Travel marketers can benefit from holiday-goers enthusiasm for mobile & social
In today’s digital world, more and more travelers are turning to online resources to plan and book vacations. But to what extent does social media have the power to shape travel planning?
Let’s take a look!
Social Media and Travel
Research shows that social media can significantly impact travel plans. In fact, 52% of Facebook report that friends’ photos have inspired travel plans. Additionally, 55% of people like social media pages related to trips they are planning.
This presents a valuable opportunity for travel marketers and brands looking to attract more customers. And travel brands have started using social media to make it easier for people to find and book with them. For example, 50% of hotel companies have a booking engine or widget on their Facebook page.
Social Media Use Pre-Vacation
When planning a trip, 1 in 5 travelers use social media for inspiration when researching. Those who use social media for trip planning research:
- Destinations: 27%
- Hotels: 23%
- Vacation activities: 22%
- Attractions: 21%
- Restaurants: 17%
After using social media to research bookings, only 48% of travelers stuck with their original plan. People who used social media to research bookings:
- Switched hotels: 33%
- Switched resorts: 10%
- Vacationed in a different country: 7%
- Switched airlines: 5%
This means that travel brands who maintain a presence on social media can significantly influence travel plans.
But what happens during vacation? Do travelers still use social media?
Social Media Use During Vacation
Research shows that travelers remain plugged into social media while on vacation. An estimated 72% of people post photos on social networks while traveling, and 70% of travelers update their Facebook status while vacationing.
In addition to updating personal accounts, travelers also use social media to connect with brands during vacation. Social media is a great way for travelers to ask questions and voice their concerns and opinions — and they expect quick responses from travel brands.
This means that it’s important for travel brands to build relationships with customers on social media to encourage loyalty and positive word of mouth marketing.
Social Media Use After Vacation
Travelers continue to post on social media after a trip.
After returning home, travelers:
- Like Facebook pages specific to a vacation: 55%
- Post hotel reviews: 46%
- Post activity/attraction reviews: 40%
- Post restaurant reviews: 40%
This post-vacation feedback is important because friends and family may consider these opinions when planning their own trips.
Mobile and Travel
In addition to social media, mobile technology allows travelers to research and book trips anywhere at any time. Research shows that 85% of leisure travelers use their smartphones while traveling.
Let’s take a look at a few more stats.
- 57% of business travelers use mobile devices to book travel
- 44% use their phones to research while traveling
- 35% of online travel bookings will be made via mobile devices by 2018
- 30% of travelers use mobile apps to find flight deals
People also use mobile devices while planning a trip to:
- Look up hotel addresses or directions: 29%
- Check airfare prices: 26%
- Check flight schedules: 25%
- Research airport information: 24%
- Research things to do at the destination: 23%
- Read hotel reviews: 22%
- Compare hotel prices and availability: 21%
- Book a flight: 18%
- Book a hotel room: 18%
Like social media, mobile technology can impact travelers’ plans, and it presents a significant opportunity for travel brands and marketers to reach more customers.
Thanks to Emily Carter for sharing her advice and opinions in this post. Emily is a Web Marketing Specialist at WebpageFX who enjoys hiking, road trips, and drinking good coffee. You can follow her on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.