Latam Airlines in 2011 joined forces with Expedia participating partner in Expedia’s FriendTrips campaign, the largest sweepstakes in Facebook history. Its aim was to raise its profile
in the U.S. for travel to South America, while Expedia wanted to build its social media following through the effort. The sweepstakes allowed people to invite friends on a virtual plane on trips to
nine different destinations.
During a presentation at OMMA Social on Monday, Noah Tratt, global VP, of Media Solutions, Expedia, said the campaign helped Expedia add 1 million fans to its Facbook page in six weeks. Pierina Lerida, manager, Online Travel Agencies, North America, LATAM Airlines Group, likewise said participation led to thousands more Facebook fans and increased ticket sales.
The two companies teamed up again on a multi-platform social media campaign called South America Week, which featured a total of five South American travel brands. Among the countries promoted, the number of airline passengers to Peru increased 49% room nights book were up 145%, and ticket sales up 16%. Travel-related sales to Argentina increased, although not to the same level.
Tratt emphasized that the effort relied on close cooperating among country tourist boards, Latam, and Expedia. He also noted the importance of pulling user-generated content from travelers of their trips to enliven social media promotions on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Just using stock beach images won’t cut it.