Supporting the Travel Industry with Expert Community Management
Thursday 7th April 2022by Beth Perrin
Supporting the Travel Industry with Expert Community Management
Thursday 7th April 2022
The travel industry is without a doubt one of the most affected by social media, with tourists regularly flocking to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to carry out research, make bookings, share photos and leave reviews. In fact, 74% of travellers use social media during their holidays. If you’re the owner of a business within this hugely popular market, such as a hotel, B&B, tourist attraction or tour operator, it’s never been more important to carry out consistent Community Management in order to assist both prospective and existing guests with their queries, concerns and feedback.
We’re proud to offer this service from 8am-10pm, 365 days a year, and our travel industry clients have seen fantastic results from the work we’ve carried out for them so far. Join us as we outline some of the main reasons why Community Management is so influential within this sector, and how we can help your brand excel on social media.
The Post-COVID Travel World
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been a tough time for travel brands, with airlines, hotels, tourist attractions and other holiday-related businesses seeing huge downturns in their booking volumes, and therefore revenue, as a result of lockdown restrictions. However, now, as the industry slowly begins to bounce back, we can expect to see a rapid increase in the number of people making travel plans - and that doesn’t just include international travel. Domestic breaks are on the rise too, with 28% of people saying they would prefer to go on a UK staycation instead of a holiday abroad, and just over half of them planning to take one of each in 2022.
76% of social media users who scrolled through travel content during lockdown say that it made them want to travel more, showing that people are feeling inspired to explore again after being inside for such a long time. In turn, this indicates the need for businesses to start preparing for an influx of bookings and get ready to interact with a large amount of potential customers - perhaps even more than before the pandemic. It’s also crucial for customer service teams to understand their brand’s COVID safety procedures inside out, so that this critical information can be shared with travellers as accurately as possible online.
Bespoke Packages & Personalised Recommendations
57% of travellers feel that brands should adapt their information based on their personal preferences or past behaviours, with 36% of them saying they will even pay more if a personalised service is offered. 85% of tourists of all ages also believe that customised plans and itineraries are more enticing than general mass offers. With a comprehensive Community Management strategy in place, you can provide prospective customers with unique recommendations that are tailored to their specific wants and needs, rather than leaving them to book a standard package. You can also make them aware of exclusive deals and discounts that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to access, making them feel special and valued.
Support During Guests’ Holidays
Community Management shouldn’t only be carried out during the planning and booking stages - it’s also necessary to provide customer service throughout your guests’ trips. Live complaints, aka concerns raised by customers while they are still inside your establishment or using your service, may initially seem overwhelming for your brand to deal with, but if resolved swiftly, they can turn negative experiences into positive ones and repair damaged customer relationships.
This is especially true for instances where a guest is unable to voice their complaint to an in-house team member, such as a self-catering holiday cottage. Should they encounter a problem during their stay, being able to reach out to a Community Manager via social media who can help them find a solution there and then - rather than having to wait until they return home - will give them immense peace of mind and therefore make their experience much more enjoyable.
82% of consumers expect an immediate response (defined as 10 minutes) to their customer service concerns, so it’s imperative that you reply quickly and deal with any issues before they lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. Plus, 50% of travellers rate customer service via instant messaging above face-to-face conversations, so adding a Live Chat plugin to your website should be a key consideration for your brand. Don’t have enough free time to respond? Our expert team can adopt your tone of voice and handle your incoming requests on behalf of your business with our highly useful Live Chat service.
Convert Positive Comments into Reviews
After returning home from their holidays, 89% of people choose to post about their experience on social media if it was positive, offering an excellent opportunity for you to ask guests to leave an official review on an external platform like Tripadvisor, Trivago, Google or Booking.com. The majority of them are happy to do so, with 70% of consumers agreeing that they will indeed leave a review for a business when asked. Understandably, people are more willing to trust a brand if it is rated highly by others - and collecting positive reviews is one of the best and most clear-cut ways to build social proof. Just over half of travellers will avoid a hotel altogether if it doesn’t have any reviews online, so if you aren’t regularly encouraging them, it’s likely that you’re directly missing out on bookings.
Want our dedicated team to monitor and respond to your brand’s online reviews? Learn more about our Review Management service and how it can benefit the tourism industry.
Collect UGC and Feedback via Social Listening
Social Listening refers to the process of monitoring relevant keywords, hashtags and phrases across social media in order to gain insights about your brand, audience and industry, and find untagged mentions and conversations that you can join in with. For businesses in the travel industry, Social Listening is a great way to find and collect UGC (User Generated Content) posted by travellers, such as photos, videos and feedback, which can then be shared on your own pages after gaining permission.
A staggering 97% of millennials share photos and videos of their holidays on social media, with 2 in 3 posting at least once per day during their trip, so there’s plenty to choose from. It’s highly effective too, with 86% of people saying they’ve become interested in a specific location after seeing UGC about it. 93% of customers also believe UGC is “very helpful” during the decision making process.
Don’t be a part of the 20% of travel brands whose customer service is described as “slow and frustrating” by travellers. With an extensive, thorough approach to Community Management, you can ensure you are getting the most out of social media by turning casual browsers into top travellers, being attentive to guests’ needs and staying ahead of your competitors. Check out our Holiday Cottages case study to see how we boosted website traffic and made bookings for one of the UK’s largest holiday accommodation providers, or get in touch today to discover what we can do for your business.
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