Social Media: Understanding The Community

With the growth of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, social media monitoring and promotion have become a major activity for most travel companies. The goal is to listen to the social networks and respond to issues around a company's brand. The other major effort is to use fan pages and Twitter feeds to offer limited-timed promotions. Both these activities are essential social media 1.0 tasks, but there is a lot more analysis that can be implemented to identify connectivity among community members, key influencers within the community and overall community trends. To achieve this next level of analysis, business intelligence tools that examine social networking are required. [more]
As mentioned in a previous blog, one such tool is NodeXL. This is an open source Microsoft Excel plug-in that can be used to create a visual community map of everything from your Outlook contacts to your Twitter feed. The visualization allows you to understand relationships between community members. Are there individuals who everyone connects to, but who connect to few? If so, these people may be key community influencers, but how do you influence them? As you can see, this only touches the surface of social networking analysis.
I am pleased to announce a new strategic alliance, with Mark A. Smith, PhD of Connected Action Consulting Group. Not only is Dr. Smith the creator of NodeXL, but he is an experienced social scientist who uses his sociology training to offer clients a deep understanding of their online communities with specific recommendations on how to implement strategies to protect and grow a company's brand within their community. Travel Tech Consulting is pleased to offer Dr. Smith's services in conjunction with our travel technology and online expertise to offer clients the next level of analysis of social networks.

Norm Rose president of Travel Tech Consulting and senior technology analyst with PhoCusWright. This post is syndicated, with minor edits, from his blog, Travel Technology.