Today, travellers are increasingly engaging with social media. Not just to find travel inspiration, but to ask questions about specific places, announce the exciting places they’re travelling to and find reviews and first hand experiences about their destination. And you can benefit hugely from taking advantage of all this social media engagement.
LeadSift, a cloud platform that allows users to search through social media conversations, analysed countless tweets over 5 days and found more than a million travel related conversations. These conversations revealed some interesting patterns about how those planning a trip use social media.
They found that travel conversations can be separated in to three phases;
1) The Planning Phase
2) The Vacation Phase
3) The Honeymoon Phase
We’ll now explore each phase in more detail and share our tips so you can make the most of your social media marketing activity.
During the planning phase, of those using social media, 43% didn’t change their travel plans. Or in other words, what travel-planners found and read on social media, actively affected where they travelled and what they did.
So how can you as a business tap into these potential markets?
Social Media Tip 1: Build rapport with potential customers
Twitter is a great platform to engage with customers in this stage of their buying process. By using Twitter search and other applications like Topsy, you can find potential customers and actually talk to them.
By favouriting, retweeting and replying to tweets, you can build a rapport. You’d be surprised at how many people respond to this!
When planning travel, people are as hungry for as much information about a destination as possible and a travel company reaching out to them and sharing their knowledge will make them feel valued. Out of the 1.1 million conversations identified by LeadSift, there were 19,000 relevant business opportunities – that’s a lot of potential leads!
Social Media Tip 2: Share valuable information
Your followers don’t always want you to sell them something. They want you to interest them. By sharing valuable hints, tips and insider knowledge, your social media community will learn to trust you and in turn, be more likely to engage with you and buy from you.
Working with Visit Bristol this year, we have focused on promoting the city via social media channels as the perfect place to visit all year round – whether it be for the music and foodie festivals in the summer or a weekend of shopping in Winter. By focussing on all the unique events and businesses that Bristol has to offer, we’ve been able to share interesting and helpful information, increasing engagement and growing a loyal, relevant community.
A massive 85% of people use their smartphone while travelling and 75% use social media during this time too. Smartphones have made instantaneous feedback a reality and you should be taking advantage of this.
Social Media Tip 3: Engage with customers
Encourage check-ins, photo uploads and tags that link your customers and their friends to you and your business. This is an opportunity to gather some really great user generated content.
By keeping on top of liking and commenting, you can give back to the customer and use that personal touch people want from businesses.
Just remember; social media is 24/7 so make sure someone is responsible for managing your company profiles. Digital Visitor provides a Social Media Channel Management Services and you can find out more here
The final stage is when travellers have returned from their trips and are probably still all sun-kissed and glowing. Now it’s time to capture all of those great experiences!
Social Media Tip 4: Use reviews to your advantage
92% of customers trust the recommendations of their friends, family and followers over traditional adverts and post-travel 76% of social media users will share content about their trip. Photographs, status updates and reviews will give you more user generated content and add credibility to your brand. So how can you capture all of these reviews, photographs, videos and experiences?
We’ve developed a Facebook App that allows your customers to share their experiences of you, with you and all of their social media connections while also growing your online community.
Find out more Digital Visitor’s Social Experiences Facebook App…
To find out more about how we can help you to promote your destination using Social Media Marketing , contact us now on +44 (0)1179 111 420 or firstname.lastname@example.org