Interesting article about travel and social media I found through LinkedIn. It was from a Deloitte study about loyalty to travel companies, but there was also a component addressing how travel professionals and consumer travelers use social media.
We think that everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon and using Facebook, Twitter, etc, to take care of all their travel needs. But most travel bookers are simply going to a travel provider’s website to do business, not at all going to the social media outlets to find out more information or book through them. And they’re basically not even touching mobile – about 80% have never downloaded an airline or mobile app to their devices.
(So who are these people? Maybe they’re my in-laws’ ages. Wait, they don’t even go on a computer that much…bad example!)
While I’ve yet to look at the full report, I’m wondering what were the demographics of those surveyed. I would think that older travelers and professionals are less inclined to go to a social media site to gather information or book their travel plans. These are people who are just getting used to the idea of using a computer for such a purpose. Also, this group is more likely to go to a travel agency to plan out their travels.
Two comments on the LinkedIn board stood out for me. One woman said that since the amount of social media information is so overwhelming, people are just going to more traditional online sites instead (an airline’s, tour’s or hotel’s site).
The second was from small business tour operator, who has gotten 85% of his business from social media. He wrote this provocative line:
“…most of the travel agents only align themselves to travel companies with big names.”
Hmm. I suppose that means for a travel copywriter like myself, it may be to my advantage to start with business like these. And I still think that social media is one major pathway where the travel industry’s marketing is going.