Twitter has long been used by travel companies worldwide as a social channel that enables companies to do something creative with regards to services that the company offers to its consumers. The likes of KLM and also destinations such as Sweden are using the channel in creative and engaging ways. Now Thomas Cook is also launching a new and innovative way of using Twitter by releasing an automated travel deal request service on Twitter via @TCOffers. What does this mean for the end consumer? Consumers can now tweet a deal or offer request for a specific destination and they will receive an automated reply back with available offers (Tnooz 2014).
HOLIDAYS TO GO
Consumers worldwide can use the Twitter handle @TCOffers to tweet Thomas Cook in order to receive a deal or offer for a specific destination. It is up to the consumer to mention up to 3 destinations within a tweet and consumers will receive a response within minutes. Although, we have not seen a tour operator using Twitter in this way before, it is fairly similar to KLM’s Local Eyes and other companies doing similar things in previous years. It is also worth mentioning that the tweets are being answered through auto tweets hence the fast reply being made possible. Only in cases where there is no auto tweet available, the request will be sent to @ThomasCookCares which will then reply to the query. Only at that point, an answer with an offer or deal will be found manually.
IS IT USEFUL?
Tourism companies could certainly discuss the usefulness of the twitter handle and the auto responses. However, for Thomas Cook the Twitter handle means that a large volume of queries can be answered in a very time efficient way. With @TCOffers launching, there was a very high volume of Tweets using the handle, so it can be considered as a time efficient solution rather than manually searching for deals and offers which might delay the process a lot.
It will be interesting to see how the handle is being used over an extended period of time and how useful this is for consumers searching deals and offers. It is certainly a good place for consumers to turn to when searching for holiday promotions by Thomas Cook, and is now marketed as the single place to go to. Time will tell how successful it is and will be for Thomas Cook itself and also the end consumer.
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