Social Media influencer, Lori Ruff (@loriruff), once said “Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.” She couldn’t be more correct. Social Media is everywhere. Successful companies know this. Successful companies are using social media to communicate with their customers, to engage employees, to research and develop products and services, as well as to market those products and services. Tripcentral.ca is one company that knows the value of social media and is using it to the fullest extent.
Tripcentral.ca started as a one store operation in Hamilton, Ontario back in 1989. It has grown to be an industry leader for online and storefront travel purchases, employing over 120 people with agents in 26 locations across Central and Eastern Canada. They use social media to interact with their customers via Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. They are the only major travel agency to leave their Facebook reviews open for public comment, with a 4.8 star approval rating and a social media staff who immediately respond to any negative comments. This feedback helps to retain customers as well as acquire new ones. Getting their customers involved also helps to generate sales by building a bond with the company itself.
Tripcentral.ca has arguably the most intuitive and most user friendly website in the industry. They also have a chat function enabled to further enhance the user experience. They make it easy for clients to engage with the company through email blasts, comments, reviews, and daily trivia contests. These contests help to hype product launches (like the current Portugal promotion), as well as generate interest and increase brand loyalty.
At tripcentral.ca, we place an emphasis on engaging with our customers via social media, whether it be answering questions, providing advice, or just inspiring people to travel with blog posts, tips, contests, photos and more. We recognize the importance of prompt responses and understand that social media is meant to be a two-way platform, so we’re happy to engage with our customers and share our first-hand knowledge from agents who have actually been there. ~Amanda Stancati|SEO Copywriter & Blogger, Tripcentral.ca
But their social media capabilities don’t end with the customer. Tripcentral.ca uses social media within the company so staff can interact with each other. Need to get a hold of someone in the Tech department? Just reach out to them out on the employee chat page. Have a question about company operations or protocol? Or maybe the latest promotion or training module available? Tripcentral.ca has created a database where agents can find answers to frequently asked questions for various situations. Having access to this information at your fingertips is just one of the ways they are using social tools for their employees.
Social media is also used interdepartmentally to save time and reduce repetition. They have added features to their proprietary software allowing agents to remove expired travel options from the database, saving time for the Tech department. The accounting department, marketing department and front line sales team all have access to the same customer database across the company. This makes it easy not only to gather information for statistics and promotions, but also for all agents to assist every client regardless of how they booked their trip.
Tripcentral.ca’s social media department uses software like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to manage and monitor their social content, ensuring they always have a positive brand image. They monitor the industry and send emails to their agents so they are always up to date on the most current trends within the supply chain. Knowing what suppliers are offering for their promotions and who has the best offers out at any given time is extremely important. The social media department does an excellent job of communicating this information.
Lessons for Others
Tripcentral.ca‘s social media strategy aligns with their organizational goals. They prove this every day in the efforts they take to manage, monitor and measure their social media behaviour within the company and to external stakeholders. They successfully use social media to be transparent and accountable to their customers, and they use social media tools within the organization to motivate employees to work together for the good of the company. It is easy to see why they are so successful. They know the value of social media and are using it to the fullest extent.
Industry: Online Travel Retail
Name of Organization Contact: Amanda Stancati, SEO Copywriter And Blogger
Authored by: Julie Bond
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