Many businesses are hesitant about taking the leap to incorporate social media into their marketing strategy. However, the fact of the matter is that social media is here to stay. Social media plays a vital role in effective marketing communications, especially in the travel industry.
It is important for travel companies to employ marketing strategies with social media because that is where the customers already are. In a survey by AdWeek, 76% of respondents said that they post their vacation photos to social networks. Additionally, 55% said they ‘liked’ pages on various social media sites that related to the trip they were planning. Additionally, companies should not only provide information online about a travel destination, but also post engaging visual content to inspire travel.
Bloggers are also among the consumers who post about their trips on social media. Some travel bloggers use twitter to post exclusive airline deals, while others use apps like Snapchat and Periscope to share their experiences in food markets in in Mumbai or hot springs in Japan. Regardless of which medium they choose, bloggers are active on social media as well as their own sites.
Many people will look at their friend’s Facebook vacation photos and may be influenced to travel to the same destination. However, a travel blogger has a much larger following than a typical person posting their vacation photos on Facebook. Business and leisure travel bloggers can influence a larger audience to stay in certain hotels or travel with certain airlines. 90% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family. Bloggers are now a facet of this percentage, with audiences viewing them as extremely authentic and following them as if they are ‘friends.’
Blogs rank third for most influential digital resource for making purchases, behind brand and retail websites. Blogs also are ranked as some of the most trustworthy sources of information on the internet.
User generated content and blogs are continually growing and it is not too late to market with these mediums. When marketing on social media it is important to be visual, to educate customers and to respond and interact with them. Businesses can also inspire the creation of user generated content with running contests and giveaways. If a business wants to spend less time on creating their own marketing content, they can use brand ambassadors, like bloggers, to create content about their brand.
Don’t write it off just yet; blogging is here to stay.