|Lane Douglas, principal at MarketBridge // Photo by Adam Leposa|
Travel Agent just got back from the Ataway Exchange digital marketing conference, where we learned that Carnival's massive and engaged social media community may have helped buffer the company against the impact of the Carnival Triumph incident.
Lane Douglas, principal at MarketBridge, took the stage to deliver the closing presentation on the best ways travel professionals can measure their progress on social media. More details on his presentation are available on our sister site Hotel Management at www.hotelmanagement.net/events-trade-shows/ataway-day-3-social-media-matures-20543.
Douglas presented MarketBridge's Social Quotient, a new way of measuring social media progress against a brand's competitive set that takes into account a host of metrics that pay close attention to the context and sentiment of social media. As part of the presentation, Douglas compiled a report of the top five cruise brands by SQ within the past 30 days, and, despite the recent negative publicity in consumer media surrounding the Triumph, Carnival was leading the pack.
"When it comes to brand sentiment, we discovered that the sentiment on media outlets (or the mainstream news) was always lower than what was being talked about on the consumer side," Douglas said, noting that this was true across all cruise lines. "I'm not saying that the Triumph didn't impact them, but Carnival's influence, the cumulative extended reach of Carnival's following, was significantly higher than anyone else."
Douglas also pointed out that the way consumers tend to interact with cruise lines may have also lessened the impact of the Triumph's problems.
"In the cruise industry, people that take cruises tend to build affinities not with the brand but with the ship," Douglas said. "So, yeah, the Triumph was really bad, and the media crushed it, but despite all that horrible, negative publicity the social following came to the defense of the brand. They started naming their favorite ships - well, we love the Liberty. All of a sudden the social media community started coming to the defense of the brand."
What do you think? Were consumers on social media on the whole more positive than the consumer media portrayed? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below.