Travel, Hotels, And Social Media: Tips For Next Generation Travel
Social networking sites and media have become fundamental in the lives of many people. In fact, studies estimate that the average American spends an average of 37 minutes each day interacting with social media. This has changed the face of quite a few business--and travel is no exception.
Smart travelers have found ways to utilize social media to their benefit when they travel. Unlike standard promotions and services, the proper use of social media for hotel and travel enhancement is as a persistent tool before, during, and after your trip.
Before You Travel
The key to knowing how to leverage social media for travel benefits lies in the idea that social media is a powerful marketing tool. Businesses spent 8.5 billion dollars on social media ads in 2014. They do this because referrals and advertisements in the social media context tend to resonate with viewers much more than print and television ad spots.
While you're planning your trip, it's important to interact with both traveler's social media groups and business social media presence. You'll receive a number of benefits, including:
Seasoned travelers can tell you which hotels/attractions to avoid, and which ones shouldn't be missed. You'll also establish yourself as a member of these communities--which is very important when dealing with service providers in the future. Also, since social media has become a primary vehicle for direct advertisement, there are a number of promotions from hotels that are only found online.
During Your Trip
Once you get to your destination, social media becomes even more important to the modern traveler. Even if mountaintop selfies aren't your thing, the communication that social media provides is a great way to organize and troubleshoot your trip while it happens. You can also set the stage for future benefits/discounts with a few well-placed posts.
Post Your Room--If you get to your hotel and love your room, post it! Those social media groups you investigated prior to your trip will appreciate the hands-on info, and your hotel provider will love the natural advertising provided by doing a good job for you. Be sure to tag the hotel's social media accounts when you do.
Concierge Service--Some hotels have developed social media concierge services for guests. The amazing thing about this for travelers is that these discussions are all public. That means going the extra mile and quick resolutions are the norm when working on these platforms. You'll also have the benefit of current/past guests and their first-hand experiences when resolving issues or planning excursions.
Customer Service Resolution--If your room or experience aren't up to standards, social media is the way to go for speedy resolution. There is no better advertising for a hotel provider than a quick solution to problems that pop up. On the other hand, failure to resolve a conflict publicly is the kiss of death. Use this to your advantage.
After You Return
When you arrive home, your social media use can pave the way for significant benefits on future holidays. Be sure to thank the hotel provider and any additional services you interacted with while on your trip. Also, when speaking with friends, be sure to mention the businesses that deserve your endorsement--and tag them when you do.
This allows you to build up a post history on your account. When planning future trips, you can call attention to the fact that you're a loyal--and vocal--customer that appreciates doing business with certain providers. This often works as well or better than a loyalty program when asking for perks and getting a good rate on a great room.
Social media is not going away in the near future. Make sure you leverage this trend to your advantage when you travel. It's one of those rare situations when everyone involved is better for it.