Category: SEO releted


How to import?
1. Go to your Facebook page (or create a new one here)
2. Click on the Notes tab in the top left hand corner (you may have to click on the plus sign to display it)
3. Select ‘Write a new note’
4. Once you’re in this window, you can access the Notes settings.
5. On the right-hand side of the Notes area, you can choose to import a blog.
6. Copy and paste the location of your blog’s RSS feed.
7. The page will then import your blog. After you have posted to your blog, the post will show up a little later in your Facebook page.
Why import a feed in to Facebook fan page?
If you are creating a Facebook page to promote your blog, importing the blog to the page means that all your blog posts will automatically appear on your Facebook page.
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  • Use blogging as a tool to be kept updated and in the latest developments and products of your field.

  • Blogging helps in adding fresh relevant content to website which search engines like.

  • You can build up your business creditability with the help of blogging.

  • A blog is a great tool to help increase your customer base.

  • Get free and fresh content with the help of comments that are made in blogs. This can be like User-generated content or UGC.

  • Create and establish a brand and brand awareness with blogs.

  • Help build trust between you and your readers and customers through blogs.

  • Enhance your website effectively and cheaply with the help of a blog.

  • Blogs are an easy way to establish two way communication and social interaction.

  • There is a higher and better chance of getting viral over social media sites with the help of a blog.

  • People generally consider reading a blog much better because of their non promotional tone and informative nature.

  • Blogs give you an easy way of approving comments before posting as against to social media sites where you have very little or no control at all.

  • Create more targeted traffic to your websites through search engines using blogs.

  • Blogs help to save time as visitors find many answers to their questions there.

  • Rumors about a business can be clarified through a blog.

  • With a blog, you not only become famous, but also gain power which you had never experienced.

  • Blogs have a huge part in SEO. Blogs are loved by Google and other Search Engines.

  • With the help of a blog, the Google PR of your site is enhanced.

  • Blogs are a great means of increasing potential traffic to your site.

  • Develop free PR for your business with a blog.

  • Blogs are great for creating returning targeted traffic.

  • The interactive nature of blogs makes people choose blogs over websites for links.

  • Remember that blogs consist mainly of text; and in SEO, text is king.

  • The comments posted on your blogs can give you better business ideas and tricks for your business.

  • Use blogs to express your thoughts. You can also use the blog to exercise your freedom of speech.

  • You can share whatever knowledge you have using a blog.

  • You will be considered an expert in your field because of a blog.

  • Use the help of RSS and links in getting targeted traffic to your blog.

  • Maintain public relations and relations with the media through your blog.

  • When compared to normal website pages, spiders tend to crawl blog posts more frequently.

  • Blog is a great means of creating a buzz or voice of mouth advertising.

  • Use the blog as a foundation for the content of a book.

  • Develop your business with the help of your blog.

  • Remain connected with people 24/7 with a blog.

  • You get new visitors and potential clients with the help of blogs.

  • Blogs are helpful and beneficial to the community.

  • Blogs are used to share company news.

  • Blogs are used as a communication link between employers and employees.

  • Blogs indicate that you are an easily approachable entity.

  • Keep in touch with industry leaders through blogs.

  • Use blogs in educational marketing, where you show how your services and products can be used to solve customers’ problems.

  • Blogs maintain convenient internal communication to share information in a company.

  • Find out more about your customers and clients’ needs through blogs.

  • Use blogs to create an online community.

  • Blogs provide easy communication with clients.

  • Talent is easily found with the help of blogs.

  • Blogs are used for getting back links.

  • Use blogs for getting internal links.

  • Blogs are regularly indexed by Google.

  • Use blogs to get free links from blog directories.

  • Develop easy and efficient deep linking with blogs.

  • Share any ideas you have on a blog.

  • Use blogs to solve problems.

  • Blogs are used for marketing because of its low overheads.

  • The navigation on blogs is text based, and search engine friendly.

  • The non promotion tone of blogs makes them very easy to link. This makes blogs highly linkable.

  • Use blogs to generate quick feedbacks.

  • A blog is a really great promotional tool.

  • Use blogs to convey authority.

  • You can easily target variety of keywords using blog.

  • Search engines find blogs easy to crawl.

  • Use a blog to let people and clients to get to know you better.

  • The RSS feeds of blogs help in efficient link building.

  • Blogs indicate that you are open, and don’t hide from anyone.

  • Use a blog to increase membership and opt-in lists.

  • Blogs are great for educating and informing people about specific topics

  • You can learn time management and discipline through a blog.

  • Find new partners and experience better networking through blogs

  • Use a blog as a platform for announcing new products and services.

  • Use blogs to reply to queries.

  • Both cultural and geographical borders are overcome through blogging.

  • The long tail keywords in blogs help you get top rankings as blog are mostly hosted on very reliable domains. Blogging give you an excellent platform to target long tail keywords and get top ranking.

  • Generate a niche appeal using a blog.

  • Blogs bring about a more personal connection between yourself and your clients.

  • A blog helps you find jobs and clients quickly.

  • A blog can be easily integrated into a market plan.

  • Get to meet new visitors and buyers through guest blogging.

  • A blog offers increased lead generation opportunities.

  • Learn current trends through blogging.

  • A blog means low cost, better communication.

  • With a blog, you experience reduced emails, calls and inquiries.

  • You can also boost your social life with a blog.

  • Flexibility is an important feature of blogs.

  • The easy web publishing solutions make blogs much easier to set up and maintain than websites.

  • Blogs provide a punctual and important means of sharing information with an audience.

  • With the help of a blog, you can increase your writing, debating and analytical skills.

  • Use a blog to generate money with Adsense and Affiliate marketing.

  • A blog is a great and easy publishing tool.

  • With a blog, you can introduce a human voice or element in a company.

  • Blogs provide a great medium for opportunities and to use as a research tool.

  • You can increase the number of your loyal customers with blogs as it helps you get close with customers.

  • With a blog, you become different from your competition. This is because the medium tends to approach you if you have a blog and not the competitor who does not have a blog.

  • Blogs offer different and varies means of spreading ideas.

  • Blogs are considered a great means of relational marketing. This is because once you post honest and heart felt blogs, you instill trust and respect in prospective customers.

  • Manage your online reputation by using a blog to answer any negative remarks made about you by a competitor. In other words, blogs help you stop rumors from spreading.

  • With a blog, you can easily create more pages which is great for search engines that rank pages and not sites. With a blog, you need not bother about the fitting in of the new pages with design.

  • You can use a blog for recording all your past experiences and thus, start a sort of history about yourself.

  • Blogging is fun. Blogging is something everyone enjoys doing.

  • It has been proven that blogging offers some medical and psychological benefits like better memory and sleep and fast healing after a surgery.

  • After creating quality posts like this one, you develop a feeling of satisfaction.
  • Creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin met while at Stanford University and collaborated on a web search engine called “BackRub.” Over time, the engine became too large for the university’s servers and the pair decided it was time for a name change. They eventually came up with the name “Google,” which was based on the word “googol” – a mathematical term for the number 1 followed by 100 zeros! They believed this word encapsulated their goal of organizing the limitless amounts of information stored across the World Wide Web.

    Here’s a timeline detailing the history of Google.
    by OMG-facts.com

     

    Twitter is a game changer for new blogs.  By far, it is the easiest and cheapest way to get readers to your blog.Today, Twitter is my #1 source of traffic.  It’s targeted and my readers are engaged, sassy, and extremely responsive.

    Here’s a peek at some lesson’s I learned the hard way:
    • Don’t just RT: Tell your followers why you found a link useful.  Add a little commentary to help your followers decide if they want to click through. You’ll find that more of your followers will follow your links and spread them if they find value.
    • Give (much) More than you Receive: Frankly, I try to make tweeting my own links a rare occasion.  It’s difficult but the more I help and promote others the better I do.  Chris Brogan’s 12:1 equation – tweet 12 others for every one your tweets works for me.  Experiment with the ratio to find the right balance for yourself.  By the way, this forces you to look at other people’s work and not just your own – that’s a very good thing.
    • Keep it Short: I try to keep my tweets below 100 characters to leave ample room for retweets.  It’s a simple change that has drastically increased sharing of my tweets.
    • Respond to Mentions: Mentions are Twitter’s equivalent of comments.  Taking the time to answer and reply to mentions are a great way to get your followers engaged and retweeting.
    • Personally Welcome New Followers: Twitter users are bombarded by spam bots.  These bots auto-follow anyone that use certain keywords in their tweets or profiles.  This means that most people are wary of mentioning or retweeting another person until they confirm they are real.  Help them out by sending them a personal follow-up using info that shows you actually read their profile. Here’s mine. This is nice touch and very effective.
    Feel free to modify and tweak these techniques to suit your personality, schedule and goals.  Give me a shout in the comments below to let me know how you plan to use these to get your tweets noticed.
     

    Twitter Co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams shared the stage today in a rare joint appearance where they addressed criticism about Twitter’s usefulness in activism, its impact on news and its overarching vision for the future.
    The co-founders participated in a lively fireside chat moderated by Businessweek’s Brad Stone at a sold-out event for the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. The conversation started with a discussion about whether Twitter has become mainstream. Evan started by asking what “going mainstream” exactly meant, but he did say that Twitter gains more new user signups every week than the entire population of his home state of Nebraska. That’s 1.8 million users per week.
    The conversation quickly moved into the rollout of the New Twitter. Both founders said that the reaction has been very positive. VP of Product Jason Goldman had been preparing the team for a backlash, but it simply never occurred. The goal of the new design, Biz Stone said, was to keep Twitter’s inherent simplicity intact while adding the richness and content people are linking to. Williams was the primary driver behind the new design.
    The meat of the conversation really began when Brad Stone brought up a recent opinion piece in The New Yorker by best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell. In it, Gladwell downplayed the power of social media in social activism, critiquing the notion that social networks can spur social movements. Supporting a cause on Facebook

    or Twitter involves neither a financial or personal risk, Gladwell wrote. Biz Stone responded to the criticism, stating that “some of it is right and some of it is wrong.” He agreed that tweeting doesn’t have the same impact as joining a physical protest where your life is at risk. However, he said it was “absurd” not to understand that Twitter and social media are complementary to that type of activism because of the ability to facilitate the fast exchange of information.

    Williams followed up by saying that Twitter’s use in Iran was likely overstated, but it was an early sign of “what is possible and what we’re trying to enable.” The web and electronic networks are now a central point for organization of this type of activism, now that communities don’t all congregate in one place, such as the church, anymore, Williams said.

     


     

    Twitter, Advertising and New CEOs

     


     

    Brad Stone asked the Twitter co-founders how they felt about the separation of advertising and editorial content. Evan Williams responded that Twitter clearly labels any tweets or trends that are advertisements. More importantly, he made clear that Twitter is a mix of advertising and non-advertising content. He cited brands such as Starbucks as examples of users voluntarily opting in for promotional tweets about a product. After all, Starbucks didn’t get more than 1 million followers without a lot of people expressing interest in its products.
    At one point, the Twitter founders were asked whether they thought the commercialization of the site was “bittersweet.” Biz Stone said he believed the company was succeeding in balancing advertising and commercial content with Twitter’s content quite well. “I want to ask you to name another platform where you can send a message to 5 million people for free,” he said. Yet if a company wanted to reach more people than their own followers, they had the opportunity to do so through Promoted Trends, Tweets or Accounts.
    Of course, no Twitter interview this quarter would be complete without a discussion about Evan Williams stepping down as CEO of Twitter. There are plenty of product-oriented CEOs, and Brad Stone asked the Twitter co-founders why Williams didn’t choose to go that route instead. Williams responded that he chose roles at Twitter based on where he would be the most useful, and in fact, he was in his fourth role at Twitter.
    Williams said he loved focusing on product the most, and he believed that the position of CEO of Twitter, due to its phenomenal growth, would require more attention on operational efficiency and personnel management than product strategy and direction, which excited Williams more than other factors.

     


     

    Twitter and a Billion Users

     


     

    Williams said the co-founders thought about Twitter in “broad strokes;” they were focused on helping people find out what’s happening in the world and becoming an indispensable service for spreading and consuming information woldwide.
    This led to another question: Do Twitter’s execs think the service could reach a billion users, something Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg famously claimed his company would reach after it surpassed the 500 million user mark. Williams affirmed his belief, saying, “Twitter will get to a billion members.” He quickly added it wouldn’t be the same billion individuals as Facebook, and he wouldn’t specify just how long it would take to reach that goal.
    His comments likely refer to his team’s belief that Facebook and Twitter are fundamentally different services with fundamentally different goals. Tonight’s conversation was entirely about Twitter as an information network, something that Twitter likes to emphasize anytime it’s compared to Facebook. In the eyes of Twitter’s cofounders, they’ve built a tool that has changed how we consume news and information for the better.

     

    Listening
    1. Where users are talking about you
    2. What users are saying about you and your brand
    3. Where users are talking about subjects that are important to your business
    4. What information users are looking for and how they hope to get the information they want.
    5. What articles, posts, and press mentions are being written about subjects, brands, and/or competitors that are important to you.
    Engage
    1. Increased link backs to your site (identified through Google Alerts).
    2. Click throughs to your specific profile page (another reason to have it) measured through your analytics tools.
    3. Improved Google search results (not guaranteed but likely depending on the level of engagement).
    4. Increased mentions of your brand or site on third party sites. This may be in responses to your comments, through others mentioning your comments, or through guest contributions on blogs.
    5. If you use a referring code that can be tracked through through your conversion process, you should be able to measure revenue as it relates to engagement.
    Articulate
    1. Increased referrals to your website from your blog or articles.
    2. Increase in “time on site” as users read blog articles.
    3. Increased blog search, web search, and mentions in Google Alerts.
    4. Increased comments on articles and greater engagement with reading audience.
    Demonstrate
    1. Increase in comments and engagement on your forum of choice (eg. GetSatisfaction.com)
    2. Increased follows on Facebook and Twitter (primarily).
    3. Increased engagement from existing fans including comments, photos, and videos from followers.
    4. Identify key evangelists of the business. This includes customers who love your service or business.
    At every stage there may be additional benefits or success factors that have not been described. Remember that as you continue to listen for mentions, you might find opportunities to connect with other media sources both locally and outside your region. For example, as you build your fan base and can show engagement with customers local media sources (newspapers, radio, television) will look to authorities in certain segments. Follow your media sources and comment on articles that apply to your business. These may range from comments on your region, business, industry and more. The important thing to remember is that if you demonstrate your expertise then media will default to those it perceives as experts.

    My 20th Birthday Blog

    This is my first ever, yes the first of its kind, Birthday Blog. So, with all the days happenings into the late, early morning I had a few things to say. When my birthday comes round it is a big deal, how to celebrate it?, because I always like to do something different. But, the important thing about celebrating a birthday is to give thanks to being alive, and having a blessed life with caring friends and a loving family. Today I turn 20 year old, I am that too younger! I know this is my day, but also to everyone I am appreciative of having in my daily life. Most of my friends vary from being from the mid-12’s to late-20’s. I don’t have anything a salary, annual bonus and company car, and a mortgage nor a life partner. But, looking at my life on my 20th birthday I have a lot and much more in my opinion.

    First and for most I am alive, I can walk, I am starting to run again, and have the use of my left arm. I am living my BIG dream and continue to do hard work for that. looking back from 3 years ago, I was working in a small firm then got opportunity to work in a big organization like “Aditya Birla Mincas” and then last but not the least, my favorite one “BlackId Solutions”. I can not see life any other way! I know that all the other little perks of life will fall into place at a time they are meant too.

    So, to end my first birthday blog thanks to everyone I know and look forward to meeting those I don’t know yet! Thanx a lot!!!
    social media bandwagonSocial media plays an important role in our lives and has drastically changed the world in ways more than one; It is now one of our important platforms of communication – we live and breathe it everyday, we rely on them for information and may even feel awkward not checking our Facebook account for notifications for 24 hours.
    Whether B2B or B2C, every industry is able to leverage on social media for their business. As people spend more time on social media online, ad dollars into social networking sites have also been increasing. That is why businesses need to always be ahead of the curve. If your competitor is already on board, you have much catching up to do!
    And if you were thinking that visitors will first go to your site for information about your company…Omniture proves you wrong as they share the value of what social media brings.
    Where Do Consumers Get Information?
    users
    • More people turn to social media websites first for opinions.
      After all, which is more believable? Customers talk about their purchase or a company talking about its own products?
    • Also, company websites are useful and will be
      Valuable information like financial reports for investors, whitepapers, technical information are still more credible coming from companies themselves
    What is Social Media Good For?
    SMgoodfor
    • Social media is great for building brand awareness and reputation
      Leverage on the opportunity to build relationships with consumers. After all, we’re talking about
      socialmedia.
    • Having your business on social media sites improves search engine ranking & generates traffic
    • not as effective for generating leads and sales (but not all the time! Dell generated millions with Twitter.)
    How Social Media Complements Marketing Tactics
    smact
    • Social media works hand in hand with search engine optimisation (SEO)Don’t ignore meta tags that help to identify your content as they will help to drive traffic to your site.
    • More effective in digital marketing than paired with offline marketing
    You have probably noticed that Twitter is more popular than ever.  As small business owners and solopreneurs we know how beneficial social media can be but are often overwhelmed at the thought of managing it all.
    If you are looking to take advantage of Twitter in your business without it taking over your life, here are some great “shortcut” tools and applications to keep you in the social media game without sacrificing all of your precious time!
    Tweetdeck: A desktop client that allows you to manage all of your Twitter activity without being logged on to the web.  This is very popular due to its ability to organize your followers into groups.  Tweetdeck has also recently added the ability to update your Facebook status from the interface as well chat with your Facebook friends.
    Twellow: The Twitter yellow pages! Find Twitter users by category or geographic area.  This is a good way to find new and interesting people to follow.
    Tweetie/Twitterberry: For those of you looking for ways to tweet on the go, I prefer Tweetie for iPhone.  I have also heard good things about Twitterberry, which is for the Blackberry.
    Grouptweet: Group message broadcasting for Twitter.  This tool gives you the ability to send private tweets to only a select group of followers which you choose.  I’ve seen this used successfully for everything from web development projects and school assignments to diet and exercise accountability clubs.
    Monitter: This is one of my favorite tools.  It lets you monitor Twitter for a set of keywords and see what people are saying.
    Twitterfox: If you use the Firefox browser, this is a nice extension which notifies you when your friends update their status on Twitter.
    Twitthis: A way for people to send Twitter messages about blog posts or websites. When you click on the TwitThis button or link, it takes the URL of the webpage and creates a shortened URL. You can then send the shortened URL and a description of the page to others on Twitter.  I love using this to quickly share the URLs of interesting articles or posts I come across while browsing the web.
    Hashtags.org: Hashtags bring some order to the updates of Twitter users.  For example, a couple of years back the hashtag #sandiegofires was used in order for those interested to easily follow this topic.  Hashtags.org provides real-time tracking of all the hashtags being used on Twitter.
    WhoShouldIFollow: This is a very simple tool which looks at your current friend list and recommends others to follow based on that list.  One of the Twitter questions I am asked most often is how to find more people to follow.  This makes it quick and easy to do.
    TweetBeep: If you want to know when someone mentions your name, company, product or competitors you can get updates sent to you to stay on top of it all.
    Twitterfeed: Allows you to quickly tweet your blog posts.  Just sign up and enter your blog feed and Twitter login information.  When you publish a blog post, it will be sent to Twitter automatically.
    These are some of my top picks–there are too many tools out there to even begin to mention them all.  However, I recommend getting started with some of these and keeping an eye out for any others you think would help streamline your Twitter experience and save you time.  (You’ll never have a shortage–there are new applications arriving on the scene every day!)
    Booking a flight? Go on Facebook. Running late to the hotel? Send a tweet.
    Hotels, airlines and other segments of the multibillion-dollar travel industry are aggressively tapping into social media, ramping up their use of online sites such as Facebook and Twitter to build loyalty to their brands.
    Airlines are maintaining a presence on YouTube and offering deals through social-mapping networks such as Loopt. Hotels are promoting their properties through bloggers, and they’re using social-networking sites to gather feedback, monitor trends and provide concierge services.
    “I definitely think that social media is about to change the way we do things entirely,” says Jill Fletcher, social media and communications manager for Virgin America. “We’re able to admit over social media if we’ve made a mistake or if there’s a weather delay. So we’re able to communicate much faster and more effectively.”
    Social media are being incorporated at a rapid rate into every part of a journey, from making the reservation to finding out where to eat. For instance:
    •As of August, Delta passengers can buy tickets on Delta’s Facebook page.
    •Southwest has three staffers dedicated to monitoring and responding to queries made through social-media channels.
    •Marriott is launching its Marriott Courtyard Facebook page Tuesday to issue messages about the chain and related information that might interest customers.
    •Hyatt Hotels launched a Twitter account last year to serve as a virtual concierge. Staffers, based in Omaha, Australia and Mumbai, are instructed to respond to requests and questions within an hour, and are fielding queries ranging from where to find good sushi to alerts that a guest will be checking in late. The account has 12,000 followers. Hilton has a similar Twitter account.
    Compared with other industries, the travel and hospitality sector is ahead of the curve in engaging social media, says Carl Howe, a director with the Yankee Group, a telecommunication market research firm.
    It’s “mainly because there is so much concern about consumer perception,” he says. “There are a lot more choices for hotels than there are for cable providers, and the same is true for airlines.”
    Seeking return visitors
    A key goal of staking a claim in the social-media space is to build a base of devoted followers who will keep coming back.
    “Most travel organizations are actually looking for something more than a transaction,” Howe says. “They’re looking for loyalty, and that means a long-term engagement.”
    Still, deals, incentives and freebies offered on social-media channels are a way airlines and hotels cultivate new customers.
    United, for instance, has “twares,” fare specials offered exclusively through Twitter, the micro-messaging channel. In July, AirTran introduced its “Facebook Friday Fares,” which give its Facebook fans unique deals.
    Joe Palma, a chef at Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., uses Twitter to send messages about specials, restaurant news and holiday hours, and to ask fans what they would like to see on the seasonal menu. Last year, he held a contest to select a new fall dessert menu item, and the winner received dinner for two.
    LuxuryLink.com and FamilyGetaway.com, which sell hotel packages, have launched “mystery auctions,” in which customers bid for hotel packages at discounted rates without knowing the property’s identity. To increase followers, the sites began issuing clues about the hotels only through their Facebook and Twitter pages.
    Travel businesses are seeking out social-media mavens and bloggers to sing their praises.
    As Country Inns & Suites By Carlson prepared to open its 500th hotel in College Station, Texas, earlier this year, it offered free seven-day trips to three bloggers active in social-media sites.
    Aurora Toth, vice president of marketing for Carlson Hotels, says the bloggers and their families were assigned to drive to College Station in vehicles with Country Inn decals, stop in seven states, blog and post messages on Facebook and Twitter along the way. Country Inn received local news coverage, and the bloggers helped spread word of the new hotel to their followers. “We learned the power of what we can do,” Toth says.
    Marriott is launching a campaign in October that will invite loyalty program members with large Facebook and Twitter followings to help spread the word about its SpringHill Suites chain. They’ll get free stays and other incentives in return for positive messages sent to followers.
    To replace convention business that shrank during the recession, Westin St. Maarten is contacting wedding bloggers and offering their readers a sweepstakes drawing for a ceremony or honeymoon at the resort. “We couldn’t have found those people any other simpler way,” says Karen Gee-McAuley, whose public relations firm Blaze helped the hotel develop the strategy.
    Social networking and mobile technology are a new advertising frontier, and it makes sense for the travel industry to jump on board, some say.
    “We’re a traditional advertising company, and looking at venturing out into social media and mobile phone applications wasn’t really something that we were considering,” says Toby Sturek, president of Clear Channel Airports. “But with the needs of the traveler, we felt we needed to continue to innovate.”
    Customer relations
    Airlines are using the tools and channels to try to ease travel, enabling passengers to book trips and find out if there is a delay without picking up a phone.
    Instead of going to Delta.com, where 19 million domestic tickets are booked a year, passengers can make reservations on the airline’s Facebook page. The carrier will also let passengers peruse other websites and still be able to buy tickets by clicking on a Delta banner ad.
    “Our strategy is, in channels where our customers are engaging, we want to be there for them and with them,” says Bob Kupbens, Delta’s vice president of e-commerce.
    The airline’s website and traditional e-mail continue to be key, he says. But, he says, “these other channels are opportunities to be where the site isn’t. You’re not standing in line in security with your laptop open. But you are there with your mobile phone.”
    A social-media presence has become essential for any company that wants to bond with a younger generation that will hopefully remain loyal for years.
    “For most of the people in that 18-to-24 (year-old) demographic, e-mail is old school,” says Howe. “That’s something that their parents do. If you want to reach them, you have to communicate in the ways they feel most comfortable, and that’s mostly Facebook and texting.”
    AirTran’s “AirTran U” program, which allows 18-to-24-year-olds to fly standby for a discounted fare, has its own Facebook page. One of its promotions, “AirTran U Creeper,” flashes photos submitted by users at midnight. The first person to spot his or her picture and alert the airline wins a prize.
    “It does help build the brand,” says AirTran spokesman Christopher White. “We know some people will read our website. Some people will read the newspaper. But this is a unique channel. And the 18-to-24 crowd really is not tuning into the radio ad. They’re living their lives via social media, and if you’re not in that space getting your message out where they can hear it, they’re simply not hearing it.”
    Last week, some mobile users who downloaded an iPhone app from the social-mapping network Loopt found out about a special offer from Virgin America promoting its new service to Mexico. If they made their way to the airport in San Francisco or Los Angeles, or to a local taco truck, they had the chance to get two tickets for the price of one to Los Cabos or Cancun.
    Jamie Swartz, 29, who is getting married in Cancun in February, says that it’s been tough for some of her guests to find direct flights. When she heard about the Loopt Star download, she sent a message to everyone she knew and headed to a taco truck on Hollywood Boulevard. She and a bridesmaid each snagged the two-for-one deal.
    “I totally missed the big Twitter boom,” says Swartz, a marketing associate in West Hollywood. “I was late to join Facebook.”
    But she says she was impressed enough by the creativity of the Loopt promotion to keep Virgin America in mind for future trips. “I think it (was) a great idea,” she said.
    Where are you?
    Hotels are seeking ways to take advantage of the latest twist in the social-media sphere: location-based service software which uses the GPS in smartphones to provide hotels information about their customers’ whereabouts.
    InterContinental is working with start-up company Topguest. People who sign up at Topguest’s website can walk into any hotel, restaurant or bar operated by InterContinental and receive a small allowance of the hotel company’s loyalty points. To receive the points, they must alert their “friends” on Foursquare or Facebook Places, two of the most popular location-based social-networking tools.
    For hotels, it’s a way to promote their loyalty programs, increase sales during off hours and learn more about which of their customers are the “most influential” members in social-media circles, says Geoff Lewis, CEO of Topguest.
    Virgin America’s Loopt promotion helped the airline see its fifth-highest-grossing sales day this year. Hotel executives say it’s too early to tell if their social-media efforts are beefing up the bottom line. But some report encouraging signs.
    Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, run by Kimpton, began occasionally issuing codes last summer for a 15% discount on its best available rates. In measuring their redemptions, the hotel learned that the codes generated 270 more room nights this year. “It’s still too early for return-on-investment (analysis). But we’ve seen some benefits here and there,” says Niki Leondakis, president of Kimpton Hotels.
    For all the merits of social media, some industry watchers warn that the industry shouldn’t forget about the older generations that aren’t tech savvy and still need to be engaged.
    “The Boomer generation … we’re the ones that are going to travel and will have the money to travel, and we’re probably not going to be the ones on Twitter and Facebook,” says Terry Trippler, founder of airline information website RulesToKnow.com.
    Jim Black, 58, a data network engineer in Ventura, Calif., who’s on the road about 30 weeks a year, says technology can never replace another person’s input.
    “Twitter creates the appearance of human contact but it lacks the actual human touch,” says Black, who barely updates his Facebook page and isn’t interested in any special deals offered via Twitter. “To substitute social media for human contact is incrementally a step down in customer service.”