In the travel and tourism industry, there are many players involved in the same game. At the end of the day, they all strive to achieve the same goal in providing the best travel experience to meet each individual traveler’s needs. While working towards these goals, separate organizations must also realize the value of teamwork and collaboration. Through social media, travel agents are able to build connections with other corporations to further mutual success.
In a sense, corporations market to other corporations, otherwise known as “business-to-business” or “B2B” marketing. Relative to travel agents specifically, the businesses they tend to communicate most with are hotels and airlines. Not only do they communicate, but they inevitably rely on each other for the success of their business. For example, airline companies provide agencies with special deals and promotions in return for agents referring their clients to that airline. However, the quality of service the airline provides dictates how effectively an agent can plan for each specific traveler. Attempting to strategically plan and communicate is only successful when all those involved are working towards the determined objectives.
In turn, these organizations look to social media as a means of marketing and communicating to find other corporations aiming for similar goals. B2B marketing can be used to connect with event sponsors and future business partners, but it’s most popularly used for potential reach among an untapped client base. Because it is business-oriented however, B2B messages are presented more professionally through channels such as case studies, infographics, and eBooks. When conveying these messages online, the key media involved usually include Facebook, Twitter, and most importantly LinkedIn.
However, the most important difference between business and consumer marketing is the measured metric of lead generation. This goal measures the level of reach and influence with potential clients that can lead to future business. Going back to the example between airlines and travel agents, airline corporations rely on agents’ reviews and referrals shared through social media to reach a wider client base. On the flip side, travel agents utilize different media to pinpoint which airline companies their overall objectives line up with best.
Evidently, it is clear that social media is not only vital in communicating to audiences, but to other corporations trying to reach those same audiences. With respect to travel agents specifically, their business relies on the ability to cooperate and coordinate with other industries. Without the reach and influence of social media as a communication tool, it would be much more difficult for agents to deliver the quality product that meets their clients’ needs.