The Integration of Social Media Marketing & the Travel Industry
Social media has altered the landscape of almost every single industry, but something extra special has been happening within the travel industry. The travel industry has been completely revolutionized by social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media has allowed travelers to provide an almost interactive experience with their followers. They do this by being able to post or tweet status updates, check-in statuses (i.e. FourSquare), and the ability to upload high-quality photos and video media. Travel marketing via social media is just as apt to happen by accident as it to happen deliberately, and through the course of research, we can observe and learn some very interesting things.
First, let’s look at an example of how the country of Iceland is not only using social media marketing but using a concept to attract people to their country. They are using the concept of Music and Music Festivals!
The Festival Example
Here is an example from Iceland, using Music Festivals as a way of marketing the travel industry. As a part of their marketing strategy, they also include videos. Not only are videos a popular form of media these days, but it entices viewers to watch and to consider the festival and location as an option for their future. This is another example of how we are learning from Social Media Marketing and implementing that into the Travel Industry Market.
Welcome to the New Trend in Travel Marketing
Using pictures, like the very soothing picture above, is another way that social media marketing is taking travel marketing by storm. Whether this is an ad hoc picture snapped with an iPhone, capturing a couple enjoying themselves on their vacation, or a picture from a popular image site, it is still enticing and can be used in any social media marketing campaign to entice visitors to a place of interest.
Social Media Is Evolving Into Travel Inspiration
An article in Forbes in early 2014 tells us about how social media is impacting marketing in the travel industry. The writer describes the impact of social media marketing even “back then,” which was two years ago. One of the key points the author pointed out is the number of people using social media. With that quantity, which is surely more than the “gazillion” that was quoted then, why not use social media marketing for the travel industry> And, by the way, how would one define the increase on the word, “gazillion” over two years’ time?
Looking at the Data as the Foundation
Using data referenced from eMarketer in 2013, about 20% of casual travelers across the globe use social media, Facebook being the top platform. They use Facebook and other social platforms as muses for different aspects of their travel planning. At the time of the referenced data mining, the numbers for these traveling aspects included:
- 17% for restaurants
- 22% for trip activities
- 21% for attractions to visit
- 23% for lodging recommendations
The entire article is fascinating, and it also features a couple of stories about some businesses, which had benefited when they combined social media and travel. Aside from being the source of the statistics, I highly recommend reading the article in its entirety by clicking here.
The Travel Industry Is Using Video-Based Platforms as Commercials Now
YouTube recently turned 10 years old, and according to an article in the Telegraph, YouTube has changed everything about the world from music to travel marketing. Due to these strategic moves by YouTube, YT gets over a billion visits a month.
That is a lot of traffic. A lot of hits! And, as a traveler, you can be a part of it!
There are plenty of destination spots that create brief commercials, along with regular people uploading their own vacation videos from phone cameras. These silly amateur videos have become the new commercial in the world of the travel industry. Interestingly, based on hit values, it appears that audiences prefer the amateur, low resolution, lesser-produced versions of video. That is fortunate since they cost less and are easier to produce (smartphone versus expensive camera and expensive camera person).
The surface is just being lightly scratched at this point. There is much more to be written. There is much more to be filmed. And, you, traveling the globe (or staying at home) are a part of it and a part of the global movement!