Social Media has changed the way we travel.
There’s no question about it – the travel landscape is changing. Social media is bringing travel inspiration and knowledge to the masses, and people are hungry for more. Social media has become the ultimate form of word of mouth marketing, and businesses in the travel industry need to know how to leverage their audiences to connect with travelers and bring in business.
Here are 4 ways that businesses in the travel industry can be effective on social media:
1. Increase brand awareness
By utilizing strategic social media ads and remarketing tools to get your brand in front of your target customers, you can stay at top of mind throughout their planning phase. Nearly one third of travel bookers are influenced by advertising when considering more than one location, but the influence of those ads drops significantly once they have narrowed down their options.
Build a strategy that targets those at the beginning of the travel phase with broader ads, and gets more specific as the traveler starts making decisions. For example, an island destination might show ads for the overall location at the start of a potential traveler’s path to booking. Once the traveler visits the destination’s website, the ads shift towards specific activities like scuba diving or actual bars and restaurants located on the island.
2. Invite your audience into the conversation
The use of branded hashtags allows for the creation of interactive advertising campaigns that make your audience feel like they’re a part of the action. Involving your audience in your advertising and marketing efforts allows you to connect with your customers and gain a broader reach.
Explore Minnesota successfully leveraged their social audience through their “Only In Minnesota” advertising campaign in 2014. Created to spotlight what makes Minnesota special, they invited locals and travelers to the conversation through the use of the #OnlyinMN hashtag. Today, the hashtag has been used almost 600,000 times.
3. Engage with online travelers
By crafting social media posts that inspire engagement from your audience, you can create conversation around your brand and connect with your ideal travelers. This results in potential customers feeling like they know you and your brand, and gets them comfortable enough to make a purchase.
Promoting engagement through social media can be done by asking questions, hosting contests, creating branded hashtags, and responding quickly and authentically to comments. Over all, simply focusing on quality content is a sure-fire way to boost engagement and connect with your audience.
4. Level Up Customer Care
By using tools that monitor every mention of your brand on social platforms, you can be more responsive than ever in providing customer care. When you provide authentic responses to negative feedback and complaints, you show customers (and their audience) that you truly care about their experiences with your brand.
@MikeMcCready Im glad you like your room! At what Delta Hotel are you booked in? I may be able to help you with a better view? 😀 DJ
— Delta Hotels (@DeltaHotelsLtd) June 25, 2013
Delta Hotels used this strategy to respond to a guest that was unimpressed with the view from their room. Through the use of a social listening strategy, Delta was able to offer him an upgrade and leave him a tray of sweets with a handwritten card. The guest then posted about his positive experience with the hotel, which now has 297 likes and 68 comments. Not bad for something that only cost the hotel a few desserts!
What is your business doing to maximize the effect you have on social media? Are you effectively utilizing any of these strategies?