Cruise tourism: social media content and network structures
Article publication date: 17 October 2018
Issue publication date: 24 October 2018
The purpose of this paper is to present knowledge acquired through examining three cruise lines’ social media strategies over a three-year period, analyzing the network structures involved and demonstrating the value of the STAR (storytelling, triggers, amusement and reaction) model for enhancing social media activity.
This study gathered data from three cruise lines’ official websites and Facebook and Twitter accounts, examining variables such as internet presence, engagement and fans/followers. Furthermore, the work also addresses several issues that researchers encounter when using the STAR model.
Digital activity was found to vary significantly between the three cruise lines’ websites and Facebook and Twitter accounts, with the companies adopting different approaches and obtaining different results. Each company tended to have its own base of fans and followers, who shared a common language, reflected in the hashtags they used. The results show that cruise lines wishing to develop a content-oriented strategy that maximizes engagement in social media should share rich multimedia content that supports storytelling values and can be used on multiple platforms.
This work can be of interest to practitioners aiming to use a comparison and assessment tool for their digital activity. It could also assist future researchers focusing on cruise line activity, as few researchers have analyzed the online content strategies of cruise lines, particularly on Facebook and Twitter.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from “Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia” (FCT – Portugal), national funding through research grant (UID/SOC/04521/2013) of the Advance/CSG, ISEG and from the project ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000017 from AÇORES 2020, through FEDER – European Union. They also greatly appreciate and thank the editor and the reviewers for their complimentary comments and suggestions.
Tiago, F., Couto, J., Faria, S. and Borges-Tiago, T. (2018), "Cruise tourism: social media content and network structures", Tourism Review, Vol. 73 No. 4, pp. 433-447. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-10-2017-0155
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