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Will Facebook generate more traffic than Google for travel sites?

Published :2010-11-02 11:07


Last night I attended the first Sydney Travel Tribe “UnConference” along with 60 other like minded travel types. The topics covered were as varied as the attendees, but I’d like to talk about one in particular that I found quite interesting- Driving business through Facebook vs Google in the future and the privacy issues inherent in both. To be honest, not everyone could agree on this one, but that made it even more interesting.

Photo credit: @Aussie_Ian

Chris Noble of World Nomads was willing to dish the dirt on his successful integration of Facebook as a sales channel, quoting that 20 to 25 percent of revenue came via this source. This is a level of success that I have personally never heard of before and judging by the surprised faces in the audience, I wasn’t alone. Chris went on to explain that it’s necessary to build an active community around your brand, being sure to tap in to what what makes them tick as a group. He also suggested we check out this Ted talk as it was something that inspired him to build his Facebook page in to what it is today: Simon Sinek: The Power of Why

A person only needs to check out the World Nomads Facebook page to see the level of engagement going on here with their 37800 fans, it’s incredible.

This is actually the second Facebook success story I’ve heard in the past week. At Web In Travel, Kathleen Tan of AirAsia boasted 12% of their traffic to their site coming via Facebook with the expectation that this number will grow in the future. As impressive as this sounds, we need to take statistics like this with a grain of salt. Four months ago I wrote a post aboutAirAsia’s unorthodox use of their ads on blogs and other travel sites in South East Asia to drive users to their Facebook page, meaning that AirAsia paid for at least some of their user base. It changes the way we look at this 12% traffic statistic when we know that at least some of AirAsia’s users on their Facebook page have:

  • Already shown they are fans of the brand
  • Are willing to click on random ads
  • Came with a cost, paid to Google

Of course when Google and Facebook come up, you can expect to hear something about privacy- and opinions started to fly. There are tons of different views out there, but speakingvery generally, I feel this is a generational issue. I am happy to have a company I trust deliver me ads for things that are relevant to me, it’s a win win situation. I’m pretty sure I’m a minority, as I found out, but do expect this to become more the norm in coming years.

So there you have it. According to some, Facebook looks to be coming in to it’s own as a viable alternative to Google but not without some hard work. What World Nomads have done to build a community around Facebook has taken a lot of effort and research but proves that it can be done- we can find alternative channels of traffic outside of Google and they’re coming from social media.

Read the full story at:

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