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The Impact Of Social Media In The Travel Marketing Industry

Posted on Jul 15, 2019 9:02:00 AM

Social Media is not solely for entertainment. Millions of people use it as selling, promotional and educational platforms. The travel and hospitality sector can definitively say that the increasing popularity of social media has changed travel marketing with great influence. Hotels now have a great opportunity to target the audiences they intend to reach with wider exposure.


“A recent study from Booking.com found that social media bears weight in the choices users make when the time comes to book a vacation.”


— WAM, Social Media's Rising Impact in Travel Marketing and E-Commerce



Travel search has changed 

Do you check online reviews when planning to go to the restaurant, cinema, hotels?

Today most travelers strongly follow reviews. You definitely are not going to a hotel which has more negative reviews than positive. 

“When booking travel, 89% of millennials plan travel activities based on content posted by their peers online.”


— Entrepreneur, 5 Ways Social Media Has Transformed Tourism Marketing


People can easily find videos, photos, ratings from other travelers. Social media gives real customer feedback, which is very vital due to the paradox of choices nowadays! Travelers can see the in-person actual experience, rather than solely company-branded promotions. Information on social media is so open and accessible, and it can either hold off or inspire customers to book. 

Instagram power 

Instagram is a large market place! By scrolling through Instagram, travelers also can choose where to go and how to book. 


40% of consumers under 30 prioritized how Instagrammable the potential destination was in driving purchasing decisions.”


— WAM, Social Media's Rising Impact in Travel Marketing and E-Commerce


Moreover, almost every user follows at least one celebrity who travels often around the world. This is also one of the ways a hotel can be chosen by a booker.

In 2018 EasyJet launched a new feature — “Look & Book” — allowing users to find the brand’s app using Instagram photos. Users can upload their travel photos, and the app will analyze the picture to find where it was made, in addition to the opportunity for EasyJet to look for relevant flight opportunities. 

travel look and book

You might say that this important decision should take more time and a bit more research than basing a decision on a single photo, or several. Despite that, “Look & Book” clearly shows how IG has revolutionized the way people search, book and browse travel. 

Well-known Airbnb has added a trendy story feature to capture customers in a similar way that EasyJet has done with “Look & Book”. Users are able to highlight their Airbnb stay and share it in the app. Airbnb is looking for conversion rates which means the more mentions they get, the more likely people will book the room with Airbnb. 

Pinterest performance

This platform helps travel marketers to increase bookings a great deal.


“Pinterest says 250 million people use its site each month to look for ideas and inspiration, and travel is one of its most active categories.”

— PhocusWire, Pinterest creates “travel personas” to help marketers drive conversions

hiinc pinterest profile

It is amazing what Pinterest did! They created 5 different “travel personas” as well as grouped travel keywords with each of the personas to help marketers understand what the attitudes and behaviours of travelers are. 

By learning Pinterest personas, advertisers can connect better with their customers in the most personalized way. 

Pinterest Newsroom says “more than two times more travelers use Pinterest vs. top online travel agency sites. For 2019, they’re coming here to dream up new ways to travel, from atypical destinations to unusual (and more earth-friendly) modes of transportation.

Customer experience improvement

Social media has transformed customer service dramatically. Most of the brands have their social media accounts which help them to serve people — contact or provide help, respond to complaints and build a strong relationship with customers. Answering unsatisfied travelers helps to add a greater human element to your business and to show customers that they are important. 

Do you know what is social media listening? It is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand on the Internet. That means that this social listening tool can give you priceless information about your guests. Are they staying for a Birthday or another event? Listening to your users through social media can really help you to enhance customer service. 

Huge impact on loyalty programs 

Playing a great role in constructing hotel loyalty programs, social media helps hotels to attract millennials who are very happy to take part in branding posts in exchange for loyalty points for instance.

Now with advanced technology, hotels can easily find their ‘players’ by hashtagging and mentioning which allows rewarding in return. When loyal customers share benefits on social media that they have received from brand loyalty programs, other guests understand that it is worth participating in too. 

Social media has changed the structure of hospitality marketing from A to Z. Most of the travelers nowadays plan their trips based on reviews and social media sharing activity. Online customer service becomes more responsible for building great brand identities at the same time. The travel marketing industry should undoubtedly develop alongside social media to improve customer loyalty and brand awareness. 


Topics: Travel

About Blog Author

hi Inc. B2B Marketing Executive planning and implementing marketing activities across all online & offline channels. Maria has lived in 3 countries, studied International Journalism for 4 years and has one year of volunteering experience in a charity organisation. She is passionate about traveling and cooking.