If Thad Slaton calls you anti-social, don’t take offense. He just thinks you’re missing out.
“There are some 2.3 billion social media users, and they include the travellers, travel managers, suppliers, partners and many others we all interact with in our industry,” said Slaton, BCD Travel’s senior vice president of marketing and communications. “The number of active users, thanks in large part to mobile, is constantly growing. We and our customers need to understand where and how people get their information. If we meet them where they are, we’ll all be more successful in our jobs, whether that’s as a travel manager trying to effect change in a travel program or a travel management company helping our customers stay atop of key trends and best practices.”
A recent Skift article explores BCD Travel’s multi-channel approach to using social media to educate both travel program leaders and business travellers. Skift cites BCD’s always-evolving methods.
“Our overarching communication strategy seeks to connect with people using the channels and methods they prefer, whether that’s through social channels or more traditional means,” Slaton told Skift. “We’ve found that corporate travel professionals, like everyone else, use specific social media channels for distinct purposes, so we’re active in multiple channels and always reassessing how and where we communicate.”
BCD’s LinkedIn presence offers news, insights and information for travel managers. Its Instagram account, loaded with employee’s inspirational travel photos, is geared toward travellers. And BCD serves up something for both audiences via Twitter and Facebook.
“Find the right channels of information that work for your job and lifestyle,” Slaton said. “Today it’s about gaining efficiency and curating information so you don’t experience overload. That’s what we’re trying to do for our customers with our BCD social media channels—to give them the right information at the right time in the place and format they desire.”
In addition to encouraging travel professionals to use social channels to stay current, Slaton advised leaders of travel programs would be remiss if they didn’t think about using social media philosophy to bolster their travel programs.
“Companies increasingly use social media-like channels internally to communicate with travellers and other constituents,” he said. “These types of forums and channels can help companies transform their travel program into a community with travellers and other stakeholders helping one another and working toward common aims.”
To get started, Slaton suggests clients check out Advito’s traveller engagement playbook, Up Your Game: Build a Social Community of Travellers.
“Every company has its own culture and norms and challenges,” he said. “But all companies can benefit from better communications. So take heed of the changing methods and channels your people are using to communicate with one other another, and make those work to your advantage.”