“He who rejects change is the architect of decay.” We see Harold Wilson’s, Prime Minister of the UK in the 1960’s and 70’s, logic evident in the transformation of the business world. As of late, the social media revolution has literally changed the way people do business.
There are currently over one billion active users on social media networking sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. You are likely one in that crowd. Among these users are your friends, your colleagues and your audience. Through videos, photos, posts, tweets, and blogs, these individuals are expressing themselves and extending their reach to a larger audience. They’re sharing content daily and at a rapid pace. This revolution has changed the way business is obtained, conducted and how information flows.
Ultimately, a tourism department’s success can be measured by the relationship he/she has with peers, visitors and a community. As technology continues to evolve, so do relationships. Technology is being used to facilitate our everyday tasks and provides people from across the globe the ability to navigate a street view from a map, dissect any destination from its websites and online images, and plan as well as predict a vacation or trip to an extent that was never before possible.
Consider these statistics:
- The travel & tourism industry has a 6.5 trillion dollar economic impact worldwide.
- In 2012, the number of international tourist arrivals exceeded one billion for the first time.
- Facebook is now larger than the world’s largest country with 1.44 billion active users.
- More than 44% of travelers age 18-34 use social media to influence destination selection
- Consumers favor recommendations from acquaintances over friends.
“Are you on Facebook?”
Less about technology, social media became popular because it is about people and relationships. Having connection with one person means the potential to connect with more people through sharing content and being a trusted user. The power of social media comes in the form of actively engaging with others and showing that you’re more than a business trying to meet a bottom-line. Much like the Inbound Marketing methodology, social media provides a platform to attract an audience, convert those people into trusted leads, close those leads into visitors, and delight those visitors so they become promoters, thus introducing you and your destination to their network.
We live in a world full of information, both easily accessible and instantaneous. The majority of your potential clients are already online searching for you and you need to be actively trying to appear on their radar. Having a beautiful website today isn’t enough. You can’t set it and forget it because it will be swallowed up by all the other websites before you can get a foot in the door. Nearly everyone has a company website, people are turning to social media and other marketing tactics to be heard and get found.
Social media for travel & tourism is here to stay.
The first thing you should do before taking the dive? Build a social media strategy. You will need to be cognizant of what you post and establish a personality and a voice. It should be clear and consistent across all platforms while catering to those platforms. You voice on Facebook may be different than your voice on LinkedIn simply because they are different sites for different purposes with a different audience. Know who are you looking to reach. As a professional providing a service, we recommend first exploring LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter are seen more as a ‘hang out’ spot.
Unfortunately, the complexity of understanding and effectively implementing social media is a monstrous task. We suggest taking it one step at a time and never hesitate to ask for help. The digital marketing team at Paveya is well versed in social media platforms across a range of industries. We’re always ready to help. For more information like this, check out our blog!