The social media landscape is currently dominated by just a handful of general social networking sites. For instance, MySpace was the destination for 76% of US social networking visits in 2008. EyeforTravel recently conducted extensive research for their 2nd Social Media for Strategies Conference, being held on March 10-11 in San Francisco. They found that despite this huge amount of traffic, and growing popularity, the travel industry is still unsure how to effectively, and profitably, work with social networking sites. How can travel marketers turn these vast horizontal sites into a receptive ? and responsive ? travel markets?

EyeforTravel findings are supported by a survey conducted by GfK Roper Public Relations and Media. According to the results of their survey, more than half of the 180 responding chief marketers indicated low current interest in actually incorporating social networking sites into their plans. Traditional vehicles like forums and webinars scored much higher.

More than one-quarter (27%) of consumer and B-to-B chief marketing executives surveyed online in late October identified social networking and word-of-mouth as the tools they would most like to introduce to their marketing mix to compensate for anticipated budget cuts--ahead of all other traditional or digital marketing channels. However, more than half (55%) of the 180 responding chief marketers--representing brands with revenues ranging from $250 million to more than $10 billion--indicated low current interest in actually incorporating the networking sites into their plans.

Kristen Celko, VP Marketing, STA Travel, Ashley Randall, Senior Product Manager, TripAdvisor and Mark Charkin, VP Sales, Bebo will be addressing this issue at EyeforTravel?s Social Media Strategies for Travel Conference on March 10-11 in San Francisco. They will be making presentations detailing how travel companies can work with social networking sites to promote their brand and drive traffic their website. They will also offering tips on page management and explain the costs and potential ROI involved.

Related Link: EyeforTravel?s Social Media Strategies for Travel USA 2009