Global Connections, Inc. Strengthens Member Engagement and Retention with Social Media Promotions and Contests

Tom Lyons

Global Connections, Inc. (GCI), the well-known travel club fulfillment and service provider of Global Discovery Vacations (GDV), counts Social Media as one of its primary member engagement and retention tools.

Tom Lyons, GCI President and CEO says, “We know consistent engagement is key to keeping lifetime members and creating the excitement to acquire new members. When we have an online contest, members participate for the fun, excitement and a sense of community. The prizes are an added bonus for the entrants. Engaged members are loyal members and share their experiences with friends and family.”

GCI continually embraces new strategies to keep members engaged. GDV members are not required to pay an annual activity fee unless they are using any of the travel services or leisure benefits. GCI calculates the number of members based on those who are currently active and using their GDV benefits at any given time. With this in mind, GCI reports that it currently has approximately 75,000 active GDV members.

Member engagement strategies keep GDV in the forefront of members’ minds so they will consistently take advantage of the numerous opportunities their Club offers.

Members connect with GDV on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and with member participation games and contests such as sending in road trip play lists, recipes to try in your vacation condo and the ever popular “Global Bracketology.” Activities Bracket and the Vacation Destination Bucket List Bracket are run similarly to the annual March college basketball tournament. Last year’s exciting activities bracket contest resulted in sixteen activities narrowed down to four final contenders. In the end, National Parks prevailed over Beach vacations as the big winner. Two years ago, members voted on vacation destinations with Lake Tahoe receiving first-place recognition as GDV members’ most popular locale.

As popular as the Global Bracketology is, “Shoot for the Stars” garners even more participation. This is one of the most successful examples of GCI’s ongoing member engagement strategy. This was the 11th year of the annual “Shoot for the Stars” member vacation photo contest. Participation continues to grow year over year. Last year’s event received 1,000 entries. This year GCI chose winners from nearly 1,400 entries.

GCI uses these photos in marketing and promotional materials (with permission of course). Member pictures appear in GDV guidebooks, on websites, advertisements and social media. GCI finds the use of member photos and comments to be superior marketing tools over the use of stock imagery and standard copy. “Shoot for the Stars” builds good will and further engages members to get involved with GDV beyond just enjoying the affordable travel and leisure opportunities it offers.

“We have an unusual travel club structure with GDV,” says CEO and President Tom Lyons. “Our members are not required to pay their activity fee unless they are going to travel or use one of our numerous leisure benefits. Our goal is to keep GDV front and center in the members’ minds so they will activate their “Star Options” to vacation at beautiful resorts, go on a cruise or take advantage of one of our many tour options. Social Media is an ideal tool to keep our members involved.”

About Global Connections, Inc. 
Global Connections, Inc. is based in Overland Park, KS, opening in 1996 as a travel club fulfillment and service provider. Considered a leader in the travel club industry, GCI offers the members of its Global Discovery Vacations club program a wide variety of leisure benefits and vacation options at more than 700 North American resorts. GCI is the developer and owner of resorts in California, Florida, Tennessee and Colorado as well as owning and leasing numerous resort condominium units throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Caribbean. For more information about GCI visitExploreGCI.com.

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About Global Discovery Vacations 
Global Discovery Vacations is a respected membership-based travel club offering its members access to condominium accommodations, cruise and tour vacations, a full-service travel agency, a concierge program, and other leisure benefits. For more information about Global Discovery Vacations visit GlobalDiscoveryVacations.com