Many marketing managers and business developments managers have invested money and reputation by advocating social networks as means of marketing.
But the lack of interaction to transaction has been discouraging to say the least. I believe this will change with the latest kid on the block, The Flipboard.
Flipboard, backed by the likes of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Index Ventures, has begun “a quest to transform how people discover and share content by combining the beauty and ease of print with the power of social media”.
And for once this bold statement is true.
Flipboards app for iPad will have people come rushing to the stores to buy the iPad and many more will sign up and start using networks like Facebook and Twitter because it´s suddenly makes sense and puts things in context and is super user friendly.
What does this mean for the travel industry?
- Word of mouth is the industry’s big seller and nothing gives people more confidence than a friend that recommends a supplier or destination.
- The Flipboard and the iPad are some of the final missing pieces for social media networks and communities to translate into a transaction.
Presentation and finesse are parts that have been missing for social networks; plainly speaking, it has been ugly and boring. Not so with the Flipboard.
Your own and your network’s messages are presented beautifully. Presentation, ease and beauty sells, ask a gazillion of Apple users.
Travel suppliers will be able to interlink content, pictures and most likely tie that in with some transaction process.
Networks like Tripadvisor will get competition from startups that will aggregate mash up content from Twitter and travel content websites across the web.
Tripadvisor on the other hand has a tremendous upper hand if they, for example, tie in suppliers like hotels, websites and social media feeds and gain consumers loyalty by allowing people to sign in or cross reference their reviews with their Facebook and Twitter profiles. This would give TripAdvisor back their credibility.
For airlines it was never easier to come close to their customers.
For people making their living out of sending traffic to affiliated websites a whole new world of opportunities opens as the transactional web and the social networks finally merges.
There are of course tons of other opportunities and implications out there. The Flipboard is a game-changer. I just found out about the Flipboard this morning and decided to buy an iPad instantly.
Here’s a clip: