HospitalityNet wanted to know is approaching social media marketing...

EyeforTravel's Ritesh Gupta interacted with Alexis Ohanian, Principal, Marketing at new flight search site Hipmunk to know more about the same.

Ohanian, who is scheduled to speak at the forthcoming Social Media Strategies for Travel USA 2011 conference, to be held in San Francisco next year (March 2-3, 2011), said, "We're just doing everything we can to create interesting content on our blog and keeping in touch with all of our users via the typical channels (twitter, facebook, and reddit). No matter what they're saying about us, we want to be part of the conversation."

Significantly, Ohanian believes it's harder for larger established brands to develop a true voice because they have to go through "so many layers of PR and whatnot".

"When you start from scratch and there's no filter, it's easier to build the confidence of your audience. Your users will accept that you're fallible as long as you treat them like adults," said Ohanian.

There's no big secret here, but the more people who understand the best way to do social media marketing is to actually genuinely participate in social media, the fewer charlatans offering "social media services" will stay in business.

I'm looking forward to speaking at the conference -- you can tell we learned a lot about trusting one's audience from starting reddit. I just hope to rekindle a little of that community magic with hipmunk.