Do you own a travel company or run an online travel portal? Did you know more than 70% travelers research on social media to plan their vacation?
A few years back, the scenario was completely different. People used to rely on their trusted connections’ experience to decide on a holiday spot. Or they would visit a travel agency to seek professional help from an expert. Now, they go to social media, online booking sites, forums, and review sites to plan their entire sabbatical.
It’s high time that you should give a serious thought on social media not only for brand awareness but also for greater RoI.
Here are some data to convince you, if you are not yet encouraged to do social media marketing for your travel venture.
A survey by Google and Ipsos MediaCT said 65% of leisure and 70% of affluent travelers research online before they decide on the holiday spot or hotel.
According to eMarketer, approximately one-fifth of leisure travellers worldwide turn to social media platforms for inspiration within different categories of their travel planning including:
- Hotels (23%)
- Vacation activities (22%)
- Attractions (21%)
- Restaurants (17%)
Let’s now see how you can use social media to benefit your travel business:
Launch contests and campaigns: Introduce new contests and campaigns to set your identity apart. It’s great to create a brand recall.
This is an amazing campaign by Tourism Queensland. The campaign is called ‘The best job in the world’. The job role is the caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef Islands. And the winner is supposed to pen down his experience and discoveries on his blog.
Creative yet effective, isn’t it?
Introduce loyalty program: Always give a reason to your fans and followers to remain by your side. We call it social media loyalty program.
Trip Adviser is one of the pioneers in this. They introduced a forum to recognize their most loyal members and reviewers.
Start blogging: Create a travel blog. What to write? Well, the scope is endless.
You can educate your audience about a new place, give suggestions on choosing holiday destinations according to metrics like budget, season or preference. Moreover, the blog can be an excellent channel to connect with travelers and bloggers. Once they are connected with your community, you can always ask them to contribute to your blog.
Build your own community:
To succeed in social media marketing, irrespective of its domain, it’s essential to build a strong community around your brand. For travel industry, an ideal community encompasses travelers, travel writers, foodies, hotels and restaurants.
You can employ social media features like Twitter List and Facebook Groups to connect with such industry insiders.
Think visual: When it comes to tour and travel, your audience would expect a lot of visual content. Spend more time on creating videos and images. Short video tools like Vine can be handy to create innovative videos.
As per Katie Boes, head of integrated marketing and strategy for Travel + Leisure, blue is the color for Facebook images, if it belongs to the travel industry. According to her, blue is engaging than any other hues.
Try social apps and games:
This is app built by Cape Town Tourism. This is actually a game, where all the participants would have a chance to send their Facebook profile to a virtual Cape Town Tour. However, only the winner would get the actual trip.
A channel to crowd-source: Post by Visit Queensland, Australia.
Generate user-generated content, just as Visit Queensland, Australia did. They asked their fans to share their photos with #thisisqueensland on Twitter and Instagram. The result was, innumerable entries and a great social media content.
Engage with your audience:
Post by MakeMyTrip. com.
Make My Trip often does it. Just ask a casual question and make it interesting with a compelling image. The response would be overwhelming.
Listen to the conversations: Channels like Twitter are great to listen to conversations on any topic. Don’t miss a single chance to address any query regarding a particular destination, or hotel suggestions, or to-do questions. You may get new leads for your businesses. And if not, you will create a brand awareness for sure.