52% Travelers Changed Travel Plans
recent report by Sprout Social found that 52% of travelers in their study changed their travel plans based on what the learned on social media. It is a prime example of How Social Media Has Changed Tourism, especially as it relates to hotel and travel marketing.
A similar study by Sensis shows that social media is most effective in the early stages of shopping: That is when travellers are most influenced by what they see on social media. It can be reviews or simple shared experiences from people they trust.
Chapter 4 of The book Digital Media for Hotel and Tourism Marketing provides a good overview of the essential parts of social media and other publishing options. Social Media is far more that a publishing option but it that respect alone it is playing a vital part marketing travel brands. Posting to sites like Facebook are far more than an announcement. There now include videos, descriptive content and stories. Tumbler has become a blogging site as much as it is a social network. Blogger, by Google, acts extensively to announce video and news. The lines between content marketing and social media are intertwined and merged.
The Social Media Generation
According to this excellent chart by Global Webindex, it’s the younger generation that are the big user of Social Media.
Babby boomers are at the bottom of the chart, but they are growing at a pace, as social continues to become a place to shop, research and find user reviews, photos and videos of attractive destinations.
In another slide we see that the younger generations are spending less time on social. This is intuitive, the young crowd are eager to try new technology, but at some point their excitement wains. It understandable that they become more prudent in their use of social. Still gen Z are the first group to use social more than Google for research. A clear indication that social is making inroads on Google search.
It also of interest that many of the younger generation are gravitating to multi-media site like Instagram and YouTube and depending less on traditional sites like Facebook.
Even though the use patterns and engagement is shifting, Social media use is growing both in numbers and in engagement overall. It is a powerful tool on its own and it also setups social signals that are vital in SEO.
Social Signals are Key to SEO
Social signals such as likes, comments and engagement are part of the analytics that search engines use to validate a site. It may not get your site to #1 in search but without social signals and a social presence you site may not get the authority it deserves. Mick Keonigs the pioneer of video marketing, says it is time for you to be everywhere. His marketing slogan is “youeverywherenow”. This he says is achieved primarily with social media.
Words from the Wise
Neil Patel co-founder of Kissmetrics, Crazy Egg and owner of numerous internet marketing sites and apps, gives this simple advise. “put your content everywhere“. If you have a Youtube Video add it to Facebook, and anywhere you can”. He says google will not penalize you for distributing your content so share it widely.
A Cautionary Note
I will offer a caution. While it may be OK to put the same content everywhere be careful that you don’t run foul of over optimizing your keyword and messing up your footprint. For this reason i prefer to vary keywords using lots of semantic words and words that are related. This creates a better balance. However, as we have noted before, Social media posts with thin content do not get indexed by Google. If this trend continues social may not be a balancing factor in the future. For the present I believe it is a good idea to vary content and anchortext.
Social Media is also under fire right now for how Social Media and the Deep Dark Web is influencing travel decision and subverting personal data. I will be adding another blog on this shortly.
Social Media for Travel Brands – Learn More
Chapter 4 of Digital Media Market for Hotels Tourism explains what social media options are best. It provides detail as follows:
- Why social media is an essential strategy for tourism >>>
- Social Media impact on Travel Marketing >>>
- Socials Dark side – AI, Data Mining & Behavior Analysis – Extremes >>>
- What social media channels are best for different strategies >>>
- Syndication, Guest Posts & Press Release that help get your message out >>>
- Specific examples and tips on of how to use Instagram >>>
The Book Digital Media on Amazon
Digital Media for hotel and tourism professional: A primer explaining the new media in an easy conversational style. It is illustrated with case studies and practical strategies. Book buyers are also treated to many bonuses like the review of chapter 4 that digs deeper into options.