The World Isn’t Flat…

A very large percentage of people are engaging in some sort of social media platform. Because of this, it has caused a revolution in marketing. You must go where the people are, correct? Right!

The travel industry is no exception. It was discovered by research provided by eMarketer 2013 that one-fifth of leisure travelers use some form of social media to inspire them for travel plans. The research showed four areas where social media helped travellers: hotels (23%), vacation activities (22%), attractions (21%), and restaurants (17%).  What was the number one social media platform used? Facebook (In Asia-Pacific, Social Media Inspires Travelers, 2013).

Using Twitter to Engage

Hotel chains are branching out on their traditional marketing. It’s no longer just a coupon in the interstate visitor’s center rack card. A famous hotel brand, the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, knew that something different needed to be done with marketing and social media. One of their ideas was a virtual wine tasting paired with an in-person wine tasting. Can’t attend the event in person? No problem, follow it on Twitter. Tweetup attendees were given a list of the wines that would be tasted so they could comment during the one-hour session with the top Four Seasons sommeliers. The Four Season Hotel & Resorts took an event that in the past was always an in-person event and made it possible for people around the world to attend online.

Twitter Screenshot

@VisitBritain

Tourism industries for countries have found use on Twitter. Different Twitter accounts offer tips for visiting their country, post photos, and answer questions for travelers. They’ve teamed up with different travel magazines and websites promoting deals to their country while also engaging the consumers with games and trivia. @VisitBritain is a great example of a Twitter account that does all of these things. They actively answer questions from consumers, post photos that show all of the great things of their country, and tweet deals on plane tickets, discounted travel tours, and more.

Facebook Works for Travel Agents

World Travel Facebook

World Travel Facebook

It’s not only big chains that are using social media in the travel industry. Travel agents are now building trust through the use of social media platforms such as Facebook.  Facebook pages have become quite popular for travel agents. The pages allows consumers to ask travel agents questions and to view their current deals.

 

By posting photos of different places, travel agents can encourage consumers to add items to their bucket lists. Another item that has been received well is offering safety tips in different countries. All of these items: deals, tips, and FAQs builds a relationship with the consumer. So instead of booking online themselves, they will go to the travel agents with whom they trust.

The travel industry has proven to be resilient with the ever-evolving social media. Social media provides quick access to people’s opinions. They must stay vigilant (not to sound too corny) to reviewing posts on social media platforms about what people are saying about them. Good news spreads fast but bad reviews spread even faster.

References:

In Asia-Pacific, Social Media Inspires Travelers. (2013, January 15). - eMarketer. Retrieved May 2, 2014, from http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Asia-Pacific-Social-Media-Inspires-Travelers/1009605

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4 thoughts on “The World Isn’t Flat…

  1. Good job on your blog…Entertaining and a smooth read. I would think that a travel agency would be a natural in terms of Facebook especially. Aside from the bucket list ideas and endless beauty shots of fantastic destinations, they can discuss anything from regional music to tips for handling medical emergencies abroad. Not to mention, Facebook is a prime venue to offer fan giveaways like a weekend trip. It can help build relationships without a constant “sell-sell-sell” attitude to their followers, and can lead to more bookings.

  2. With how expensive decent hotels are these days it is very important for them to utilize social media in a way that makes them stand out from their competition. That virtual/ in person wine tasting was an awesome idea ! if a hotel was willing to go out of their way to make their followers feel included then it is safe to say that they would go above and beyond to the guests that are actually staying on premise.

  3. Karen-
    The huge number of people engaging in social media platforms has really transformed the marketing landscape in many organizations. For instance, in the travel industry people use social media to plan destinations on their itinerary. In connection to this, research shows that areas where social media has helped travelers are Hotels with 23 percent, attraction sites with 21 percent, vacation activities with 22 percent, and restaurants with 17 percent. The major social media outlets used to engage people are Facebook and Twitter.
    Twitter
    Hotel industries and food chains are branching out on their traditional marketing where they use now Twitter to respond to travelers needs. In this sense, a variety of Twitter accounts offer instructions for visiting a particular destination where photos are posted coupled with answering travelers’ questions @visitBritain is a case in point of a twitter account that addresses travelers’ concerns.
    Facebook
    Travel industries use Faceboook as a channel to enable consumers ask travel questions and view current deals through Facebook pages. Travel agents usually post photos of different places as well as safety tips in different countries. Coupled with the two social media outlets, travel industry has been resilient on ever changing social media landscape as it provides quick access to people’s opinions.

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