Social media changed a lot of things since it was introduced. The way we communicate, the way we shop, the way companies reach and communicate with their target audience, and much more. Tourism experienced many changes as well thanks to the rising popularity of social media. We’re now looking for our travel destinations, accommodations, or restaurants, on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
The choice of activities we engage in during our vacations is also highly influenced by what we see and hear on different social media platforms. It has become easier than ever for us to share photos, videos, stories, and experiences from our vacations. The fact that we rely on social media to tell us what to do, where to go, what is good and what’s not, altered tourism marketing a lot. While tourists can benefit a lot from this, companies, especially in the hospitality industry, are under more pressure.
Tourism marketing has changed a lot. Everyone is coming up with new marketing campaigns tailored to the habits of Internet users. Many hotels and resorts are running campaigns and contests to use their guests’ social activity to their advantage and spread awareness. Also, it isn’t uncommon for hotels and restaurants to use user-generated content in their marketing as it can often be more effective than professional, staged, promotional photographs and videos. People like to see something unique, real, authentic, warm. and entertaining. To engage tourism is turning to entertainment. As we can read on Markhat.com, many marketers are now using AI and behavioral science in order to create more personalized content, to entertain and engage travelers. The Markhat article shows how marketers across many industries are reaching outside of their normal brand based content to create content that is new and entertaining.
Before we decide on a destination for our vacation, we’re going to do a lot of research and while in the past that used to include visiting travel agencies, talking to friends and family and potentially reading someone’s blog, now it includes scrolling through pictures on Instagram, reading influencers’ recommendations, and checking the ratings on Facebook or Google. We will often be inspired to visit a certain destination just because we’ve seen stunning pictures and videos our peers or influencers have shared.
We can now hear everything about everyone’s experiences with a particular company, service, or a product. That allows us to get more detailed information about a certain destination and even find useful advice. Someone’s reviews can either inspire us to visit or put us off. On the other hand, this also means that everyone in the hospitality industry is under a lot of pressure to maintain their customer service at a really high level.
Customer service and social media interaction
Many brands now have a social media presence and a lot is expected from them. Social media is a great way to reach the customers, interact with them, help them, and spread awareness of your brand. Those that sincerely and kindly answer to complaints and questions are more likely to develop a strong reputation among customers.
Listening to and interacting with your customers via social media can help you grow your business, find out what your visitors want to do, to see, and to experience. Being active and answering any questions they might have can be time-consuming, but it can pay off as it humanizes your brand and brings you closer to the customers.