There can be only one … or can there?
Social media platforms come in all shapes and sizes, and which ones you choose to focus your efforts on can go a long way to reaching new travellers.
The rise of social media has completely changed how we live our lives. Whether it’s how we consume media or how we communicate with each other, it’s hard to imagine a world without social media.
It’s also hard to imagine seeing the world without social media. Yes, from the research stage, all the way to uploading the perfect selfie from a beach in Hawaii, social media has become a crucial part of tourism.
Social media has opened doors for marketers that were seemingly sealed shut in years gone by. Whether it’s live video, remarketing, social communities, or so many other social media features, new marketing social media has enabled businesses to advertise and implement new marketing strategies at the click of a button.
While it’s undoubtedly been somewhat on hold over the last 18 months, tourism remains one of the most important parts of the global economy. As vaccination efforts around the world continue to ramp up and the world gets closer and closer to international travel, social media is more critical than ever before.
But which social media platform is the best for social media?
Why is social media so important?
If we told you some businesses still think that can exist without some kind of social media presence, would you believe us?
As unbelievable as it may seem, there are people out there who are reluctant to market their business through social media. For tourism brands and businesses, being active on social media is an absolute necessity.
While social media is vital to tourism for several reasons, one sits high and dry above the rest: research.
Have you ever been on holiday without doing some research first? We’re willing to bet that you probably haven’t. Whether you’re looking up reviews on Facebook or checking out some destinations on Pinterest, research is a crucial part of tourism.
Everyone wants to share their holidays on social media, and no one wants to spend their money on a trip that could end up being a letdown. Social media has become the go-to destination for people trying to decide where to go.
If you’re a tourism brand trying to entice people to visit your destinations, you need to build a level of trust. A solid social media presence, positive reviews, and community engagement will help you build that trust faster than anything else.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
Tourism may very well be a unique industry; however, like most industries in the world, you really can’t ignore Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as a part of your marketing strategy.
While it’s certainly true that your audience may vary between the three platforms, the fact of the matter is that tourism continues to be one of the most talked-about, shared, and advertised topics on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And why wouldn’t it be? Find us someone who doesn’t like going on a holiday, and we’ll show you a liar.
In the case of tourism, Facebook and Instagram are excellent choices because they’re such visual mediums. Plus, with both platforms pushing more and more towards video, they’re both solid choices for showing off destinations, hosting virtual tours, and so much more.
Remember: never underestimate just how powerful followed hashtags can be on Instagram.
If you’re looking for community engagement and customer service as a marketing tool for your tourism brand, Twitter is just about as good as it gets. The ability to interact directly, follow trends, and interact with a global community is an extremely powerful thing for a brand looking to attract tourists.
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. If you can get positive word of mouth going on Twitter, so much of your marketing will take care of itself.
Who is your audience?
It’s easy to think that Facebook and Instagram are the only platforms you need for tourism marketing, but before you go ahead and start scheduling posts, you need to take some time to consider your audience.
While Facebook remains the most popular social media platform in the world, it isn’t quite what it used to be – especially if you’re targeting a younger audience.
Before putting all your travel eggs into one social media basket, ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve, who you’re trying to reach, and which platform that audience spends most of its time on.
Tourism can’t ignore TikTok
Yes, TikTok may have exploded as a social media platform during a global pandemic, but the platform is still a significant player in the world of travel. Don’t believe us? Did you know that videos with #travel have more than 50 billion views on TikTok?
Even #holiday has over eight billion views, and the majority of the world hasn’t been able to go on one for close to two years.
TikTok is hugely popular with Millennials and Gen Z. According to a study by Hospitalitynet.org, 71% of Millennials trust user-generated content 50% more than any other source (including TV, newspapers and magazines); TikTok is the king of user-generated content.
The reality is that people trust people more than they trust brands. However, on TikTok, people seem to be interacting and engaging with brands in what feels like a far more organic manner. It may be because TikTok allows people to recommend destinations, hotels, and holiday packages in a far more digestible way, and users seem to be quick to jump on branded trends and hashtags.
So, which platform is right for you?
We’ve reached that unavoidable section of the blog where you ask us which platform is the absolute best, and we have to utter those two famous words: it depends.
We know you probably wanted to read this blog post and leave with some magical answer to solve your social media headaches, but the fact of the matter is social media is constantly changing and platforms evolve with the click of an update button.
Audiences differ from platform to platform. Like most things in social media, you need to plan, execute, analyse and adjust until you find a strategy that works for you.
However, if you want our best guess for the platform that’s really going to take the tourism industry by storm in a post-COVID world, we’d have to go with TikTok.