As Joel Postman mentioned in his definition of branding in Social Corp: Social Media Goes Corporate, good branding is all about the overall experience a company gives to their customers. One company in the hospitality and travel industry that does this very well is Carnival Cruise. Mashable.com notes Carnival’s success comes from taking advantage of the idea of “social media bragging.” This concept is when customers either go viral about their Carnival experience during their trip or leading up to their vacation, which as a result, creates huge buzz for the company. The media outlet that is used the most for the cruiseline is Facebook. With over 1.2 million fans, Carnival is able to engage and promote their brand by asking and answering open-ended questions with customers. Carnival’s brand goes beyond using just Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are also two other successful social media websites the company uses.
This video from the “Carnival Fun Ships” channel on Youtube, makes viewers feel as though they are there along for the ride with the ship. The speaker talks about how they have a lot of fun attractions ready for the trip and even says, “all that’s missing is you.” This introduction to a series of video clips of that particular trip is a smart technique the company uses to contribute to current and potential customers’ overall experience with Carnival.
As previously mentioned, Carnival’s brand expands in the social media world with the help of Twitter. Dori Saltzman discusses in her article, “Marketing with Twitter: Suppliers Embrace the Social Network as Communication Tool,” how certain travel companies are using this social media resource to form relationships with travel agents and customers. These constituents are the first to know about company events, packaged deals, prizes and any promotional information relevant to the company. Carnival successfully tweets to approximately 8, 671 followers maintaining their brand and providing customer service. Although the account was originally made to “push” messages to followers, it is now directed to answering customer questions and making recommendations about booking trips and excursions.
Given the constant changes and developments in the corporate world, it is noted that a company brand is likely to be affected over time. However, it is important to know a brand can easily be managed with the help of various social media tools. Carnival Cruise has demonstrated that it is not only a successful brand in the hospitality and travel industry, but also remains proactive in maintaining their brand by becoming visible online to their constituents.
By: Stephanie Strickland