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Agile Computing Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

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Apple Vacations Launches Social Media Blog

Social Media Initiatives Strive for More than 7,500 Fans and Friends

Apple Vacations announced the launch of its first-ever interactive blog site. The Juice (www.applevacationsblog.com) was designed to engage Apple Vacations' travelers and travel agents in an interactive way by providing timely travel stories, information, tips, and much more. The Juice features bloggers from various areas of the company, and a guest blogger section to include blogs from executives, celebrities, staff located in resort areas, and customers.

"By launching The Juice as a follow up to our pages on Facebook and Twitter, we have created an integrated social media strategy so that our brand loyalists can be the first to know about Apple Vacations' sales and special offers," said Timothy Mullen , Senior Vice President. "Our advocates can step up and support our brand, or conversely, give us their opinions on where we can do better. It's a real-time conversation that we want to have so that everyone benefits from the public discussion. And, if we listen carefully, then get the right product into a customer's consideration set, we've got a great chance at making a sale through these mediums."

The launch of The Juice comes on the heels of the company's successful ventures into social media on Facebook and Twitter. Two recently launched promotions, valued at more than $500,000, show the importance of social media in the company's integrated marketing strategy.

Apple Vacations' Facebook page was introduced earlier this year and kicked off a promotion on May 27 to increase its fan base. The "Fab Fan Fave Challenge" promised all fans a $50 vacation certificate if the site gained 2,500 fans by June 30. Additionally, once this goal was reached, a random drawing would be held to award a free all-inclusive vacation valued at $5,000.00. The goal of 2,500 fans was reached weeks earlier than anticipated, on June 6.

Apple Vacations' Twitter presence is doing just as well. The "5K Tweetathon" promotion kicked off on May 27 with the promise of a $50 vacation certificate once the site gained 5,000 friends, followed by a random drawing for a free all-inclusive vacation valued at $5,000.00. That goal is expected to be reached by June 15.

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