Why travel marketers need a solid strategy to succeed on Facebook

Wednesday December 18, 2019 - Posted by:

It goes without saying that brands need a solid social media marketing strategy to succeed in the modern business environment.

Statistics back up this point too, with all available data reinforcing the importance of social media for companies and consumers. For instance:

  • There are 3.48 billion social media users worldwide
  • The average user spends more than two hours on social networks and messaging every day
  • There are 2.45 billion monthly active Facebook users

Finding the right social strategy will give your business access to a vast untapped audience and elevate you to a new level of success.

One industry where brands certainly can’t afford to ignore the potential of social media is travel. Everyday huge numbers of people log onto their favourite channels to share holiday experiences, make and receive recommendations, research destinations and engage with service providers. Travel marketers need to have a powerful social media strategy to take advantage of this. As recent research has shown, the most powerful social platform of all for travel marketing is Facebook.

The value of Facebook for travel marketers

The biggest benefit that travel marketers have to gain from Facebook is the sheer scale of its audience. Facebook is by far the biggest social network, boasting more than two billion monthly active users of its own. By comparison, Instagram (also owned by Facebook) hosts over one billion monthly active users.

A recent report by marketing technology firm Adphorus looked in detail at why Facebook is such a powerful tool for travel brands. According to the report, Facebook stands out as a suitable tool for marketers because:

  • Travellers spend five times more time on Facebook than any other travel-related touchpoint
  • More than three-quarters of millennials have decided on a travel location based on recommendations from friends
  • 55% of users have ‘liked’ pages related to trips they were planning
  • More than half of travel companies have witnessed an increase in bookings due to their Facebook presence

Brent Bouldin, vice-president of marketing, media and customer acquisition at Choice Hotels International, said: “Facebook is important because of the size and scale – you just can’t beat their audience. And because consumers are on the platform to think about and aspire to travel, you have to be there.”

Discussing the value of social marketing in general for travel companies, Marina Suberlyak, head of North America marketing at Norwegian Airlines, pointed out that travel is a “social, visual, experiential undertaking, and social media really fits that.”

Steps to success on Facebook

In January 2018, Facebook announced an algorithm update designed to ensure that posts generating conversation and interactions between people were rewarded by appearing higher in users’ news feeds. Following the change, pages with posts that generated little reaction or comment received less distribution.

What this means for businesses is that it’s now essential to deliver content that is genuinely interesting and sparks discussion and reaction among your audience.

There are various methods you can use to boost your efforts in this area, such as social listening to monitor user sentiment and preferences, acting on direct feedback from your audience and learning from other content that has performed well.

Another important step is to ensure you are posting at the right time. Targeted research and data gathering will show you when your followers are most active on Facebook and when you stand the best chance of attracting likes, comments and shares.

It can also prove highly effective to create posts and content on themes that aren’t directly related to your business, since most social users have limited patience for listening to brands talk about themselves.

Discussing topics that are relevant to you but not too obviously self-promotional – the most popular festivals or foods in destinations where you operate, for example – can boost awareness of your brand, get people talking and raise your profile on Facebook.

International social media marketing

Given the inherently global nature of the travel industry, it’s vital that brands have an international social media marketing strategy that can yield results in various territories.

One of your top priorities when you take on the challenge of building a brand and delivering customer satisfaction across borders should be to understand your target markets, which will allow you to communicate naturally and effectively with local audiences. This is particularly significant on social media, where relaxed, informal conversation is the norm.

Ultimately, better local understanding has a direct impact on the quality and success of your marketing content. Localising your website and most valuable pieces of social content, for example, increases your chances of connecting with potential customers and building relationships.

These practices are vital if you want to drive engagement and earn the trust required for people to buy from you.

Find out how Locaria can help you succeed in these efforts by requesting a quote online or calling +44 (0)20 3948 6800.

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