Using Social Networking in Tourism Marketing: Ning

Posted on August 4, 2009

Ning_logoWhat is it?

Ning is a different type of social networking site directed more toward individual businesses, interests, hobbies or organizations rather than individuals. Although individuals can have their own page, Ning promotes updates for an organization and creates a network of followers with similar interests. With a Ning profile, you can post pictures, video and blog entries with ease and quickly generate a network of followers. Communicating within your network is easy with direct messaging and public posting capabilities.

Who uses it?

Over 1.3 million social networks have been created on Ning, and more than 30 million people are registered members. Because Ning is geared more toward finding interests and passions, Ning users are more than likely looking for particular information when they sign on. Ning boasts a very easy-to-use platform, so it takes only minutes to start or join a network.

Benefits in Tourism Marketing

Ning gives you the opportunity to lead the way in your particular area of expertise. If, for instance, your company is a tourism bureau in Charleston, SC., you can create a “Charleston Tourism” network on Ning, posting information about the area, travel rates, restaurant and lodging information, etc. Ning also allows you to create a direct link, incorporating your network name (e.g. charlestontourism.ning.com) for easy accessibility. Ning members then have the ability to follow your page, posting reviews, suggestions and comments about your page. Having a Ning site in addition to your company’s Web site increases the likelihood of getting noticed online and having a network of followers.

How to sign up

All you need is an e-mail address, name, password and birthday to sign up for Ning. Be sure to add information and update the layout of your network page quickly to increase the likelihood of getting noticed and getting followed.

Social media optimization defines the use of new portals and sites designed to bring people of common interests together, and travel-related companies have recognized the marketing potential for such sites. At Simple Tourism, we specialize in the maintenance and development of your brand and destination via social media exposure. Social networking sites offer Internet users the opportunity to discover where to eat while on vacation, and which resorts have the best deals. These networks also provide businesses the opportunity to boost the link popularity of their main websites and draw potential subscribers to become regular visitors of their sites as well. When you sign on with Simple Tourism for our SMO package, you have the option of customizing a social media presence as it suits your business or bureau. Contact us today for a free quote.

Jessica Swink is a freelance writer specializing in articles about Social Media Optimization and SEO for travel Web sites.

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