How hospitality brands use UGC to increase conversion rates. Interview with Holiday Club Resorts

Social proofing your e-commerce site is fast becoming an essential part of driving traffic and boosting conversions. We interviewed one of the leading European operators in holiday housing and tourism, Holiday Club Resorts, to ask them how they are utilising Flockler in their social media strategy. We spoke with their web manager, Janica Soppela, and found out what they see as the most important benefits of the platform, as well as how using the tool has changed and improved their customer engagement.

Why did you start using Flockler?

We wanted to find a way to let holidaymakers share their photos with us when on vacation. We’d been using widgets to add customer social media posts, but we wanted a more professional look on our website. Flockler allowed us to collect all the posts spread out over our site and bring them to one place, making it easy for the customer and us to see all that was there. We created a hub (called ‘Lomafiilis') where we could categorise posts by resort or by theme, such as golfing, restaurants, etc. We wanted to utilise customer photos, together with our content, as proof of people enjoying themselves on vacation in our resorts. Categorisation provides some order and relevance to the posts based on interest, whether that be holidays with children, romantic getaways, golfing, Angry Birds Activity Parks, etc.

How did you get people to engage with the idea?

In the beginning, we had a TV ad campaign in Finland and a live social media competition during TV show. In the commercial break, we had information about sharing photos with a hashtag, which Flockler was a part of. That sort of TV ad campaign isn’t necessary anymore as it’s easy for us to get the campaigns started around a theme.

Has Flockler inspired you to create any new social media campaigns?

Yes. Since using Flockler, we’ve had a Mother’s Day social media competition asking people to post a photo of them with their mother, or a mother with her child. We’ve also had Christmas and Midsummer calendars as well as other fun topics and competitions. The idea is to drive traffic by attracting people to our website in fun ways. We’ve found it’s easier to get site visits through a social media campaign - such as a competition - than it is through regular advertising. Once they’ve landed on our site, we have them in our loop and can retarget with Facebook ads, banner advertising or by sending them a newsletter. The Flockler platform plays a very big part at the beginning of the conversion funnel. We all know that the best holiday advertising is when you see your friends sharing their posts from their vacation.

We are using the customer photos as social proof in our showcase section of the product pages to help boost the conversion rate.

What has been the most important benefit of Flockler?

Definitely the ability to bring together and share all of our customer photos. Of course, we have our own marketing photos, but the customer photos are so much more authentic. Also, sharing a customer photo that we like often makes our customers really happy. In a small way, this enhances their memory and value of their holiday experience. So it’s important that we can see all the photos, pick out the best ones and interact with everyone by liking all their photos. It’s a great way to engage with the customer. Then, of course, we are using the customer photos as social proof in our showcase section of the product pages to help boost the conversion rate.

How does your showcase section of the product page work?

When customers are on a specific landing page offering them a package deal such as a romantic holiday getaway, they can see the different options. Then at the bottom of the page are the aggregated social media posts to provide more inspiration and social proof before moving into the checkout process. We can easily create new themes and add social content because Flockler stores and allows us to access historical posts to use again in the future.

Social proof is displayed on the product pages

What metrics have you used to measure the success of the Flockler hub?

We have just redeveloped our website, and it was essential that we incorporate Flockler-powered content into the layout. Although we haven’t done any AB testing lately on the impact of social content, we definitely have the feeling that the conversion rate is better now we are utilising customer photos and experiences as social proof.

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Holiday Club Resorts are not only using social media posts and customer-generated content as added value to their site, but they are also finding it inspires new campaigns and content strategies, and the Flockler platform is given critical positioning in new website layouts. Holiday Club Resorts are putting their faith in the power of pictures to drive engagement with their products and services. The Flockler platform allows them to store, manage, categorise and display all these powerful images so that they can build engagement and fuel conversions.

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