miracle campaign. Pulling in a live stream of user-generated social media content including photos and videos, WestJet attracted 182% more website visitors who spent 63% more time on-site and visited 6 times as many pages on average, compared to the prior year’s campaign.
Other travel brands that are integrating social media content into their website with Hashtagio are achieving measurable increases in website page views and on-site transactions. By injecting real social media stories into the website, Nova Scotia Tourism’s on-site social hub has driven traffic further down the path to purchase to over 100 pages on their website. The NovaScotia.com social hub also boasts a 3.37% bounce rate and an impressive 43% return visitors, results that have made the social hub one of the top 10 most visited pages on the website.
Consumers are losing interest in websites. In North America, an engaging travel company website can have an average bounce rate of 20-40%. A website bounce rate any higher means visitors are not engaging with the website’s content by viewing additional pages, and ultimately leave without transacting. Potential customers “bounce” out quickly to conduct another search or visit a competitor’s website, or to other platforms such as TripAdvisor and Expedia.
This is the problem that Hashtagio Co-Founder and travel industry veteran Alicia Whalen wanted to solve. “In Travel, more than any other industry, attracting visitors to book on the brand site is critical,” says Whalen. “There are too many choices for consumers in booking travel online. Most travel consumers are simply looking for the best experience, relevant content that showcases that experience, at the right price.”
Online travel aggregators such as Expedia and Booking.com have leveraged this well by incorporating social story telling and reviews into their websites, but with the high commissions paid to them, hoteliers and other travel suppliers are losing a large portion of their bottom line. More importantly, “they are losing direct relationships with their customers,” says Whalen.
The main challenge is engaging the customer with content. “Travel companies sell experiences and inspiration, but if you look at their websites, often they cater to two types of consumers: the casual researcher who visits the website to get practical content, such as a phone number, or directions; or the price sensitive booker, who ends up on their site because they are making the final decision and are looking for the best deal,” Whalen says. “There is a wide swath of potential customers who are in between including those who are looking for travel inspiration and those who are most likely to be influenced by the experience of others. But the content most relevant to these visitors typically sits within social media platforms – and away from the point of conversion.”
Allowing travel companies to pull relevant content directly onto their brand website, creates a better user-experience, increases SEO visibility, and provides direct links to buy within their site.
Once imported into the social hubs, brands can organize and categorize social stories by location, experience, or product type. On the backend, there is a user-friendly interface that shows all available social content pulled by each platform based on a brand’s keywords, hashtags and verified social media accounts. From there, marketers can curate the user-generated content and publish relevant posts onto a central hub, or smaller content hubs that they can embed as widgets on their website.
Hashtagio can be integrated with most website platforms, plugs into Google Analytics to measure ROI, and offers advanced social analytics and sentiment analysis.
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