Social media influencers, particularly travel bloggers, inspire their audiences to travel to certain destinations as well as what to post online while they’re there.
Traveling the world and sharing the experience on social media is a career path for some. These new influencers share spectacular photos of their journeys, tips to save money on traveling and more. Travel bloggers share content not only on their personal blogs, but also on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Snapchat. Most of these professional bloggers will create sponsored content for brands in their posts, which is one of the ways that they make money. Other bloggers will promote products with discount codes or run giveaways or contests for their followers.
It is important to note that while these bloggers are professionals, their content is geared toward individuals traveling for leisure. For example, The Globe Getter’s website has tips on how to make the most of your vacation days. Some of her advice includes planning ahead, combining vacation days with paid holidays, and telecommuting.
Customers are more likely to share stories of their experiential purchases, which are purchases made related to gaining a life experience. In 2011 a couple shared their experiential purchase, their vacation in Barcelona, on Instagram. A simple photo of the woman, Nataly, walking forward holding her boyfriend, Murad’s, hand has since started a viral movement on social media and a full-blown brand. The original photo from the couple started the #Followmeto Instagram project.
Nataly and Murad are increasingly popular, with millions of followers on Instagram. However, other users are also willing to participate in content creation of their own trips. To date, Instagram users have uploaded more than 450,000 photos captioned with the #Followmeto hashtag. The #Followmeto project has now even expanded into a travel TV show in Russia as well as book deals.
Travel bloggers, like Nataly and Murad, are influencing where consumers travel, what they do when they go there, and even how they document and share their own vacation experiences.