Arrival of social media has increased the exposure of several consumer brands. It benefits naturally to the domains and gives recognition to their brand amidst masses. Social media has created a great impact on each key industry across the world and one industry that capitalized a lot from the social media is the travel and tourism industry. The hospitality and travel business has perhaps gained more profits than other commercial ventures, from social media. It has become one of the most prominent instruments in influencing the mindsets of the travellers. Facebook, twitter, pinterest, Google+, blogs and many other web-based social media platforms influence the tourists about their decision of choosing a destination.
Why Social Media has So Much Impact on Travel Industry
Travel and tourism is a business that mainly depends on the use of tittle-tattle. Giving opinions and making recommendations through social platforms like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook allow the customers to create an impact on the decisions of tourists. Travel agents exploit this mindset of travellers to share their tips and suggestions, which can be extremely effective in their decision-making. More than 80% of consumers said that they trust recommendations & suggestions of their social media friends and followers more than any other platform of advertising.
Social Media is the Most Affordable Branding Tool
Branding is persuading your target audience to connect your company using an impactful media and other relevant steps. Travel business is a service industry and everything works here on the basis of experiences they provide to their clients. It is because the nature of basic offerings/products are common, most travel agents can hardly differentiate. Social media not only makes their all branding initiatives completely smooth and natural but turns into an important factor for their brand recognition. The constant presence of travel agencies on social media allows connecting with its targeted consumers. It doesn’t equate with other expansive branding tools but definitely works like a device for nurturing the travel business and promoting a travel destination at no extra cost.
How Travel Agencies are Using It for Marketing
Through their social media networks, travel agencies become more accessible for new customers and their recognition for the existing customers gets a consistency. For instance, a social media user will hear more about an agency with more frequent posts appearing on their wall. In fact, apathetic customer also becomes acquainted with a travel agency after seeing its presence on multiple networks.
A travel agent knows that if a consumers’ experience becomes viral, it is easy to influence their travel booking and travel planning behavior. Using social media, many travel conversations are conducted asking about the customer experience for a particular destination, agent or hotel. About 2/3rd of active social media users definitely post comments about their experiences. Social media is also helping travel agencies connect easily with their target audience and enjoy higher loyalty from their users. Open social media platforms work on Magic Bullet Theory for travel planning of tourists and also prove to be influential for their travel agents.
Facts & Figures of Social Media & Reviews for Travel Industryimpact of social media on travel and tourism:
- 46% of holidaymakers post their hotel reviews
- 43% of customers read these reviews
- 52% tourists have huge influence of social media on their travel planning
- 56% travelers check-in to their travel location using social media
Travel Agency Figure Out Consumer’s Behaviour
As a leading travel agent of India, I know that every post shared on a social media platform is the opportunity of having access to new customers and existing customers. With post likes, shares and number of comments, we understand their fondness about any destination, hotel or other travel activities. Travel agencies regularly conduct some contests or ask for the recommendations of the travellers in order to find out consumer behaviour. They also have a team which keeps an eye over the most enjoyed destinations and activities of the travellers.
The popularity of social media has affected the approach of branding and marketing of travel agencies. By going through the customers’ reviews on various destinations/hotels/other products, understanding their experiences and users’ views about their services on different social media platform, travel agencies are trying to create better experiences for their clients.