Modern travelers do more than packing a suitcase when they want to travel. The travel review sites such as home sharing services and fare aggregator engines have become part of a travelers plan, experience, and a platform to evaluate their trips. Social media has become a critical part of each phase of the travel experience. For instance, consumers can share photos from their excursions, use social channels to seek advice on locations for honeymoon from people with previous experience, or voice comments about the five-star meal they enjoyed at a resort.
Social media is the ultimate forum for consumer opinions because it offers the users a wealth of unbiased insights to marketers on the different factors that influence consumers to travel decisions. Social media gives the hotel owners a clear idea about brand loyalty and the factors that would influence consumers to love a brand. Therefore, it is the task of hotel marketers and hospitality brands to understand customers’ opinions, affinities, conversations, and trends as expressed on social media to inform business strategies.
Recent reports show that there are three ways that hospitality industry players can use social media insights to shape hospitality marketing. One of the ways is to understand the travelers and what they like. It involves understanding the type of travelers your hotel attracts and ensuring on-target marketing efforts. Women’s social conversations focus on family-friendly travel which could encourage an extended stay.
Social media intelligence can help the hotel managers understand the guests compared to those of other competitors. For instance, marketers may use the affinities of consumers talking about particular brands to understand their key influencers for a specific audience. The second benefit of analyzing social media is to know where the right customers for the business are to reach them. Think about Flyertalk as a top forum for travelers’ comments. The site is a gold mine for marketers who need such information.
The third reason social media forums are important is that conversations on social media are about rewards, credit cards, and points. Travelers discuss the rewards programs, and the purpose of forums are to evaluate the rewards and decide whether to switch plans or get credit cards. Marketers can use these forums to uncover the feeling of customers about rewards programs.