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And the word of the day is…

19 January, 2010

Social Media has been the “it” word for the past year and many companies have put Social Media and Social Media marketing at the top of their 2010 list of “things to do.” The problem that many companies face now though is how to use social media differently compared to the next company. A lot of companies have a Twitter Account and Facebook group, but if every company is using it in the exact same way then it might lead to spamming your everyday reader.

With hundreds of new social media channels being created every day, the focus for Hurtigruten will be to be as active as possible but on a select set of channels. Few companies in the world will have the resources to employ a dedicated team to spend their time on social media activity alone but with the resources we have, we will use it as effective as possible.

Be Unique

So how do Hurtigruten use social media differently? For starters, we are not trying to force the idea on to the reader that we are available everywhere and that we are “hip”. HurtigrutenNow showcases which channels we are on and we leave it up to the reader to determine whether he/she wants to follow us or join our group with Twitter and Facebook respectively. The one thing I am proud of is that we are linking to our LinkedIn company profile where you get to meet the people of Hurtigruten and see what others have said about our employees. We also have the blog you are reading from where employees discuss and share ideas with not only ourselves, but the readers can participate in these discussions as well. With HurtgirutenNow, you really get to understand and feel who we are. A reader can subscribe to blog posts, view these persons online CV, follow their Twitter accounts and become friends on Facebook. Not only can you meet the people of Hurtigruten when you board the ship, but now you can meet the people of Hurtigruten in what in other companies would be behind closed doors.

This is definitely a fun project to work with and every person I speak with is fond of the idea of HurtigrutenNow. Social Media in general is a fun thing to be involved with as it brings us closer to our audience. Hopefully the communication is two way and as you get to know us, we can get to know you.

Listen…

Before jumping into the web of Social Media we need to FIND OUR AUDIENCE to see which channels you use. There is little point in being active on Twitter if your customers do not use it. Once you have your audience, it’s easy to just jump in with the sales-pitched tweets or posts but this is not the route Hurtigruten will take. Hurtigruten will LISTEN to what you want and what you need. Based on what we read we can take action of what steps to take next. We can then begin to ENGAGE in the conversations and this is where the real fun begins.

Measuring Success

Over the course of the past 5 years, online marketing has grown rapidly and many companies can now see exactly where their investment leads to. In Hurtigruten’s case, and using Google analytics we will (hopefully one day!) be able to pinpoint every NOK spent on marketing and see what percent leads to a paying customer as oppose to our recently coined “Pay & Pray” term with traditional marketing. But how do we measure our success in Social Media?

We can begin with Buzz, Traffic, Awareness and Loyalty. Within these 4 areas, we see a lot more quality content shared & referrals to Hurtigruten as well as quoting and linking to the brand. We will see an increase in web traffic, and web traffic referrals and see more reviews and recommendations for Hurtigruten.

And while we continue to try and use social media differently, the next step is, how can we take our online marketing, offline?

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