As outlined in the guide NETWORKS AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN TOURISM – 2nd EDITION of Atout France (2015), “thanks to the multiplicity of platforms available to express or “post” images or videos and the reflex of “twitter”, to tell his trip, to discuss on the forums and to share the “good plans” and good addresses, the internet users-tourists act on all the tourist offer, from the purchase of air tickets, hotel rooms or guest rooms, museums, before, during and after the stay ... ».
Social media are now decisive in the tourism sector even ahead of the results of search engines, institutional sites or private providers. As Joanne Dreyfus reveals, Tourism, Hotel and Restaurant Associate at Deloitte: « Digital will undoubtedly be an essential component of hotel success. Tourists have never used internet and social media to make their choice of travel and reservation.” To ensure a stepping stone to success in the tourism sector, marketers are working hard to develop a digital strategy that stands out on social networks. According to Tourmag.com, 64% of marketers consider social networks as a “key catalyst for sales of their product and services.”
Still not convinced, here are some figures to help you skip the step:
- 55% of travel agencies generate direct purchases via social networks.
- In 2016, social media was the first means to generate reservations in the tourism industry.
- 52% of travellers change their holiday plans, due to influence on social networks.
- 75% of travellers update their Facebook page during their holidays. Engage them.
- 50% of Internet users liked a travel brand on Facebook. Whether hotels or airlines. (Studies carried out on 10'500 Facebook users).
- 11% of bloggers share about the trip on Twitter.
- 69% of bloggers communicate about the trip on Facebook.
- 10% of Internet users plan their holidays through Twitter.
- 53% of Internet users plan their holidays via Facebook.
- On average, each trip-related publication generates 18 clicks, 40% higher than other types of publication.
With 2 billion active users on a daily basis, social networks are the key to success, provided that these rules are respected:
- Provide regular and quality content
As a second channel of information in the tourism industry, social networks are a real commercial lever for reaching new consumers, especially through the creation of clear, attractive and accessible content to ensure quality interaction with your audience. Social networks allow you to project a new image of your company, your vision of tourism and of yourself. Do not hesitate to be natural and transparent. Indeed, talk about your passion for travel to give internet users the desire to interact, to know more and to travel with you. Offer diversified content with visual content that makes you dream and put forward your promos, your participation in fairs or events in the trip to show that you are very active and responsive in the tourism environment. Moreover, social networks reduce the notion of distance, which makes it possible to trust potential customers and make them more easily adhere to your offers.
- Simplify sharing
Good digital communication depends on its simplicity. Internet users must not feel lost on your site, and they must be able to appropriate your content easily. Integrate click buttons and add links to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other pages to make it easier for your users to navigate through your site to promote and increase your visibility. In addition, your content must be compatible across multiple communications media. According to a recent study by Lemonde.fr (2016), 51% of users consult their social networks on their smartphones. As Nic Newman, one of the report's authors, points out: “The rise of the smartphone goes hand in hand with that of distribution platforms. Information reaches mobile users through the flow of social networks, their alerts and notifications.”
- Stand out from your competitors
Since the tourism sector is a very competitive market, keep in mind that competition is also present on social networks, on the lookout for users. According to the site agorapulse.com, this year 70% of the marketers of the tourism industry will invest more in social networks than in the traditional media. Take time to develop your communication strategies and analyze best practices. Inspire yourself to optimize your page and seduce users. The difference is often paying!
- Give the floor to users.
Opt for proximity and freedom of expression positive or even negative on your page as often people are influenced by travellers’ reviews in choosing a destination or even an agency. Yes, word of mouth works very well on social networks. According to blog Neocamino (2013), more than one in three tourists in Europe consults social networks for opinions and comments. With 81% of clients consulting a review before making their reservation, the role of social networks is therefore very important when making the decision to prepare a trip.
With the advent of the new era, e-tourism and social media are almost inseparable. Indeed, with the use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to promote their service, the tourism industries are developing new commercial levers to maximize their visibility and brand awareness and thus reach new consumers.