Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Social Networks – ‘Over 50% of people never research travel through Social Media’


By Emily Assender
I’m a bit of a latecomer I admit, but I’ve recently become a Twitter fanatic and can’t get enough of the tool.  I was thinking though - would Twitter influence my decision to purchase a holiday?  Would Facebook carry more weight?  What about other social channels?
Travel Reviews on Social Media sites have been proven to create a direct increase in bookings for travel brands.  But how significant is the role of Social Media in the research process?  I decided to do some reading around the topic.  
EyeforTravel’s Travel Consumer Report 2012-2013 shows that social networks are more valuable for reviews (rather than selling products) and that when it comes to actually making the booking, “respondents currently do not use social networks to research travel products or destinations”.
To look at the US, the report asked 3,044 correspondents and here’s what they said:
·         57% said they never use SM to research travel products
·         53% never use SM to research destinations
·         53% of consumers said that they never use SM to keep updated on travel company news or deals



So, actually how important is Social Media to your overall brand?  Do we over-hype it in the wrong areas and what is the best way to integrate it perfectly into our marketing strategy?
Edward Perry, Global Senior Director of Social Media Projects at World Hotels says,
“In terms of Social Media, you need to focus on the intent.  If the intent is solely to generate bookings, then social media may not necessarily be the best vehicle to do this on.  Travel companies, hotels and airlines should be focussing on Social Media because of the long term effect.  Social Media should be used to complement branding and marketing and should be used not as a completely different marketing channel, but should be weaved into the current marketing efforts as a means of communicating back and forth with the (potential) consumer.”
To learn more about the value of Social Media and how to use it in the most effective way for your brand, make sure you check out the 9th Annual Travel Distribution Summit, Asia (28-29th May, Singapore) where Twitter, World Hotels, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flight Centre, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Starwood Hotels, Malaysia Airlines, Groupon and more - will all be presenting their views on this theme.
For more info on the event, visit: http://bit.ly/ZkoSQP

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  1. I’ve been critical about Facebook’s Timeline and how the company is forcing companies to act like people on the platform. But they’re right. If we so clearly don’t want special offers and promotions clogging our social streams, companies must focus on being social, and worry less about doing social media in ways that approximate direct marketing.

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