Opinions: 

Travel Tech

Over the past months, both marketers and travel brands raised concerns and voiced scepticism towards the perceived value and usefulness of social media in tourism marketing. Nevertheless, social media budgets in travel are continuously increasing, despite marketers’ concerns (Skift). Following one of the latest eMarketer reports, paid social media expenditure in the US accounts for 5% to 10% of most travel companies’ digital budgets.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKTING

The rise in social media budgets, despite the growing concerns about the viability of social, reflects the realisation of travel marketers that it is important to meet the customers where they are online. Even if this means investing on ad spend in on social media sites. At the same time, the increase in ad spending is paralleled by an increase in sharing branded travel content from major social media platforms. Following research of the social sharing company Gigya in the last quarter of 2013, nearly 2 in 3 users shared branded travel content on Facebook, 17 percent shared content on Pinterest and 14 percent shared content on Twitter.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IS KEY

However, it is not sufficient for travel brands to invest in social media ad spending to successfully promote content. Sharing, engagement and therefore ultimately impressions, are depended on investing in suitable staff that can drive those interactions. In fact, for a travel brand to benefit from paid social, it needs to built a strong and engaging community first. Only then, paid social media can help increasing a brand's awareness.

FACEBOOK OUTPERFORMS COMPETITORS

While raising awareness is all good, quantifying the connection between social or mobile spend and an actual purchase remains difficult. This is a clear disadvantage of paid social media over other, more traditional forms of digital marketing, such as pay-per-click. However, if travel brands decide to engage in paid social media, Facebook is still their safest bet, according to the Skift report. The report asked US ad buyers for the network with the highest return on invest and Facebook (60%) outshines the major competitors LinkedIn (25%), Google+ (10%) and Twitter (5%) by far.

 

More from #DTTT

  • In December we present:
    X. Imagine Recap
    The last day of X. Festival was probably the most unique: two tracks were available to be followed. One was packed with talks and presentations from the most visionary tourism leaders, the second one was a line-up of live roundtables aimed at answering the most debated questions in tourism.   Let’s recap on what we [...]
    #reshapingtravel
  • In December we present:
    X. Rebuild Recap
    The third day of X. Festival has been incredibly insightful. We have heard from leaders in the data and research sectors, who helped us understand what is happening in the market and how to prepare for recovery through sharing invaluable insights and forecasts.   Let’s recap on what we have seen on X. Rebuild. We [...]
    #reshapingtravel
  • In December we present:
    X. Engage Recap
    Day 4 of X. Festival was all about trends, digital consumer behaviour, influencers and creators, engagement and content.   Let’s recap on what we have seen on X. Engage. Alex Herrmann, Director of UK & Ireland at Switzerland Tourism, gave us another daily dose of Switzerland. Ben Shacham, Culture Trip, opened the day with an [...]
    #reshapingtravel
  • In December we present:
    X. Purpose Recap
    The second day of X. Festival is over. We have now gone through 40% of the programme.   Let’s recap on what we have seen today, on X. Purpose. Alex Herrmann, Director of UK & Ireland at Switzerland Tourism, gave us another daily dose of Switzerland. We have opened the day with an incredible piece of [...]
  • In November we present:
    X. Disrupt Recap
    The first day of X. Festival is over, which is like saying that we have gone through 20% of the programme. As you can well imagine, there is still a lot to be explored.  Let’s recap on what we have seen today, on X. Disrupt. Alex Herrmann, Director of UK & Ireland at Switzerland Tourism, [...]
  • In November we present:
    Accelerating Travel Innovation after Coronavirus: From Tragedy to Hope
    How can the travel industry take the global crisis as an opportunity to accelerate innovation? Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel Research at Euromonitor International, will share insights from their last research, providing a unique perspective on the great opportunities for tourism organisations and businesses in the field of innovation. As part of a series of [...]
Show more
© 2020 Digital Tourism Think Tank