From Awards to Talktourism on Twitter!

The closing date has come and gone for voting in the ‘Net Visionary Awards‘ 2009 (1st May) and we are none the wiser in respect of how we performed. We actively encouraged all our Talktourism members to vote for us and we are grateful to all that have supported us.  I guess we will just have to wait until the 21st May and watch this space!

We are happy with the publicity which has come about as a result of being short listed in the ‘Online Tourism Category’.  We have also attracted additional new members with a good geographical spread around the country.  We have also seen an increase in visitors to our Talktourism.ie site from around 1,650 visitors a month in 2008 to around 2,500 currently.  This is minor league in the online World, but we are happy as the site is targeted at small to medium tourism enterprises. The big question is how do we encourage more to actually engage and contribute to the site? I’ve been thinking about this one for a while and I would appreciate any new ideas… 

We held one of our ‘Talktourism Web2.0 Network’ workshops recently and we concentrated on Twitter.  We all quickly became familiar with twitter and everyone got hooked because it is an effective way to communicate with colleagues / friends and establish new online business relationships.  Following two weeks of communication via ‘Twitter’ the tourism entrepreneurs have outlined there own experience of using twitter on Talktourism.ie, which you can check out here.

Twitter is also a good source of up-to-date information on the travel industry and today I came across an interesting article about ‘Which travel firms do twitter well (& badly)!’ As with everything else online the main cost is time, but in these recessionary times, I think its worth giving it a go.

If you want to follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Talktourism & tweet me! I am also delighted that we have loaded our ‘tweets’ on to our blog which can be viewed here on the lefthand column.

Tourism Blog? Why bother?

What is a blog? A blog is a personal diary and that is what most blog readers want to see; an honest no nonsense commentary on a theme that they have an interest in.  Blogs present an opportunity for all web-users to share their own individual knowledge on a subject or perspective on the world around them.  It’s a way to communicate freely and openly.

 

For small tourism enterprises; a blog provides opportunities for them to increase their profile among current and potential clients.  Indirectly, blogs have proven to be highly ranked among search engines and often attract more unique visitors than there primary business web-site. This experience has been borne out by the novice bloggers that have been recently engaging with the blogosphere and sharing their knowledge through our Talktourism Web2.0 Network.

 

Over the last year or so we on have been advocating new approaches for tourism SME’s (small to medium enterprises) to become active online and promote themselves through various Web2.0 online tools.  Some tourism SME’s have engaged with the new technology with varying degrees of success and most are delighted with the obvious increase in web-traffic which has been generated through their blogging.  To date the increase in web-traffic has not shown significant results in terms of actual bookings, but all the Talktourism bloggers are confident that they will reap rewards in the months and years to come.

 

Tourism blogs are a tool to communicate with the wider general public about the person / the family behind a small tourism business and provide potential tourists with an insight to the experience that they would expect to find when they use those tourism services.  It is a great way to develop relationships with prospective tourists in advance of their decision to make that booking.  It also serves as a way to build brand loyalty and can encourage past guests/tourists to return because they are being kept up-to-date with new facilities, events and activities going on with the tourism enterprise and/or in the wider local area.

 

One of the most important elements of a successful blog, is that it is updated regularly and provides the reader with a reason to return because it continues to interest them.  In order to attract new visitors, it must appear through links to other recognised blogs or websites which complement the blog content.  Another element of attracting new visitors to your blog is to ensure that it has appropriate ‘tags’ which can be picked up by the search engines and these tags should also appear within the content of your blog content.

 

If you want to read more about the Talktourism blogs please see our Blogroll (in right column) and if you find a blog that interests you, please add a link from your own blogroll or website.  The most interesting blogs are those that present themselves in a genuinely honest manner and keep their blog going through regular updating. If you want to start or improve your blogging and attract more potential tourists to your website and ultimately through your door, then I would recommend that you check these blogs our blogroll.  We also would hope that you would let us know what you think? 

 

If you want a no nonsense guide on ‘how to blog’ then this blog is for you.  Another useful resource is the Irish blog awards, which is also an excellent way to find the best of blogs available in Ireland and should be a target for all budding Irish bloggers for 2010. 

 

The Irish Internet Association has prepared a draft paper on ‘Business Blogging’ which I would recommend reviewing if you want to make the best out of your blog!

  

Good luck with the blogging and don’t forget to link with each others blogs and websites! If you have a small to medium tourism enterprise and have recently started blogging, let us know and we would be delighted to add you to our Blogroll.