5 ways social media has changed tourism marketing


How hashtags have changed the whole industry

July
9, 2019

4 min read

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Social media has fundamentally changed the relationship of a number of companies with the target audience and the market itself. In the tourism sector, however, the influence of the Internet and the rise of popularity in social channels have changed tourism marketing. Everything has changed – from exploring potential destinations to finishing activities that travelers take on as they arrive at their destination. Customers, however, use social media differently when making purchasing decisions. All of this has had a huge impact on tourism marketing.

Learn about the five major changes in the tourism industry:

  1. Travelers are otherwise exploring the route

The most profound impact that social media has had on the tourism industry is the democratization of online viewers. Today's travelers go online and are exploring the future route and places of residence themselves. 89 percent of so-called Millennials plan trips published by their peers and colleagues online.

Everyone on the Internet is looking for information – starting with Instagram and ending with TripAdvisor on where to travel and expecting approval from their peers and colleagues. Easily find other travelers' photos, registrations, ratings and much more. It's the easiest way to understand people's impressions and what this particular place has to offer. We believe that this information on social networks is fully accessible and influential, and may even alert potential visitors or encourage them to book.

Related article: 4 strategies for successful online marketing

2. Increased social sharing

People have always loved sharing photos and videos while traveling. What has social media done? It has enabled people to easily share travel experiences with a wider circle. More than 97 percent of Millennials share photos and videos of their travels online. It's an influential website for their colleagues and peers, and it is also a source of inspiration.

This trend will not go unnoticed. Many hotels and resorts have launched social contests and campaigns, guaranteeing their guests that they will receive certain benefits in response to social activity. Kimpton's network of hotels and restaurants used professional photographers' wedding photos to advertise their wedding space. The campaign encouraged visitors to take pictures, tagged with the hashtag #KimptonWeddings and create user-generated information for a brand that was free and authentic; And from the beginning it was targeted to its marketing channels.

3. Improved customer service

Customer service and customer satisfaction have also changed thanks to social media. Most brands are on social networks to become known and to provide support to disgruntled and confused customers when needed. Companies that respond sincerely to claims, build a solid reputation with existing and potential clients. American Airlines and JetBlue are particularly keen on resolving flight problems and satisfying travelers with negative experiences.

When Twitter users connect with a brand, more than half expect an answer. If they file a complaint, that number will rise to 75 percent. Answers to complaints and questions are of great importance to our brand, present and potential customers indicating that they value them.

In addition, company representatives must have an active relationship with their company's social networks. Social media should play the role of a social listening tool to tell visitors information. Will they come to the jubilee or celebrate a special event? Listening to your customers on social media can help your brand create a special product that will surely delight your visitors.

Related article: 4 Easy Ways to Pay Attention to Millennials

4. Travel agencies have changed

Social media has also had a huge impact on the model of travel agencies. Access to information and self-service when booking has forced travel agencies to switch from traditional to digital. Travel agencies are outdated, with 55 per cent of airline bookings, 77 cruises and 77 per cent packages. However, many agencies focus on working online, in line with new technologies and market trends.

Agents working with "Millennial" travelers should consider what this generation prefers. Instead of offering upgraded flights and accommodations, offer them something unique that will be remembered for a lifetime (and a really great post on Instagram). Travel agencies are trying their best to stay relevant, even as independent booking opportunities are growing. Their advantage is that many travelers prefer personal contact.

5. Loyalty programs have changed

As most marketers know, acquiring new clients is much more expensive than maintaining existing ones. The loyalty program has become a key part of the tourism business model, and strong networks influence how hotel loyalty programs are set up. Many clients understand that the insights they share in individual networks can have a major impact on public opinion. As a result, these visitors are quite right in believing that they should be compensated for the marketing that they carry out because of the brand. More than 25 percent of Millennials who participate in loyalty programs publish brand information on a loyalty exchange basis.

With technologies that allow for social bookmarking and referral channels, it is much easier for hotels to find and reward active guests. Incorporating social media sharing and publications into existing brand loyalty programs on social media platforms would be the best way. When loyal guests share information about brand benefits and benefits on social media, other visitors will find these benefits really desirable, not easily accessible, and more interested in participating.

Social media has changed the marketing landscape in the tourism and resort industry. Most travelers make travel decisions based on social networking information, making online customer service an important part of building a positive brand reputation. The proliferation of social networks for both hotels and travel agencies has replaced traditional models of customer service. Brands can use social media to raise brand awareness, loyalty to their brand, and imagine what their hotel or business can offer.

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