Have you ever booked a holiday without consulting your social media? Me neither. Social media continues to evolve the way that consumers are connecting and engaging with brands, in particular the travel industry – and we think it is for the best.
Right from the start, itinerary planning starts with an App. From researching destinations, social engagement throughout their trip and post-trip reviews and feedback, online platforms have become a seamless part of every traveller’s experience.
Social media paths the way for connectivity with communities all over the world, allowing people to share their travel experiences to a global audience. Travellers are becoming increasingly influential, so much so that there are now dedicated travel social media platforms, accounts and groups designed to reach millions of followers. According to a PRSA Travel & Tourism poll, 84% of Facebook users admitted their friends travel posts influenced their own travel plans. Inspiration for destinations, activities and accommodation now comes from Pinterest, travel related hashtags on Instagram and Facebook reviews.
Social media has created new avenues for consumers to make purchasing decisions, which has influenced the tourism and travel industries. It has now become a curated version of word of mouth marketing and travel brands are now required to keep up to date, in order to leverage their audiences and connect with travellers to build long-lasting relationships.
The best way brands can be effective on social media are to:
1) Increase brand awareness – Travel brands can utilise strategic social media advertising and remarketing tools to get their brand in front of customers.
2) Invite audience into a conversation – Use branded hashtags to create interactive advertising campaigns that make your audience feel like they are part of the action.
3) Engage with online travellers – You want potential customers to feel as if they know you and your brand. Create conversation around your brand and connect with your ideal travellers by asking questions, hosting contests, and remaining authentic.
4) Create original content – Originality and creativity are important words when it comes to creating and sharing content on social media. Creating visual content that tells a story will give you the opportunity to stand out.
Social media is now more than just sharing holiday content with family and friends; it is bringing travel inspiration and knowledge to millions of people. Travel brands need to stay ahead of the curve and up to date with the most popular trends in social media to leverage their audience and keep their brand at the forefront.