And two weeks later, Todd van Hoosear, writing in Topaz Partners’ Tech PR Gems, writes that
There are lots of good examples of B2C social media successes out there (you have to dig, but they’re out there). But try looking for B2B examples. They’re few and far between.
Let me give them an example.
TTGlive, a website I once worked on, is a traditional B2B site for the UK travel industry. But it is one of the first ever B2B sites in the UK to boast of social netowrking – SmallWorldLabs if you are interested. It is not clamped on just for show. Instead it absolutely aligns itself with the bahviour of part of the industry. Let me explain.
Travel agents in the UK go on what are called “Fam” or “Familiarisation” trips – that is operators take them as guests to destinations round the world, using the trip to educate them on flights, hotels and the destinations themselves. The groups are largely made up of young women who have rarely travelled before. In deed for some it is the trip of a lifetime.
Their fellow travellers, agents like themselves, work for quite different companies. Yet the journey is so intense (and so jetlagged!) that the group bonds brilliantly. Until, that is they return to the UK. Promises are made at Arrivals that everyone will keep in touch and exchange photots but of course nothing of the sort happens.
So TTG launched Fams Reunited. It asks operators (the hosts) to register their fam trips as they come up and set up specific groups. The hosts then encourage agents to set up a profile on TTG’s YourSpace before they go. While on the trip, it is in the interest of operators to encourage their agents to take photos and write reviews of what they are seeing. This is then uploaded on their return. Agents then maintain contact through the social networking functionality of the site and exchange photos of the holiday.
The idea has just been launched in beta and has gathered great interest from operators who also happen to be the advertisers. It allows them to get their product in front travel agents within the context of user generated content. So I will let you know how it goes.