Is Social Media Changing the Way We Travel?

Social media may be the single most important factor in connecting people around the globe. By now, businesses all know the benefits of social media: it increases website traffic, encourages interaction with customers, and legitimizes the branding. In some scenarios, social media can even have unintended benefits, like the effect that the technology has had on the way we travel. 

According to one travel survey, 52% of social media users (on Facebook in particular) said that they were inspired to make travel plans based on a friend’s posts, and 76% of people share their travel photos on social networks. For travel brands, social media is a vital tool for research, as it is able to network and nudge users towards certain destinations and vacation plans. Like most companies, social media has fundamentally changed the way that we travel and how travel brands entice us to buy into their features. 

The Effects On The Traveler 

Knowing that travel businesses target potential customers through social media platforms, this means that travelers have the opportunity to take advantage of brand offerings by being connected through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you are traveling, there’s a good chance your destination will give you the opportunity to connect with local tourist companies, events, and excursions through social media. This means that you can receive certain details, tips, and even grow relationships with travel companies and brands all by sharing your photos and videos on social media. 

However, all of these avenues to extensive connectivity can also lead to a safety issue. Travelers need to be hyper-aware of security when on a vacation, knowing that travel companies may manipulate any visibility on social media. In addition to protecting your finances against identify theft before a trip, you will want to adjust your privacy settings on social media to make sure that the details of your exact location are only shared with friends. Otherwise, social media may have a negative effect on your travel plans, revealing too much about you to too many users. 

The Effect On Travel Agencies 

Beyond the effects that social media has on the individual traveler, the platforms also influence travel agencies in significant ways. Like any business, travel agencies take advantage of customer reviews and responses, making changes to focus on online experiences for users. Agents know that many travelers now value experiences over materials, which means that agencies work to present exciting opportunities to customers via social media—like a beautiful boat ride on the Amalfi Coast, presented as an Instagram time-lapse video. The face-to-face interaction of travel agencies isn’t entirely obsolete yet, but many businesses realize the value in having an impressive, appealing visibility on social media platforms. 

Thus, it is clear now more than ever before that businesses in the travel industry need to be aware of the benefits to utilizing social media for drawing in customers who are looking for shareable experiences and destinations.

I hope you enjoyed this article about how social media is changing the way that we travel.

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Published by Michael J Schiemer
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