How social media strategy drove awareness of luxury travel brand Kuoni

This case study outlines the social media strategy delivered for luxury tour operator Kuoni by integrated advertising agency Oliver & Graimes. The strategy resulted in over 14,000 Facebook fans for Kuoni.

Executive SummaryKuoni are one of the world’s leading luxury tour operators, and needed to progress their online presence into the social sphere. O&G were appointed to create and manage the custom tab production of a fully featured Facebook page to engage fans and create an active community of Kuoni brand advocates. The Facebook page was to offer increased functionality through the production of a suite of bespoke tabs, giving fans more ways to engage with and interact with the brand, allowing users to gain inspiration about Kuoni destinations, enter exclusive competitions, keep up to date with Kuoni news and blog posts, and locate their nearest store, all within the Facebook interface. Kuoni wanted their strong and positive reputation as travel experts to be reflected through the content on their Facebook page, and we devised a suite of custom tabs that not only met that key objective but also reached their other primary goals – to increase brand awareness both on and offline, and reach 10,000 fans by September 2011. Project BackgroundKuoni were excited about the opportunities that social media offered the business in terms of creating and improving interactive customer relationships and communication, and generating better brand exposure. We suggested that Facebook would be a prime resource for Kuoni to break into social media, with an accompanying Twitter page that would be solely managed by the company themselves. Kuoni were keen to take control of the day-to-day content production of the Facebook page but were looking to offer their fans more ways to interact and engage with the brand than available on the standard Facebook company page. We proposed the production of a suite of bespoke tabs that would bring content from Kuoni’s website and other online sources into the Facebook interface by embedding dynamic content through iframes. Client ObjectivesOfficial presenceA key objective was to create an official presence within Facebook in particular, as there were some unofficial pages and profiles on Facebook. Increase online awarenessKuoni wanted to increase brand awareness online and create strong presences within the key social networks. They were looking for opportunities to spread the brand virally and take advantage of user interaction and sharing content with friend networks. Industry expertsKuoni were keen for their Facebook presence to showcase the company as an authority within the industry and reflect their reputation of being true travel experts. 10,000 fans by September 2011Kuoni were keen to build a large active community of brand advocates, and had a specific target of 10,000 before August 2011. Increase offline awarenessAs well as promoting the brand across the web, Kuoni wanted to increase awareness of their stores and drive more face-to-face agent appointments and sales with customers. StrategyWelcome tab A bespoke branded Welcome tab that gives newcomers to the page and existing fans an official welcome to the space. The tab incorporates a brief introduction to the brand with an incentive to join the community, an interactive image gallery and slider showcasing some of Kuoni’s stunning imagery, an internal menu linking to other bespoke tabs on the page, a graphic link to the competition tab, a live Twitter feed and a newsletter sign up, all of which fully functioning within the tab. This was added to the page later, once the fanbase had grown and an active community formed, mainly for newcomers to the page to help navigate around the different content. Competition The content of this tab is only visible to users who have already become a fan and have ‘Liked’ the page.

Photo upload competition

For those who are not already fans, a filter screen is shown that greys-out the tab with a simple graphic encouraging users to ‘Like’ the page to access the exclusive competition. This is an important tool in meeting Kuoni’s objective of increasing awareness of the brand through Facebook.The current format is a simple contact form, question and embedded stylised images describing the competition and allows users to enter on the tab without leaving the Facebook page. Upon completing the entry form, the user will receive a message inside the tab confirming that their entry has been received. We have designed various competition tabs for Kuoni since the beginning of this project (on a continuing monthly basis) – including a photo upload and a caption competition, as well as the basic format that is featured on the current one. On the more complex competition formats such as the photo upload and catchphrase, we designed and built a results page which showcased all entries to fans. The competition has been instrumental in the growth of Kuoni’s fanbase; and the filter screen was put in place to ensure that anyone who enters the competition is a fan beforehand and will receive Kuoni page updates in their newsfeeds; this reminds them of the page and prompts return visits.Recommends The aim of this tab is to showcase Kuoni’s specialist knowledge and expertise on destinations, activities and locations around the world, positioning them as an authority within the industry. The tab features a grid design of different destinations, with further location and reviews sub-menus for each destination. Upon selecting a country the user is offered a choice of destinations within that country, and can then view first-hand reviews on the destination, experiences, attractions, perfect moments, restaurants, spas and tours from Kuoni staff. All reviews are fully functioning and viewable within the tab without redirecting users away from Facebook and to the Kuoni website (only when a user clicks on the hotel name will they be directed to the relevant page on the website offering packages and deals). The Recommends tab provides fans with engaging content that provokes prolonged and repeat interaction with the Facebook page. Comments are also enabled on the tab, which allows fans to post their own views and interact with each other and Kuoni staff on their experiences. iTravel This tab pulls the latest information from the Kuoni iTravel online travel guide site by RSS and displays the feed as a stylised list, allowing users to select a story and read it in depth on the main Kuoni iTravel site. This gives the iTravel content another platform through which to be broadcast, and helps promote Kuoni’s product range and demonstrate their expertise and industry knowledge. As with the Recommends tab, Comments and Likes are enabled so users can interact with the tab and share their views. Latest OffersThe current latest offers tab has a CMS that allows Kuoni to log in to the backend and select offers for uploading. The offers are updated daily by the team to ensure the very latest information and deals are given to users. We have stylised the tab in a similar way to the others, with Kuoni’s branding and colours, and also incorporated the functionality for users to Share the offers with their friends by posting onto their Wall as well as view the offers on the Kuoni website. Since launching the tab we have updated the content to include Kuoni’s Smart Range offers, featuring a split holding screen enabling users to click on the types of offers they wish to view. StoresIn order to increase awareness of Kuoni’s stores and drive customers direct to the agents, we created a Store Finder tab which incorporates Google Maps to locate customers’ nearest stores. The store finder tab is powered by AJAX utilising the Google Maps API to show a map and a pinpoint for the location of each store. Users can enter either a town name or their postcode to search for their nearest store which will be displayed as a pin on the map. Upon clicking the pin, more detailed information about the store appears in a bubble window showing such information as opening times and a photo of the store.In addition to increasing awareness of Kuoni throughout Facebook and other social spaces, the introduction of the stores tabs has built awareness of Kuoni’s physical store presence across the UK. Exclusive OfferThe newest addition to the suite, an exclusive offer for Facebook fans only, offering Kuoni’s fanbase another incentive to ‘Like’ the page and interact with the brand. The tab’s content is hidden by a filter screen similar to that on the Competition tab, requiring users to ‘Like’ the page before being given access to the unique offer code. iPhone App To compliment the campaign and penetrate the mobile application market we also proposed the design and development of a Kuoni iPhone app which can be downloaded from the iTunes store. Results Since launching the page in September 2010, Kuoni’s fanbase has grown at great speed, gaining hundreds of new followers every day. The total fanbase at the time of writing is 14,167. O&G were set a target of reaching 10,000 fans by the end of August 2011 and met this three months early, at the end of May/beginning of June this year. O&G have helped Kuoni to create a strong and active presence within Facebook and increased their brand awareness across the social sphere. Since launching the competition tab (with the filter screen), Kuoni’s fanbase has continued to grow and the page has been engaged with by fans on a daily basis.

Total tab views

This month alone has seen 5,362 views of the Competition tab, making it the second most visited tab on the page, after the Wall. Closely following this is the Welcome tab, and below we can also see that since the Exclusive offer tab was launched this month it has received 508 views. The interactions graph below shows the total number of post views for Kuoni’s page content currently stands at 4,619,564 and 11,628 interactions have been made on posts and tabs, including Likes and Comments. So far in the last month alone the page has received 912 new fans - up 55% from the previous month’s statistic, which demonstrates that the page’s popularity is continuing to increase From looking at these graphs, we can see that the lifetime popularity of the campaign has been at a constant increase throughout the last year and will continue to rise. The addition of the bespoke tabs has given Kuoni the edge over their competitors and allowed them to reach new customers that they would not have otherwise reached.

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