Ctripper: Why A Mustache?

by Coley Dale
Posted: August 13th, 2010 | Updated: July 25th, 2012 | Comments
Ctrip Ctripper posts come to us directly from the good folks at Ctrip, China's top online travel agency (and proud sponsor of ChinaTravel.net). Stay tuned for Ctrip special offers, travel tips, news on new travel deals, tours and activities, and slices of life-in-China from Ctrip staff and interns. We know you're curious about our mustache photo contest, but what can we say? Us Ctrippers are classy people.... >>> I wish I could take credit for the idea of a mustache photo contest, but I’ve got to admit that it was all on Emily.  She was tasked with a broad based assignment of coming up with "something interesting to try out on social media", and she did. Social media for us, like many companies in our situation, isn’t something that we've fully figured out yet. While I’d like to say that it plays a big part in our online marketing mix, like for most marketers out there it can be tough to trace our efforts back to tangible results. But for me, there are a few undercurrents which keep me excited about this platform as something with real potential:

1. It makes us human. Ctrip may be a big freaking company, but at the end of the day, if you reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, or send us a mustached photo of yourself on a beach (or beneath an ocean, congrats Giuseppe), we will write you back. Not only that, but we will try in as transparent a way as possible to solve your problem should you have one. We work hard to communicate with our customers across all channels. What used to be limited to our customer service center has now extended all the way to our marketing department. We want to communicate with you so you know we’re real people and not just some faceless website.

2. It creates real opportunities to foster a community. We’re all on Ctrip for different reasons. For some of us, we come to China once a year and rely on Ctrip for painless booking solutions for our complex travel needs. Others live here, using Ctrip for (hopefully) all of their travel in and outside of China. Either way, having a contest that brings us all together with as simple a bond as a silly orange mustache helps us show that Ctrip customers come from many walks of life.

3. It is fun. How many accountants (I have nothing against accounting) get to actually peruse through pictures of people doing funny things and call it work? Not many I’m sure, but I love that looking through these pictures actually counted as part of our jobs!

In summary, Ctrip is trying new and different things with social media and you should expect some cool adventures to follow. Regardless of how you paint it as a contributor to your bottom line, social media definitely adds a bit of extra personality and some fun times to a job that I already enjoy heavily.
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