Social Media and the Travel Industry

Social media might have begun as a way for people to chat and stay in touch but it has evolved into much more. Companies connect with their clients and people spread the word on social issues and community projects. The travel industry is no exception and they are changing the way they do business in order to make the most of social shopping.

Deals
Twitter and Facebook are both popular platforms for showing off deals. Sample of hotel specials, airfare price drops and cruise offers are tweeted and posted for followers. Companies use this to draw in traffic to their website and boost sales during down times. It is a great way to make last minute changes known and see what deals generate the most excitement.
Example: Royal Caribbean Tweets sales and exclusive offers, like discounts on 7-day packages.

Surveys
Wonder if your guests are enjoying your menu? Do they feel your accommodations are outdated? Social media is a great way for companies to know what their customers are feeling. Hotels, airlines, cruise lines and other travel related industries by posting questions businesses can get true insight into what people are thinking and saying. And, by being the ones asking the questions they can really learn what is and isn’t working.

Example: Ritz Carlton asked if people enjoyed the brand of coffee they serve.

Customer Feedback
There have been some famous instances of people complaining online about how companies have treated them. As a business you might worry about this aspect of social media but it actually is great for both consumer and businesses alike. Now you get a chance to talk back and interact, where in the past people just talked to their neighbors and you never got a chance to make things right!
Example: United Airlines infamously broke a guitar and didn’t step up to make it write. The ensuing social media campaign launched by the customer forced them into the spotlight.

Social Check-Ins
People are constantly sharing their day with each other through social media. The travel industry is working hard to encourage people to share more by virtually “checking in” and letting everybody know where they are and who is getting their business. Foursquare, an app that lets people check into local hotspots is one way social check-ins are being utilized. Facebook also offers an easy l for people to tell others where they are around the globe.
Example: Travelers looking for local wine bars can check out Foursquare to see local hotspots, no matter where they might currently be traveling.

Innovative Uses of Social Media
The world of social media moves quickly and companies are always working to stay on top of things. This fast-paced environment leads to some fun and creative ways of using existing platforms. For instance, JetBlue has a Facebook app that gives people frequent-flier points when they use Facebook Places to check into their terminal. The curators of Visit Sweden have a program that gives control of their official Twitter account to ordinary citizens for a week at a time!

This article might end here but the story continues as new social media outlets pop up and people find unique ways of using them to promote business. How do you use social media? Take a step back, see what others are doing and get inspired to do something creative for your company!


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