Who’s hot on YouTube in vacation ownership services? Clearly, RCI timeshare, which has just announced the milestone of 1 million views on the RCI YouTube channel.
Phil Brojan, senior vice president, Marketing, RCI, explains, “Social media outlets such as our channel on YouTube have served a two-fold purpose at RCI. First, they provide RCI subscribing members with educational and fun content that helps them to better enjoy their memberships.
“Second, they build a vibrant community of people passionate about leisure travel, giving RCI affiliated resorts a way to tap into a powerful consumer segment.”
RCI YouTube Part of Social Media Plan for RCI Timeshare
The RCI YouTube Channel is part of a larger social media engagement outreach that RCI timeshare uses to stay connected to millions of vacationers, timeshare owners, RCI timeshare members, and future shared vacation owners worldwide. Additionally, you will find RCI on Facebook, Twitter, the RCI blog, mobile phone apps, and the timeshare industry’s first smartphone-optimized website. The RCI apps include:
The RCI app for members with versions for the iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android
The RCI Ventures app for the iPad
The Endless Vacation magazine app for smartphones
As Phil goes on to explain, “Exceeding one million views is a huge and significant milestone for brand-sponsored content on YouTube. Reaching this goal is evidence that our social media plan has grown into our vision of creating quality content to reach prospective and current timeshare owners.”
Congratulations Holiday Inn Club Vacation Timeshare
ARDA World 2012 was a successful and effective week for Holiday Inn Club Vacations, with high visibility and strong participation at all levels of the conference as well as ten awards received for being the timeshare industry’s “Best in Class”.
Receiving the highest honor in the timeshare industry, the ARDA Gold, at Holiday Inn Club Vacations were:
Mike Campbell, Sales Management Executive – Nominated for his ability to continue to lead his team and produce top results for the brand’s first sales expansion out of the company’s corporate headquarters in Orlando, Fla.
Rosana Monteiro, Salesperson – Traditional Line – Nominated for her outstanding performance as the top front line sales performer.
Adam Smith, Salesperson – In-House – Nominated for his outstanding performance as the top in-house sales consultant.
Jill Keener, Sales Operational Support Team Member – Nominated for resolving more than 600 escalated or outstanding owner inquiries in 2011.
Brooke Doucha, Communications/Public Relations Professional – Nominated for leading the efforts behind the brand’s more than 370 million media impressions in 2011 alongside public relations colleagues at IHG and for heading up the successful launch of the brand’s social media program.
Michael Sitnik, Maintenance Manager – Nominated for seeking and implementing innovations in maintenance and upkeep for the resort that has saved the Condominium Association nearly $85,000.
Rick Koloski (True North Solutions, Inc.), Vendor/Supplier Team Member – Nominated for being a key contributor for the Holiday Inn Club member website and functionality related to online booking for members.
Last Monday, April 2, on the kick-off day of ARDA World 2012, we sat on a panel called, “Call to Action: The Pay Off for Reputation Building through Social Media.”
Along with Phil Brojan of RCI; Lou Ann Burney of ARDA; Wendy Poe, of the Bluegreen Corporation; and Keith Strickland of Holiday Inn Club Vacations, we took a serious look at how the timeshare industry is (and isn’t) making use of social media. As ARDA’s introductory material explained, leading into the forum:
Is the timeshare industry being left behind in social media? Retail, travel, and hospitality brands are mastering the art of using social media to enhance brand perception and awareness, engage consumers with compelling content, and convert that engagement into revenue. Are we missing the boat? Over 85% of timeshare owners consistently give a “thumbs up” on their timeshare experience, so why do all the negative naysayers own the social media waves?
Timeshare Owners and Social Media
For timeshares, naysayers are a serious issue. The voice of a small percentage of unhappy owners—including critics who have never owned timeshare, or even vacationed in one—is louder than the majority of owners who are well satisfied with their vacation product.
At VacationOwnership.com LLC (formerly SellMyTimeshareNOW and Timeshare Broker Services), we are working to expand our social media outreach, to improve our sites and to expand our presence. And although we do build new relationships, provide information, make timeshare sales, and rent properties via social media, we want to do more to engage in more conversations and hear more feedback from timeshare owners, buyers, and renters…
It’s hard to look for news about timeshare on the internet and not find Bluegreen timeshares—they are everywhere. Whether it’s Twitter, blogging, video, or online media releases, Bluegreen timeshare creates and maintains a steady flow of outbound information.
Social media is a two-way street. Everything you publish to the World Wide Web instantly becomes subject matter up for discussion. Tweet and the world tweets back. Publish a YouTube video and prepare for your message to be praised, critiqued, and shared. Unlike print and television advertising, social media enables and even encourages viewers to stop being viewers and become responders. And as risky as it feels, especially in an industry that has borne the brunt of much criticism and negativity, opening your business up for two-way communication makes the bold public statement that you are truly listening and genuinely care what your market thinks about your services and products. The platforms of social media chip away at feelings of “industry” vs. “consumers” and empower consumers and would-be consumers with the confidence that their voice is being heard.
Social media is marketing wildfire (with trace amounts of swamp gas). Short of buying air time during the Super Bowl, there is virtually nothing you can do to spread your message as fast and as far as social media will spread it for you. Ironically, even Super Bowl advertising quickly makes the leap from prime time to web, sometimes doing so even before ads are revealed on TV.
The ‘spreads-like-wildfire’ quality of social media not only reaches the marketplace, it permeates the infrastructure of search engines themselves. Twitter, YouTube, online media releases, and similar platforms all afford excellent ways to increase your online presence and perhaps improve your standing in search results. And in the spirit of fighting fire with fire, nothing displaces negative messaging (if it happens) faster and more effectively than producing positive news and information to take its place. A strong social media machine upstages unfavorable messaging, driving it further and further from the front-page news of search engine results while replacing it with vibrant, engaging, quality content.
Bluegreen Timeshares Shine
Much of what Bluegreen is doing stands as a blueprint to others in the timeshare industry for using the power of social media to reach and communicate with timeshare owners, timeshare renters, and prospective owners. While Bluegreen is not the only vacation ownership company to utilize the tools of social media, they are doing it very consistently and effectively; they clearly understand that business is no longer about talking to your customers but instead, talking with them.
In upcoming posts, we’ll be looking at other timeshare companies who are utilizing social media platforms well, including commentary from them about the tools they are using and how (and why) they are making them work.