Social Media and visual content are vital to travel and hospitality. Guests want a taste of what they can experience, and they want to feel engaged with the product or brand, so a visual-based marketing is very important, to help showcase these experiences.
In "The Visitor Cycle", a report by The Digital Tourism Think Tank, it is suggested that today, the guest journey has gone from linear to scattered. In the rise of the scattered guest journey, people don’t go through a linear travel planning and booking process anymore. Instead, they get inspired and collect ideas at random times throughout the day, over a longer period, until concrete trip ideas form and they begin booking. Google calls these short bouts of research and discovery: 'Micro Moments'. Creating a strategy, and bite-sized pieces of social media content like Reels, speak to these micro moments is crucial.
A strong presence on social media can help hotels get in front of their target market more often when they’re looking for new inspiration. This is great news for hotels, since now they have more chances of reaching people while they plan their holiday. The key is to ensure the content is relevant, informative, and inspiring. It's also critical to create content where the guests can envision themselves as the guest. Using various formats including images, stories and reels to drive this home, and capture the attention of a wide audience is a must.
STATISTICS TO CONSIDER:
92% of customers trust their friends and family’s recommendations and word of mouth more than other forms of advertising. Consider this…more than half of hotel travelers change their plans, whether it be switching to a different hotel or choosing a different destination altogether, after using social media channels to research their travel plans.
Today’s travelers also like to share their guest experiences in real time, with more than
70% of travelers posting updates, images and comments to their page while on vacation.
According to our 2019 Leisure Travel Study, over the last year, almost 40% of hotel guests looked at the property’s Facebook page prior to booking a room. And when it comes to Millennials, a whopping 52% are also looking at Facebook before booking. In an ideal marketing world, the top three social media platforms we suggest hotels have a presence on are Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
About 60% of Generation Zers and 40% of millennials report they use social media for travel purposes.
60% of users say that they have learned about a product or service on social platforms.
“Online influencers visually sharing their journeys have led to a new wave of aspirational living. A recent survey amongst our members told us "85% check hotel social media before booking. A strong online and social media presence is important if a hotel hopes to attract Millennials.” - source, Globetrender
In 2017, Travolution reported research that showed that 40% of millennial travelers (aged 18-33) said that their choice of holiday now depends on how ‘Instagrammable’ it is. This was the most important factor over the cost or availability of alcohol (24%) or chances to experience the local cuisine (9.4%). These results prove just how important it is for hoteliers to showcase how visual and inviting their property is through their social media, or through influencer marketing with online content creators. According to the new "Understanding the Travel Consumer's Path to Purchase" white paper from EyeforTravel and Jumpshot. The research found that on average, 20% of travel consumers visit a social media site immediately before purchasing a vacation.
Hotels who engage with business travelers over targeted social channels – or who provide perks for those who book online – have been shown to increase the number of first time business customers by 13% the first year, and 27% the second year of social media usage. These hotels also saw high rates of return business customers across both years. All the more reason for hoteliers to target business travelers and other key guest segments with effective social media outreach.
User Generated Content Instagram campaign Case Study and it’s impacts:
A case study done by Hootsuite on Canadian-based hospitality brand Tourism Jasper, shares the powerful impact their user generated Instagram campaign has had on their profits. According to the study, tourists increasingly want to hear the opinions and real stories of other travelers. Tourism Jasper capitalized on the opportunity Instagram provides to showcase their breathtaking scenery and promote user generated pictures with their hashtag #MyJasper. Some key successes from their campaign included:
Over 64,000 posts engaging with their brand
12,000 inspirational user generated stories
185% increase in social referrals to their website year over year
211% increase in shareholder referrals from social media year over year
Our agency supports boutique hotels and Airbnb properties with social media strategy, content creation and beyond. Please email email@example.com to view our hospitality portfolio, and enjoy the Reel we created for client Boulder Mountain Resort, during a geodesic dome stay in British Columbia.