The use of social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter as key tools to engage with customers was a recurrent topic throughout RDO1, and the subject of a thought-provoking session moderated by Jackie Murphy, a consultant to RDO.
Delegates learnt some staggering facts about social media and the profile and volume of its users. For example, they heard that 64 per cent of the UK population have profiles on social networking sites and that, with 500 million users, if Facebook was a country it would be the third largest in the world.
They also learnt about the value of peer recommendations on social networks, with visitors coming from a social media site up to ten times more likely to make a purchase than the average consumer.
The timeshare industry is already embracing social media, with many companies, including RDO itself, having their own Twitter feeds, blogs and Facebook profiles. Geoff Ballotti from RCI and Michael Myers from Interval International shared their own experiences of how their organisations are using social media, with RCI highlighting the importance of using videos and Interval describing the development of its community site as a key tool to receive feedback from its members.