Today, much of our lives are documented online. Baby photos, birthdays, vacations, and of course, perfect sunsets or delicious dishes of food from faraway places can be found on any number of social media channels.
Travel, by its very nature, has always been social media. Whether it’s a spontaneous conversation over an espresso in Italy or you decide to go skydiving in Abu Dhabi with a group of thrill-seekers, the travel experience has taken on a new dimension. You’ve gone from sharing your vacation experience upon your return to sharing these experiences as they happen. Social media is what made all this possible. And now, it’s about more than experiencing a new adventure, a different country or meeting a new group of people, it’s about sharing these experiences with the world at large.
Why social media marketing is important to your campaigns
There is no denying the pull and influence that social networks have when it comes to travel marketing. Whether you’re a hotelier looking to fill rooms, an adventure company promoting unique activities or a destination, getting your message to the masses through social media is critical. This message should be on your branded social channels and include partnerships with other social creators, influencers and brands to spread your message to a highly qualified audience of travelers.
Every travel marketing campaign should include a social media component. Whether you’re looking for a full-blown custom campaign or a fine-tuned and targeted approach, using Expedia Group’s social media channels can help you grow your reach exponentially.
Travelers are social: 87% of millennial travelers check social media as one of their first stops for travel inspiration. This is your chance to build awareness of your brand, destination or experiences. And it’s important to capture travelers’ attention early in their search journey: 45% of social media influence on booking occurs early in their exploration.
Word of mouth is also key to reaping the benefits of social media. Travelers looking to book a trip trust their friends, and with 97% of millennials sharing travel photos on social media, there’s a valuable amount of user-generated content you can use to your advantage.
How to use social media for travel inspiration
With our social media solutions, you can leverage the social media following and highly targeted traveler audiences of our brands like Expedia, Vrbo and Hotels.com to socialize your brand in ways that intrigue travelers. What we offer:
- Social integration packages allow you to transform standard ads into a native social experience through travelers’ social feeds.
- Instagram Stories motivate travelers looking for inspiration and increase engagement with your brand.
- Co-branded videos capture the interest of travelers with engaging video content. Videos drive more engagement than static posts: 58% of consumers trust brands that have video over those that don’t. Target marketers have found that 75% of social media users take action after watching video content.
- Custom social promotion lets you unlock the full potential of social storytelling across multiple platforms to create the most engaging social experience.
When you use our social media solutions, you also get the benefit of accessing loyal communities across all our brands. Expedia Group has over 200 travel brand sites and Vrbo is our vacation rental brand; all of this provides an established entrance to attract the right traveler.
Because social media users are so active and provide you with a wealth of user-generated content, it’s equally important that you manage your social media accounts in a way that uses best practices and also consistently engages travelers. To help you build your social media brand, here are some tips to follow:
- Be authentic. You don’t need to treat your social posts like ads; that will simply turn travelers off. Being genuine will help you connect with more travelers and inspire them to book.
- Use video. “Consumers, on average, spend about 323 minutes a week watching video content, and that’s just on mobile phones.” Mackenzie Bromley, Director of Social Media at MMGY Global, says. It’s important to keep videos short and to the point for social media – save longer format videos for your website, presentations or events.
- Encourage travelers to use hashtags for your airline, hotel or destination – it’s an easy way to show where they’ve been and what they’re doing, and helps expand your social reach.
- Understand the value of user-generated content: Our research shows that 32-39% of millennials won’t book a hotel without seeing some source of user-generated content, and 95% of travelers read reviews before booking.
- Use your social channels as a customer service tool. Comment on posts that applaud your brand, but also remember that it’s important to respond quickly to any issues that travelers report. While you can’t prevent an ice storm from delaying a flight or a hurricane hitting the coast, how you respond to travelers when they post a less-than-ideal travel situation will show that you care about travelers’ needs, no matter what the situation .
- Know the differences between social channels and create specific content for each one. Facebook is not like Instagram and TikTok is not like Twitter. Each platform is different and your posts should reflect how users interact with the channel.
- Promote things that are unique to your brand, such as loyalty programs. Encourage people to post on your channel or tag your brand and let them earn extra loyalty points.
- Share comprehensive information about your destination, hotel or experience. For example, if you’re a hotelier, focus on more than hotel rooms or amenities and cast a wider net to include information about the area. Bonus: If you tag businesses in your area, they may return the favor and tag you in their social posts.
- be funny Humor can greatly inspire travelers.
Social media is here to stay
Social media won’t go away, and neither will travel. Travelers still have wish lists and search and gather information about different destinations and experiences from the videos, photos and reviews they see on various social channels.
Our social media solutions can help you stand out with our highly engaged travel community. As demand for travel continues to rise and social media plays a bigger role in inspiring, engaging and converting travelers to book travel, make sure your brand is making the most of what social media marketing can offer .
Contact us to learn more about our social media solutions and how we can help you achieve your travel marketing goals.
About Expedia Group Media Solutions
Expedia Group Media Solutions is a global travel advertising platform that connects marketers with hundreds of millions of travelers across Expedia Group brands. With our exclusive access to more than 70 petabytes of Expedia Group’s traveler search and booking data, we provide advertisers with actionable insights, sophisticated targeting and comprehensive performance reporting. Our suite of solutions includes display, sponsored listings, audience extension, co-op campaigns and custom creative campaigns, all designed to meet our advertising partners’ goals and add value to travel shoppers on our brand sites around the world. With a consultative approach and over 20 years of travel and media experience, we help our advertising partners inspire, engage and convert travelers for meaningful results. For more information, visit www.advertising.expedia.com.
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