Bournemouth University

School of Tourism

Social Media 'can no longer be ignored'

Date: 25 January 2011

BU welcomed social media entrepreneur Jerome Touze to its Talbot Campus this month for a guest lecture on the impact of social media on consumer behaviour. Listen to our podcast interview with Jerome Touze.

Jerome, who is co-founder of lifestyle and travel social network, talked to staff and students about the role social media plays in engaging with consumers and developing brand awareness.

As the largest travel and social networking community website, (Where Are You Now) has more than 15 million members from more than 220 countries. Its aim is to connect users from all over the world so they can share their past experiences and set out to achieve their goals for the future, whether it is taking up a new hobby or travelling to a new country.

Invited by Professor Dimitrios Buhalis in the School of Tourism, Jerome discussed how social media can no longer be ignored by companies in the tourism industry. He said: "Tourism boards are still relying on 'comfortable' marketing strategies with no real online agenda other than the experimental. And most tourist boards don't know how to use social media to shape their online strategies to achieve their core strategic goals. But social media can no longer be ignored. Within three years times it's estimated that 70 per cent of online content will be created by users."

Jerome said companies must learn how to connect with users and engage with them using social media such as, Twitter and Facebook, and allow them to interact with each other.

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