Want to go on a trip? Search Instagram for a destination. Want to find a nice place to live in? Search Facebook or Instagram or Tripadvisor. Want to book flights? Tripadvisor again. Well, this is exactly what planning for vacation looks like, isn’t it?
People cannot stay away from social media and this is changing the way they do things. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to also change their ways. One industry that is slowly making changes in the travel and tourism industry.
The tourism industry is now becoming more social media smart and is using it to not only connect with their customers but also to promote their brand online.
A few ways the travel and tourism industry is affected and impacted by social media marketing are listed below:
- Social sharing equal to user-generated content
Now, one of the things that anybody does while on a vacation is to click thousands of pictures. What do they do with these pictures? They post than online on various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. these pictures are a great way to let the world know, of where one has been to. One can let their friends and family know about their trip and what one has experienced.
This has not only changed the way one is enjoying the trip and sharing it with the world. it has paved the way for better social media marketing campaigns. How?
Well, the hotels, restaurants, resorts, etc. are now using these user-generated pictures and videos as a way to reach a larger audience. A hotel can tell their guests to post a few pictures while mentioning the hotel name or make a hashtag of the name or by adding the location. So, when someone else will see those pictures, they will know which hotel that is in the background. Voila! Marketing is done right.
- Social media reviews are changing the scenario
The very first thing that one does while planning a trip is to search online and get all the feedback they can get. Review sites are also a big part of social media these days. These sites serve as a big channel to find reviews and feedbacks left by other customers.
So, whether one is looking to book a flight, they can find reviews on social media. If one wants to book a hotel, social media has reviews. All this has made the tourism industry pay attention to the reviews and feedbacks as well. Now, feedbacks can do a lot of good, but can also make one change their plan due to negative reviews.
These reviews and peer to peer feedbacks are making the tourism industry more social media industry. After all, they cannot afford to avoid social media anymore. They need to keep themselves well aware of what others are saying about the services.
- Destination searching
Everybody knows that every time they scroll through those Instagram pictures, they come across these beautiful places that they want to visit. It can be a blue sea and white beach or can be a snow-clad mountain. Most of the millennial generation these days is making plans based on their Instagram feed.
The psychology behind this is very simple. One sees a picture of a place that is beautiful and attractive (it can be any place like a beach, or a resort or restaurant), they want to go there take similar attractive pictures to post online.
Therefore, tourism businesses like resorts, hotels, restaurants, etc are making use of social media to post the most attractive pictures. This increases their chances to get more customers and in turn, increases their businesses more.
- Customer servicing using social media
Social media is enlarging the travel and tourism industries reach. Various social networking channels are making it easier for businesses to reach new customers and also establish a stronger connection with them.
Twitter is taken to be one of the biggest platforms for the customers to post their queries, clear their doubts, and post their complaints. Now, as the platform is a public one can it can be read by almost everyone around. The brands need to take extra care to reply to the queries on time and help their customers properly. This will not only help in increasing the brands’ reputation but will also help in creating a strong loyal customer base.
All this makes the brand more humane, as people can actually place a person behind the brand. This will help in trust-building among future customers. Also, the social media and queries and posts posted by the customers and potential customers, serve as a platform which can be used for social listening. The business can find out what their customers are saying and what they want. This will help in a better product and package development.
- Loyalty programs and perks
Well, social media has become a place where one can share anything that they want. This has served as one of the biggest opportunities for brands. People love sharing their experiences online for their friends, family, and extended circle. So, why now use this trend to benefit?
This is the reason why the businesses and brands in the tourism industry are making the most of the loyalty programs. What are they? It is a simple idea when the customers who positively promote the services are rewarded for their efforts.
Many hotels, resorts, restaurants, airlines, and even online travel agencies are picking up on this idea. If the customers will post positive posts about the services or will invite their contact list for certain features, then it is simple they will not do it for free.
Also, having an incentive will make them more motivated towards the task. Also, the brands are making the customers post about loyalty winnings and benefits online on social media as well. Why? Because this will attract more people who would want the same benefits.
The tourism industry is becoming competitive day by day, as many new places and locations are now becoming popular. Gone are the days when people use to visit only a few places. As social media is becoming more prolific, people can discover new places. This is helping the tourism industry immensely. Also, social media marketing is allowing the brands to have a direct connection with their audience, which is helping in reaching new customers daily.