Influence of social media in travel

  • influence of social media in travel
Less than half of the consumers who used social media to research travel stuck with their original plans…

How many of your guests DO NOT use social media???

At Webbed Feet we love infographics. This week we came across a great one from Four Pillars Hotels which assesses the social media influence in travel by reviewing four pillars, specifically Mobile, Trust, Peers and Reviews.

From Infographics to Actionable items for your travel business

What do these beautifully formatted statistics really mean for your tourism business? Let us show you simple tactics can you can setup right away to capture more of that market and gain market share yourself.

Mobile

mobile

85% of travellers use smartphones while abroad

What this means for a travel and tourism business:

  1. Assess how smartphone-friendly your website is: Test what it looks like here and then refer to this article and presentation on mobile optimisation for tourism websites to decide how to move forward.
  2. Having a mobile optimised online booking system is also extremely important. When clients click on the “book now” button they are redirected to your online booking system and can the user complete a booking using their smartphone?
  3. Are you offering free wi-fi internet for those international (and domestic) travellers so they don’t get stung with huge roaming fees? That would certainly encourage them to post on social media sites while at your property.

30% of travellers have used mobile apps to find hotel deals

What this means for a travel and tourism business:

  1. Is your business listed on mobile apps offering accommodation (and travel) deals? Key ones that rank high on the iTune store are Wotif, TripAdvisor, Hotels.com for instance.
  2. Have a look at your position on such apps – which competitor is ranking above you and why? Are they above you because they are paying a fee or maybe because they have better reviews?

Trust

trust

92% of consumers trust earned media above all other forms of advertising (only half trust paid ads)

What this means for a travel and tourism business:

  1. Quickly assess what types of online earned media your customers use. Is it Facebook, Twitter TripAdvisor, Yelp? One of the least time consuming way to find out is to survey your customers upon departure. If you are sending them a thank-you email with a request to review you online, why don’t you send them a link to a short survey (using a tool such as JotForm) asking them what social media sites they use?
  2. Have you got your Google Alerts setup properly so that you receive an email alert every time there is a new mention about your business online?

70% of consumers say online reviews are the 2nd most trusted form of advertising

  • How are you currently leveraging online review sites? These two articles are pure gold and will give you step by step guidance on how to exponentially grow your online reviews.

Peer Influence

influence

52% of Facebook users say their friends’ photos inspire their travel plans

What this means for a travel and tourism business:

  1. Give your guest plenty of photo and video opportunities and remind them to upload them on social media sites.
  2. Ask your guests to like your Facebook page, but a more effective technique is the next one:
  3. Instead of asking them to post an update on your Facebook page directly, you could try and give your guests a reason to post a Facebook status update and tag your business in the update. They do this from their own Facebook profile (see example below). Ensure your permissions are as per the second screenshot for this technique to work).
wallaby-ridge manage-permissions
  1. Depending on your page type and your settings your guests may be able to tag your page in one of their photos as well.
  2. And finally, don’t forget to ask them to do all this in your thank-you email (the same you will write for your online reviews, refer to the 2 articles linked in the previous paragraph).

Reviews

reviews

40% of travellers post restaurant reviews and 46% of travellers post hotel reviews

We can therefore assume that every second guest that uses your services or purchases your product is likely to post a review. Do not waste that opportunity. Imagine the exposure your B&B could get on a regional page on TripAdvisor, such as the one in the below screenshot:

Sunshine-Coast-Holidays-Reviews-Sunshine-Coast-Travel-Tourism-TripAdvisor

76% post vacation photos to a social network

What this means for a travel and tourism business:

  1. Is your business being linked to such photos?
  2. What social media sites are these photos posted on? Could you a) ask for a copy b) use them for marketing purpose?
  3. Have you actually searched for your business name using the Image search functionality on Google?
  4. Are you feeding these photos back on your website?
  5. You could also consider asking some of your guests to write a short blog story about their stay and utilise this as part of your content strategy on your blog.

55% like Facebook pages specific to vacations

  1. If this is not a reason to give your Facebook Page a lift…. Have you updated your Facebook page since the new Timeline launch earlier this year?
  2. Have you searched for Facebook pages of similar businesses as yours? Here is a great one from Brisbane Holiday Village, a social-media-active caravan park.

The power of social media is growing everyday and the Tourism Industry is both leveraging from the boom, and being hit by it. The days of doing nothing are long gone. Which side do you want to be on?

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With over 15yrs of tourism, web and training expertise, many of her clients refer to her as "Fabulous Fabie". She is the best friend your travel business needs. E-business mentor | industry advisor | small business owner | blogger | mum | hydrofoiler

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