By Emily Peters
We’re well into the new year—how is social media fitting into your travel agency’s 2018 marketing plan? While its impossible to stay on top of every fluctuating trend, there are plenty of social media statistics travel agents should know about to help boost their travel business.
Where your millennial travelers find inspiration
The library is no longer just a physical building: it’s the World Wide Web, supplying your millennial clients with a glut of text and images to feed their wanderlust. A 2016 study revealed that 87% of millennials used Facebook to find travel inspiration for their next trip. Not a bad place to be active in case they start looking for help to plan that trip, too.
Moments over matter
Keeping on the millennial beat, for all their gadget-savvy ways 78% of millennials would prefer a memorable experience over a memorable item. When marketing via social media, don’t just hit on deals, hotels and scenic panoramas—focus on highlighting unique experiences like chasing humpback whales in Hawaii, hiking Multnomah Falls in Oregon or a sunset wine tasting in Malibu. These are experiences they’ll not only remember, but share with their friends and colleagues.
Your clients are your best marketing tool
Looking for more referrals? Understand how your clients are talking about their travel experiences. 60% of all travelers share their travel photos while on vacation—even more impressive, 97% of millennials share photos while traveling! Be sure to follow your clients, comment on their content and share (with their permission) their content on your own platforms—and ask them to tag you when they post so you can enjoy their trip! It’s a subtle way of letting their friends and followers know that YOUR travel services were the driving force behind that gorgeous snapshot.
Facebook and Instagram are the king and queen of travel
Social media is always in flux, but Facebook and Instagram remain the most popular apps used by travelers when updating on their trip. Be where your clients are and never forget to engage with their content.
Use social media to augment your customer service
When travelers contact a brand via Twitter, more than half expect a response. If they’re reaching out with a complaint, that percentage rises to about 75%. Don’t let your social media accounts languish. Be active on your selected platforms; answer comments, tags and messages in a timely manner. Use social media to connect with clients in real time and highlight your level of responsiveness. Answering publicly shows other clients how you care!
Invest in a good camera—and in Instagram
We’re an image-hungry people. In 2016, Instagram regularly engaged people 10 times more than Facebook—that means more likes, comments and shares than its sister platform. Leverage the power of imagery by sharing high-quality images of destinations to inspire. Share the back story and get real. Use images on social media to tantalize, educate, and to turn eyes back to your travel expertise.
Partnering with influencers can boost your business
Everyone from independent travel agencies to small town tourism boards are leveraging the power of social media influencers. In 2015, alpine destination Wanaka, New Zealand partnered with Instagram influencers to highlight their town, resulting in a 14% spike in new business. Don’t ignore the power of social media influencers: wield it for good!
What other social media statistics should travel agents know about? What social media marketing tactics have you used, for better or for worse? Let us know what’s worked for you!
Are you ready to start your independent travel business with MTravel? We are here to help! Contact us here or call us at 800-870-5799. Be sure to check out our website at www.MTravel.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.