Google+ has been around for a while now and different consumers are using it in different ways. Some may have not explored its opportunities at all, as may be the case for some tourism organisations and destinations. Social networks and travel are linked very closely so it is very interesting to see how consumers are using Google+ and if the network provides opportunities for tourism providers. Google integrates user driven information into all search results, which is particularly interesting for travel. Latest research from eMarketer shows that Google+ has a growing influence on the travel planning phase (eMarketer).
Travellers and Google+
Social media is an integral part in the overall search process for holidays. 40% of consumers worldwide actually used Google+ to research and plan a future holiday. This number is quite high and somewhat surprising. Only Facebook was used more, with 76% of consumers using it as a research and travel planning tool. When looking at the usefulness and the trustworthiness of social media sites for travellers planning a holiday, Google+ again scored quite well as 22% of travellers feel that the site is very useful, in comparison to Facebook with 54% as the highest. In terms of trustworthiness, 24% of travellers felt that Google+ could be trusted, whilst Facebook was considered the most trustworthy with 48%.
Tourism destinations or brands and Google+
Marketers worldwide continue to discuss the importance of Google+ as a social network and question the way in which consumers engage. However, consumers are undoubtedly using the network for travel planning and people are sharing content in form of images and reviews. Tourism destinations and brands have also already been engaging potential travellers via the network.
Search and Google+
Consumers love to use search engines when they are planning a holiday in order to get necessary information. Very often, Google will be used for that, which enables Google+ pages to show up within search results. Consumers might click on these and access content on the social network site without even knowing they're on it.
Destinations and tourism organisations need to be aware of travellers’ use of Google+ to search for travel ideas. Making sure that inspiring and informative content is provided on Google+ as a social network is absolutely crucial. Engaging with travellers is also another crucial point and involves both time and dedication as tourism organisations invest in other social networks. Is your destination on track and using Google+ in an inspiring and engaging way? Be aware of travellers using Google+ for their travel planning!
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