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Social media is an essential part of consumers’ daily lives but it is also becoming increasingly important for US consumers when on holiday. Travellers are engaging heavily on social media and this is no secret. Tourism businesses are now taking advantage of the opportunities lying in social media engagement. Research from PhocusWright now tried to look into this mater to find out how US travellers are using social media with regards to their general social behaviour, traffic and their use of social media when travelling (PhocusWright 2013).

SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

In the US, 8 in 10 online travellers are actively using social networks. Around 73% of travellers actually log onto a social network every day. This is remarkable and demonstrates the huge potential that tourism organisations have in the US when engaging with consumers. There is also a growing percentage of consumers in the US that log into their social networks every hour, 7% and another 17% that are always logged into social networks. US consumers are very engaged and tourism organisations and destinatios need to take advantage of consumers already being active on social networks. Relationships can be built between brands and consumers.

Social media is also increasingly used by 53% of travellers to look for deals and 22% of travellers are looking for specific travel deals. Around 65% of travellers in the US like or follow a company and out of these 18% like a follow a travel related company. Many airlines are already offering deals through their social networks by providing discount codes to decrease the price for flight tickets.

TRAFFIC

When looking at traffic in more detail, social networks in the US account for a small share of traffic to travel websites. However, social networks still account for less than 4% of traffic to travel companies’ websites.

WHEN TRAVELLING

When US consumers are travelling, around 50% of them are still accessing the internet through their mobile devices. Mobile is certainly making it possible for them to stay connected at all times during their trip. This also facilitates travellers to update their social networks with trip related posts. It is also interesting to learn that fro 31% of consumers in the US, it is more likely for them to post updates about their trip while being on holiday than when being back at home. Only 27% of consumers post on social networks about their trip when being back at home or work. Tourism companies therefore need to ensure that they are engaging on social networks and are encouraging consumers to post on social networks about their holiday experiences in real time.

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