The influence of social media on travelers
With the emergence of digital technology, social media have changed travelers’ habits. In a hyper-connected world and in an industry in constant evolution, travelers have become more volatile and easily influenced. Social media have become so much more than just social platforms, they are now considered as real sources of information for travelers and are an integral part of the customer journey.
Moreover, your social media are definitely an online showcase for your property since 23% of travelers are influenced by the content posted on social media. Therefore, it’s necessary to create quality and attractive content including photos, videos, stories and room tours that will encourage travelers to book a stay at your property.
Being present and active on these platforms offers the opportunity for your property to learn more about your potential customers, adjust your offers and services and to promote itself by using personalized and attractive content.
It seems obvious that the influence of social media on travelers is undeniable, but how do these social networks manage to convince them?
Using social media allows properties to promote their offers and services through quality, targeted and attractive content at a reasonable cost. Also, more than 60% of travelers love to share their travel content, whether during or after their stay, so why not take advantage of it? Indeed, their own social platforms are transformed into a true digital album that introduces other travellers to new destinations and makes them want to book their next stays. Therefore, encouraging your guests to share content on social media would promote your property and its guest experience for free to a larger audience by catching new customers’ attention. It could then lead to future bookings.
Interactions between travelers
More often, travelers are not sure about the destination to choose or even which accommodation and activities to book. They feel the need to escape and relax and therefore use social media to find inspiration for their next trip. As a result, travelers don’t hesitate to interact with other travelers, ask for advice and tips and most importantly, check online reviews on Google or Tripadvisor. In fact, it is proven that 63% of Millennials consult social media to choose their next destination and nearly 84% of them read comments and reviews before making their reservation.
In a hyper-connected world, building and consolidating your e-reputation has become a real priority. Indeed, the online reputation reproduces the effect of a digital word of mouth, meaning that everything Internet users say about you has an impact on your property. Plus, many travelers trust what they read on social media, which means the better your property’s online reputation, the more travelers want to stay at your property and the more your number of bookings will increase.
On the contrary, a bad reputation online can lead to a bad buzz or a crisis situation. It becomes important to ask your guests to leave reviews on your social platforms, but you must regularly check it in order to identify and respond to good and bad reviews.
This marketing strategy involves using an influencer’s awareness to promote your property. In fact, influencers are excellent brand ambassadors who will not only allow you to enlarge your visibility and your audience, but also generate interactions around your brand. This partnership will help you enhance the experience offered by your hotel and increase your bookings. Note that there are several types of influencers, depending on their number of followers. Each type uses different communication channels, produces different types of content and has different audiences. Moreover, the role of these people is to influence the purchasing decision of Internet users, while remaining as transparent as possible. Indeed, it’s proven that 85% of consumers prefer to trust an influencer rather than a brand directly.
Before signing a partnership, make sure that the chosen influencer shares the same values as your property, and that their content reaches your audience. Also, don’t forget to set your goals, your marketing budget and your ROI in advance.
Nowadays, travelers are used to regularly checking social media for inspiration and research, comparing offers and asking other travelers’ opinions. They have become very sensitive to the visual and more particularly to videos. With an average attention span of 8 seconds, being able to attract their curiosity with engaging and relevant content has become a real challenge for properties.
Furthermore, the future of social media is still promising, since the number of users is estimated at more than 4 billion by the end of 2021, compared to 3,4 billion in 2019. Using social media has many advantages. Your goal is not necessarily to be on every platform, but on the most popular ones, in order to increase your online visibility and strengthen your notoriety. Regarding your property’s e-reputation, it is essential to make a follow-up of your social platforms in order to identify your guests’ opinions, improve your offers and services and stay informed about emerging trends that could allow you to attract new guests.