Social Media Trends Transforming Travel

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Multi-Channel Marketing Impacts Consumer Decisions

As numerous trends emerge within the travel & tourism industry, savvy-travelers are leveraging social media to make travel decisions is growing numbers. According to Nielsen, travelers spent an average of 53 days visiting 28 different websites over a period of 76 online sessions, with more than 50% of travelers checking social media for travel tips.

The impact of digital marketing channels is growing increasingly relevant for today’s informed traveler. This is further justified as experts predict the digital travel space will expand at an annual rate of 3.8% to reach $11.4 trillion.

Forward-thinking travel brands have embraced social media as a part of their multi-channel marketing strategy to indirectly influence consumer decisions. Travel brands no longer need to rely on traditional forms of media such as TV advertising or print ads to reach vacation-ready consumers. Fifty-five percent of users will engage with related social media content while planning and booking their destination.

Brands like Tenon Tours who understand their consumers are more educated have turned to digital channels to engage consumers and drive them to their website. Tenon isn’t a one-off case since many major brands have also embraced social media as a key marketing channel to engage consumers:

  • Air Asia has a massive Twitter following with over 3.2 million followers.
  • American Airlines is one of the most active with over 1.87 million Tweets.
  • Hotel Urbano (in Brazil) has more than 12 million likes on Facebook.
  • Soho House has an impressive Instagram account with over 331k followers.

Social Touches Shaping Travel Decisions

Studies show millennials are more tech-savvy and connected than any previous generation and they are changing the way travel is consumed. But it isn’t just millennials, all generations are increasingly turning to online channels. Just US mobile travel sales alone totaled more than $75.85 billion in 2017.

In the early stage of the decision-making process, potential customers narrow down their choices through online research. Google put together a buyer’s journey and called it the digital moments that lead up to someone booking a trip.

In the image below, we can see a traveler’s micro-moments over the course of four months. In this case, there were 7000+ digital touch points prior to the customer making their final decision.

To remain competitive brands need to influence this process with an overarching digital strategy to guide the customer through their buyer’s journey.

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