We’re all back from RDO’s social media and digital strategy meeting, held in London late January, and, while I’m not that good at the technical side of social media marketing, I’m definitely a convert.
One thing lots of people are already excited about is the new RDO Digital community we are about to launch for our members and their staff. This will be a platform where we will be hosting all kinds of training and discussion, and helping each other out as we work together to get better at social media and build up timeshare’s recognition and reputation.
That said, I accept that there are those who believe the subject has been “done to death” as it were, or feel they really don’t have time to engage on the social networks.
So think about this for a minute:
We all buy or do things based on suggestions from friends and family, and we would probably consider an unbiased recommendation to be more honest and trustworthy than a company brochure when we are taking a decision.
And social media’s potential when it comes to selling the timeshare experience is the very same thing on a much larger scale. It’s ultimately about connecting with our owners and encouraging them to share their happy times with their friends and the general public. The goal is to build up to a point where we have thousands of online ambassadors spreading our message far and wide to people who trust them.
This time it’s for real
It was clear from our social media meeting that there is already a lot being done out there by individual members and that RDO needs to tap into that work and energy in order to be able to update and radically improve our own social media presence.
Unfortunately, to date RDO has largely paid lip-service to this whole idea. The truth is we have so far done little to motivate our members and their owners to work together with us to promote timeshare using the different social networks. But, as many of you know by now, we’ve pulled our socks right up to our knees and are hard at work to fix that.
To this end, we have bought in social media marketing expert John Beckley (brother of James – Pearly Grey) and his team as contractors, to work with Nikkie and help RDO and our members secure our social media strategy going forward. I look forward to seeing the results of that work.
One of their first tasks (already in full swing as we speak) is to set up the RDO Digital community I mentioned earlier and get the discussion and training going for our members. We know that a big problem with social media marketing is that it keeps changing and evolving, and what used to work last year may not be the thing to do anymore.
RDO’s aim is to make it as easy as possible for our members to catch up, keep up and make the most of this marketing phenomenon. I invite you all to join the RDO Digital community as soon as we launch, contribute your experience, learn new things and work with us as we engage owners and members to promote the industry together.
Exciting times ahead!
The world is changing and we must change too
As a prelude to all this, Sue and I attended a presentation at Bournemouth University School of Tourism last month to receive a report on the best means of social media communication of timeshare products to Generation Y. This was the 3rd such report the final year students had worked on for us and was probably the best so far. It contains some really useful information and conclusions on how best to educate this generation via social media for the future on timeshare.
We’ll be discussing this report very soon, so look out for that.
One important point though – students don’t like being contacted during “unsocial hours”. We did ask for this to be defined and were told it meant “don’t bother us before 10 am.” – Plus ca change, as they say.
Talk of mornings and waking up brings me somewhat tangentially to the Edelman breakfast that takes place here in London at their offices in Victoria, normally just before the World Economic Forum in Davos, and which RDO has been lucky enough be invited to for the last few years. Every year, Edelman publishes what it calls the Edelman Trust Barometer, where they use extensive polling methods to measure the trust people have in our public institutions, NGOs and corporations.
Edelman’s 2016 report showed evidence of a growing disparity between what I will call “the haves” – high earners, upper middle class, university educated etc. – and “the rest” – that is those who are not (I over-simplify). In particular, there is a fast-growing gap between the attitudes of these two groups. “The haves” are generally content with their prospects and the institutions, while “the rest” are quickly losing confidence in our institutions and becoming increasingly pessimistic about their prospects.
What was even more interesting is that this second group is increasingly relying on social media to find information, seek out the opinions of their peers, form their own opinions and validate their own views.
So there you have it. 2016 is the year RDO gets on top of the social media game and works seriously with our members to make it happen. There’s momentum already. There’s energy. There’s a bunch of people (experts and not) working together on this goal. All that’s missing is you.
Look out for RDO Digital launching real soon. I sincerely hope you will join us and share the enthusiasm.