Note: This article was updated on June 27th, 2020 to reflect more up-to-date information.
As social media grows and expands over the years, it becomes more and more a part of our daily life. It’s where we connect with friends and family, we learn about current events, we shop for things we love, we conduct business and we gather inspiration for things we desire to do, like travel. Social media has become a place where people share opinions with others, ask for advice and gather recommendations. Due to the fact that social media has become an important community for people worldwide, impactful purchasing decisions are now being made in the social landscape, especially in the travel industry. These days, most people don’t book a trip or go anywhere without doing some sort of research. They look up the best flights, hotels, locations, activities, food and everything else in between. Travelers utilize apps like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Instagram, Facebook and even Pinterest when they’re looking to travel or planning a vacation. TripAdvisor and Yelp offer real-time reviews and recommendations of lodging, food and activities, while the visual nature of Instagram and Pinterest offer a place for travelers to see their dream vacation or become inspired to plan a weekend away. If you work in the travel industry and you’re not utilizing social media as a marketing tool, you should consider getting involved as soon as you can.
How can you engage in a marketing strategy for the travel industry on social media? You should begin by getting your business’s name and purpose out into the intra-world. Because so many travelers are using the internet and social media to plan their trips, your company needs to be active on these networking platforms in order to become a contender. Then, you need to create some sort of content plan. Your possible customers won’t know what products or services your business offers unless you tell them in a creative way. For example, Instagram is an extremely visual social networking site. If you own a little bed and breakfast by the water in the Bahamas, you’ll want much of your Instagram content to include views of your property by the water, as this beautiful visual aesthetic will attract people to visit the Bahamas and your property specifically. Another example: As you begin to gain traction with travelers and have a substantial number of previous guests, you’ll likely start to see reviews of your property come up on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. The content on these sites mostly comes from reviewers, but you can help to boost your reputation by engaging with reviewers, whether positive or negative. As your social media for your business grows, you have the potential to promote special offers, discounts, updates and other information and distribute them to a large group, whether that’s through organic or paid posts. We could go on about the opportunities that social media provides for the travel industry. In case you’re still skeptical, check out these statistics about how social media impacts travel below.
Related blog: Top Performing Social Media Campaigns of April 2020
- 86 percent of people said they’ve become interested in a specific location after seeing user-generated content about it, according to Stackla.
When someone is scrolling through a social networking site and see a photo of their friend hiking up a snowy mountain or cuddling up in a cabin, it can start up a desire in them to create a similar experience for themselves. People generally listen to the opinions of their friends and peers, and if someone they follow on social media is loving a travel experience, it grabs their interest in it.
- 1,000,000 travel-related hashtags were searched weekly in 2019, according to SocialToaster.
Hashtags are an effective way to find a whole load of posts based on the topic you’re interested in. In this case, social users who are itching to get out of town or simply dreaming of a vacation may search through hashtags to find inspiration. Popular travel hashtags include #travel, #travelphotography, #travelgram, #traveltheworld, #traveling, #travelguide and so many more. The use of hashtags on your business’s content may lead to more views, followers, and ultimately, increased brand awareness and even sales.
Related blog: How Many Photos Should I Post on Instagram Per Day?
- SocialToaster said that 84 percent of millennials are likely to plan their own vacation based on someone else’s social post.
Like I said above, people are likely to lean in on their friends and peers for their opinions on travel. They’ll inquire about their lodging, experiences, food and overall service, and they’re likely to take this into account when planning their own trip. It’s important to research your target audience and see what they’re posting, what they’re interested in and what they’re engaging with in order to improve your content strategy for your business’s social accounts.
- In 2018, 79 percent of travel marketers used Facebook ads, and that number continues to rise, according to CrowdRiff.
The use of social advertising can be an effective option to improve brand awareness and target a specific audience that could be interested in your product or service. It will depend on your business and your goals to decide which platform is best for advertising and what kind of audience you’ll want to reach.
- Travel Agent Central said that 49 percent of Americans say Facebook is the social media platform that inspires them to travel the most.
This is followed by Instagram at 35 percent, Pinterest at 19 percent, Twitter at 13 percent and Snapchat at 13 percent. Facebook allows us to see what our friends are up to constantly. If all your friends are traveling, it may urge you to get out and plan a vacation as well.
- 55 percent of people like social pages related to trips they’re planning, according to Smart Insights.
This gives you an opportunity to pay attention to what your proposed target audience is liking and engaging with. This may give you some insight into what they’re interested in and if it aligns with your business, or if you need to consider a different audience.
- Smart Insights says that 1 in 5 travelers use social media to research their trip plans.
27 percent use social for destination research, 23 percent use it for hotel research, 22 percent use it to research vacation activities, 21 percent research attractions and 17 percent research restaurants on social media. This provides an opportunity for your business to be included in those plans if you have a social presence and a positive reputation.
- 89 percent of people said they would be likely to post a photo or video of their travel experience if it was positive, according to Stackla.
The more people use your product or service and post about it to their friends, the more business you’re likely to get. It can make it a lot easier for your customers to find and tag you if you have a social media presence, and in turn, this allows their friends to look into your business for future travel plans.
Social media is only continuing to grow, and it’s becoming more and more important to users as they’re constructing their opinions and planning events and activities.