As Social Media evolves, as does the travel industry. Can the two stay in sync?

There is no doubt about it - Social Media is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Nowadays over 78% of companies either have dedicated Social Media teams or they outsource it to companies such as ours. Social is a fantastic way of spreading offers, gaining visibility, interacting with the public, and generally speaking having a digital face to the company. It allows for companies to be human, to act as humans would, removing any barriers between corporation and customer.

When talking about Social in the travel industry there are a few names that come to mind. AirB&B is one such example, where they have an incredibly strong social presence. The reason for this is simple - they understand that their business (now their industry) is digitally based and thus they need a strong online presence. Another who do this well is the Carnival Cruise company/corporation. They have an incredibly strong social standing, something which bodes them well in terms of marketing. It would be fascinating to see how many referrals they have from social means. 

Travel - Total Top 20 

The above graph explores this in some detail. Above are listed the top 20 travel companies in terms of their Social Media followers. As it can be seen, there are two (the two mentioned above) who blow all others out of the water - pun intended for Carnival Cruises.

It can then be seen that there is a sudden drop from 2.5 million followers down to just over 750,000. This is a tremendous drop and is evident across the social channels. From Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram, and even Youtube there is a massive jump between those doing well and those who are lagging behind.

Travel - Number Of Facebook Followers (1)

Travel - Twitter Followers

Travel - Youtube Subscribers

As it can be seen, there are the same few names coming up as being the strongest in the field. The question then becomes; why?

The answer appears to lie in community. AirB&B and Carnival Corporation do incredibly well engaging with their community and posting what their community wants. They have also embraced all forms of Social Media, unlike some who pick and choose or even, heaven forbid, have no social meida standing whatsoever. AirB&B and Carnival Corporation have embraced Social Media culture.

The question then becomes how do other travel companies know if they are doing well on Social Media?

The truth of the matter is simple. Social Media is not so much about getting followers as it is about getting interactions. There is no point having 2.5 million followers if none of them interact. This is not the case with the aforementioned companies, but it does help prove a point. One such example is that of a travel company (who shall remain nameless) with 12,000 Twitter followers gaining the following interactions:

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For a company with so many followers these are incredibly low levels of interactions. This goes to show that the company is not getting the most out of their Social Media accounts. When this is compared to a company who is interacting with their public the difference is obvious.

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AirB&B know who their target market is and they know what they want to see. From there it is simply a question of supply and demand. This can be done on many channels - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Youtube. It can even be done on Pintrest and other social platforms. Knowledge as to who the audience is, is the best tool for any social strategist.

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