Over the years, social media has become one of the most important marketing tools for the business world and the tourism industry is no exception to this. With more users trusting brands with active social media profiles, it is critical to implement social media as an essential part of your digital marketing strategies. When properly employed, it can help you stand out from other competitors and achieve more bookings.
There are lots of social media networks but Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok remain the most impactful platforms when promoting your accommodation or tourism business. Before we dive into why social media is a non-negotiable for successful tourism operators, let’s talk numbers:
- Facebook reigns as the most used social network in the world. In 2020, Facebook reported 2.74 billion monthly users; and 2.18 billion of those users can be reached by ads.
- Instagram now has 1.2 billion monthly users and experiences 43% growth in site traffic, year over year (around 5.3 billion visits per month)
- Tik Tok was the #1 most-downloaded app in 2020 with 689 million users. More interestingly, TikTok has experienced an exponential growth of 576% in site traffic, year over year.
Here are four reasons we are convinced you need to be posting on social media to boost your accommodation or tourism business:
Improve Your Online Visibility
The importance of a social media presence in the tourism industry can’t be overemphasised. Nowadays, travellers have the habit of using social media platforms in their various traveling phases. Before booking reservations, users will use social media in selecting a travel destination, researching suitable accommodation, reading other travellers’ comments, or connecting with the brand to ask for more information. As the majority of tourists conduct tourism research through social media platforms, your brand should be ready to connect with them online by building your own social media profiles.
Meanwhile, social media users love to share their experiences online, especially when turning to leisure activities such as traveling. According to Siteminder, 74% of travellers use social media while on holiday, while 97% of millennials enjoy sharing their photos on social media when going on vacation. For that reason, social media is a great tool for tourism brands to gather feedback from users and connect with them on a personal level. For example, imagine how satisfied your customers are when they receive an almost immediate reply when they tag you on Facebook or see you repost their photos on Instagram Stories. This shows that your brand actually cares about the customers and their traveling experiences.
Reach New Customers
According to Hootsuite, there are 4.2 billion people who use social media around the world, accounting for 53.6% of the total population. In 2020, social media users increased by 13.2% with 490 million users, compared to 7.2% of the previous year’s growth. This also means that your business has a huge opportunity to nurture potential leads and reach new customers through social media.
Luckily, most social media platforms offer diverse advertising methods to help you reach the target market easily. For instance, you can target large groups of people based on their age, gender, geographic location, income group, marital status, interests, and many other factors. You can even retarget your website visitors on social media, which means running digital advertisements to people that have already interacted with your business. If someone has taken the time to visit your website, they have clearly demonstrated interest in your products, services, or content. Thus, this is an effective advertising option that allows generating a much better return on investment.
With powerful advertising options, it then becomes easy to create tailor-made advertising campaigns for your target audience, allowing you to save costs and attract the right customers with the right information at the right time. For instance, resorts that specialise in family vacations can send ads to people who are married and have children, while low-cost hotels can focus their ads on young people who have low income but have an interest in leisure activities, traveling, or discovering new cultures.
Effectively Engage With Your Customers
Social media is the perfect place to showcase your brand personality and engage regularly with your online audience. Current and potential guests can get a taste for your hospitality and develop an emotional connection when interacting with your hotel brand on social media, thus they’ll be willing to make a booking and refer it to their relatives, their friends.
The key to keeping your audience engaged is by adding value for them through your original branded content. While a lot of sales do generate from social media, it is clear that your customers primarily go to social media to have fun and socialize, thus you also need to diversify your content to meet their needs and expectations. Along with sharing information about products or services, think about creating other content that your audience may be interested in, such as informative infographics or articles, inspirational photos, interesting videos, or even funny memes.
Increase Direct Bookings
Whether for potential or existing customers, social media is a fantastic way to help you achieve more direct bookings through organic and paid campaigns. There are lots of ways to create organic content that can help you unlock your brand’s potential to increase booking reservations, such as:
- Organising mini-games, travel competitions to enhance your hotel brand and build affinity with travellers.
- Boosting online “word-of-mouth” by offering existing customers a small reward when they share their experience at your hotel on social media.
- Implementing paid campaigns and letting potential guests know about the benefits they can receive when staying at your accommodation.
In order to help your content reach as many people as possible, think about running a customised advertising campaign to potential customers, or sharing the message through multiple groups of people who are interested in traveling, entertainment activities, or hotel deals.
Nothing can be better than social media to showcase your accommodation brand and build close relationships with your audience. If you would like to leverage the power of social media, feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve your goals!