American Express polled corporate travel agents and found half use social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with corporate travelers or learn and share more information about the travel sector.
Half of travel management professionals surveyed are using social
media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with their corporate
New research by American Express Business Travel also found that
44 percent of corporate travel professionals are also using social media to
monitor and share the latest travel industry information with colleagues.
Some 43 percent of respondents told AMEX they use social
networking tools to communicate best practices and reduce business travel
On a sliding scale:
- 42 percent of participants use social networking to look for
vendors and services from travelers.
- 34 percent look for travel patterns that could lend to better
vendor rates and services.
- 27 percent look to gain visibility into business functions and
- 26 percent use social media to encourage travelers to network.
- 18 percent of the respondents network with other travel
manager/procurement officer peers
AMEX' findings shouldn't be a shock to anyone following the rise
of Facebook and Twitter among business users.
Once considered a threat to corporate security -- and still is in
some financial services firms -- Facebook has become an acceptable form of
communication among not only colleagues, but among brands angling to promote
Corporate promotion is especially high on Twitter, where Dell,
Disney, Pepsi and several other leading brands hawk their products.
Interestingly, while concerns about corporate privacy and data
security created barriers to adoption for social networking among some
enterpries in the last few years, AMEX found the most significant barrier
to adoption of "social media as an organization has been the lack of direct
Twenty percent of respondents said they found the business
case for social media tools and usage within travel management programs
However, only five percent of respondents said they have had no
barriers or challenges to adopt social media tools as an organization.
Perhaps the most interesting line of questioning AMEX deigned to
put in front of travel management professionals was what they would build if
they could customize their social networking experience.
Sixty-one percent said they wanted the ability to accommodate
business travel management processes. Some 39 percent said they preferred the
ability to push out notifications and alerts.
Thirty-five percent said they wanted to monitor the entire social
media sharing process, while 29 percent said they wanted some reporting ability
to track Website abuse, comments and security issues.
The proliferation of social media tools and users is a big reason
why AMEX created its BusinessTravelConneXion
This platform is a forum where some 8,500 travel management
specialists to share ideas, connect with other members, and leverage webcasts,
videos and blogs to communicate.
Community members include travel buyers, suppliers, technology
providers, industry experts and influencers.