Category Archives: Social Media

Marketers Budget More For Email, Mobile, and Social in 2013

Fire up the cell phones, 2013 is headed in an “on the go” direction according to recent independent research. A study conducted by StrongMail yielded what we all already know to be true: Mobile marketing and social media are on the rise. In fact, of the one-thousand companies surveyed, 56% said they plan to increase the budget for email and mobile-based marketing, while 52% of companies are planning on investing more into the outreach of social media.

Continue reading Ready to Challenge Market for Social Travel Supremacy

Online travel pioneers set to release major social update to highly utilized travel research and planning site.

Minneapolis, MN., July 10, 2012, a leading world Resort and Lodge destination travel website, today announced it will release its first major update of 2012.  Since 2003, more than 50 Million people have utilized the site to plan and book more than an estimated $1 Billion in room nights direct at Resorts, Hotels, Inns, Bed & Breakfasts and Vacation Rentals listed on, throughout North America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

There are over 200 individual updates being released by to the 14 year old leading leisure transient and leisure group travel site.  The development started in late November 2011 and has become the largest, most ambitious release in the company’s history.  Most notably, the next generation travel site will offer its millions of travelers new and easy social layers to connect, share, and enhance their shopping experience like never before.

“Being in the travel space for over 10 years we have seen online travelers demand for information grow leaps and bounds.  There are very few sites that offer the consumer the full experience from initial inspiration, to consumption to sharing.  As a leader in our space, we wanted to offer our loyal audience the perfect travel site,” said Charles Bailey, CEO of TravelNet Solutions, owners of

Facebook created an ecosystem around the concept of the “like button”. is creating an ecosystem around two primary buttons that span all content across the site.

“We feel “Been Here” and “Wanna Go” are going to be key drivers in our travel planning ecosystem; discover, research, plan, view sharing, book, and finally sharing their own memorable experiences. When someone shares their past travel experiences or future travel plans with their friends and family via the “been here” and “want to go” buttons, coupled with reviews and photos, it will help provide a cleaner, more streamlined, and relatable experience for today’s demanding online traveler,” said Ryan Bailey, President of TravelNet Solutions and

Some of the more visible updates include:

Site wide search capability
Customized Location Based Navigation
Dynamic, Filterable Map View
‘Been Here’ and ‘Want To Go’ Button Integration
15 Listings per Accommodation Page (Up from 10 Previously)
Social Recommendations
MySpot Profiles
Badge and Traveler Ranking system
Top 10 Editorial Re-design
Personalized Travel Guides
Re-engineered Travel Inquiry Forms
New property Landing Pages
Social News Feeds in Property Pages
More Visible Direct Website Buttons
Retooled Destination Guides
11 Million New Restaurant Listings
5 Million New Attraction Listings
Dedicated Meeting Lodging Directory
Dedicated Wedding Lodging Directory
Dedicated Family Reunion Lodging Directory
Travel QA
Travel Forums
New Photo Property Photo Galleries
New Filterable Search Options
Trip Planner
Social Recommendation Engine
New Review Engine
Group, Wedding and Meeting Spec Guides
New Landing Page Mapping
Full Site Re-design

“We have an A+ leadership team.  Our vision has always been to build the perfect travel site and the people in our company continue to strive and reach for this goal.  We’ve really transformed our company over the last 12 months and are genuinely excited about the new technology.  It’s a remarkable time to be at,” continued Charles Bailey.

About® is the most comprehensive online resource for resort and lodge vacations worldwide, serving more than ten million leisure, group and corporate travelers each year. The site provides travelers direct access to original content, colorful photography and high-quality video for resorts, lodges, hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, ranches, vacation rentals and more. Our easy to use visual maps and filters allow Users to quickly find the information they are looking for when researching, planning and booking their resort and lodge vacations. Founded in 1998, we were one of the first major leisure travel directories established on the Internet. Over the years we have received many awards and accolades for our Web design, outstanding usability, fast page loading speeds, and skillful information display.

Most recently,® won the WebAward for excellence in Web site design and development from the Web Marketing Association (WMA). We were chosen from among 2,400 entries from more than 40 countries during the WMA’s annual WebAward competition.

Social Media Marketing: The Basics

What is social media?

Social media is aptly named: it’s any form of online media, in which people can be social. This includes sharing links and photos, discussing opinions and news or just connecting with other people on a social level. In an online article, Ron Jones divides social media into four of the most popular categories:

Social news: These websites offer news articles and the opportunity to vote and/or comment on them. The articles with the highest votes gain more visibility. Examples include Newsvine and Digg.

Social sharing: On these websites, you can create, upload and share photos and videos. Examples include YouTube, Flickr and Snapfish.

Click here to read the rest of this article at the VEM Global™ blog!

The Social Media Revolution

If you have read, “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century,” (I highly recommend this book) then you would know just how instrumental the internet has been for civilization. The author, Thomas Friedman, delves into how globalization impacts practically every aspect of our lives. His book was published in 2005 shortly before the onslaught of social media sites, but I think that this video does an excellent job showing the revolutionary impact they have had in our lives.  Click here to watch this amazing video!

Hoo is Hootsuite?

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, oh my! Who can keep up with it all? We’ve all heard about social media marketing and how it’s free marketing- monetarily, that is. Where you pay the big bucks though, is with your time. The good news is that there are ways to manage multiple social media applications at once and save you sanity and hours. The bad news is that even among these solutions, there are a lot of options. So, I’m going to start with the most popular ones and let you know what my thoughts are from playing around with them. Right now we’ll start with Hootsuite.

Click here to learn more about how Hootsuite can save your sanity!

Why Do We Use Social Media?

While at a Minnesota Twins game, I couldn’t help but notice a group of high school girls sitting in the row ahead of me. It was hard not to. Every time the cameras started sweeping over fans, the girls whirled into a state of near hysteria: They shook their glittery signs, screamed, jumped, waved. But each time, the camera never caught sight of them. So what did they do? They started taking pictures of each other. I guess someone had to document their whereabouts that night. My sister and I mused that those pictures would be posted on Facebook within minutes of the final inning.

Read the entire article at the VEM Global™ website to learn three main reasons why people love social networking sites.

The Perks of Being Liked: Turn Popularity into Profit

The travel industry is incredibly dynamic – resorts and hotels are constantly changing their specials and packages based on seasons, offering new services and renovating their interiors. All these changes are things guests – and potential guests – need to know. So how can you reach them? Mass mailings are outdated and they kill trees. Mass emails are decently effective, but they can turn off potential guests, who might just put you in their spam folder. Since our social world is becoming an online realm, you should direct your marketing tactics to where Internet users are spending most of their time: social networking sites. And with one of Facebook’s social plug-ins, you can not only reach a lot of people, but you can target those who already show interest.

See what Facebook’s “Like” button can do for you – read the whole article at the VEM Global™ blog.