Social Media has become an essential part of our lives- for most people use it to connect with friends, attract new customers or improve brand awareness. Lately, the platforms have revolutionised the way we travel for the purposes of leisure.
According to Statista a leading provider of market and consumer data, 36.5 percent of people use social media for travel inspiration and ideas, and 60 percent share photos on social media while traveling. In addition, each week, more than 1 million travel-related hashtags are searched.
Thanks to social media-with a click of a button-travellers access data to, for example, plan.
How people use mobile phone to find inspiration or ideas on where to travel [Statistica]
- Search engine for general web search 69.8%
- Search engine for images and phots 39.4%
- Social media websites 36.5%
- Online travel agency websites 28.6%
- com 24.7%
- Online video 20.3%
- Ask friends on social media 17.1%
- Official tourism website 16.2%
- Travel related podcasts 12.6%
- Map websites or mapping apps 11.1%
- Email travel newsletters 9.9%
- Digital assistant, for example, Siri etc. 9.3%
From a marketing perspective, social media analytics has become a game changer. In terms of cutting costs, it can save travel brands significant time and money with targeted delivery and measurement.
Social media works best for brands when they think of the platforms as collaboration with their customers, rather than a one-way sales channel. Hence, brand managers have to frequently monitor and capitalise on the timeous feedback they get.
In a social media ground, the playing field is level. Smaller brands can compete with bigger ones with much success. For example, if smaller brands cannot afford to put ads in the mainline media-they can connect with tourists on social media.
However, having social media presence is not enough. Brands have to be social media savvy. Travellers are becoming technologically savvy and brands have got to keep up with the pace of the sudden rise in expectations.
When a consumer tweets or posts a complaint on Facebook, there is now an expectation for hotels to remedy the situation immediately.
Despite the positives that come with the use of social media; the platforms can also contribute to overtourism. By tagging locations in images- this can attract a disproportionate attention to destinations ill-prepared for tourists.