Social media has taken the world by storm. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest have become the most popular content sharing platforms. With 72% of internet users actively using social media (Jeff Bullas), we have become an online sharing culture and brands are becoming hip to the trend. With social media being an influential part of our everyday lives, does social media play a part on how we book travel? Here’s what we found out.

Social Media Are Major Influencers

Travelers love to dream about their next vacation, between travel related posts on Pinterest and vacation photos their friends post on various social media sites, consumers have plenty of inspiration. This is a vital step in the planning process because the trip seed has been planted and will continue to harvest within the next few steps.

  • 74% of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions. (Source:CeBIT)
  • 83% of leisure travelers use social networking, video, or photo sites are top online sources of inspiration for leisure travelers.  (2014 Google Traveler’s Road to Decision)
  • 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases (Jeff Bullas)

Social Media Less Influential In Planning and Booking 

Social media may influence travel inspiration but one of the biggest factors of booking travel is cost. A study from Text100 shows that “the influence of social media is strong at the points where inspiration for a trip is being sought and at the point where consumers are busily sharing their experiences, but not at the point where money changes. Once consumers finish the booking stage and enter the experiencing and sharing phase, social media use increases, which prompts their  followers’ dreaming stage of travel.

  • Around two-thirds (68%) use their mobile devices to stay in touch with friends and family while on vacation – higher than those taking photos (43%) or checking news sources (20%).
  • Over half (52%) post photos and videos during their travels, while 25 percent write reviews.

Will this change?

Hotel brands have recently provided consumers with the option to book a room through Twitter and Instagram, skipping the planning phase entirely. It is only a matter of time before more brands jump on the social media booking bandwagon.With a combination of over a billion monthly active users on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter combined, brands will come up with new ways utilize social media to get consumers from looking to booking in as few steps as possible.

 


IcePortal helps clients manage and distribute visual content to over 11 million unique visitors a month on 1,000s of travel and local websites around the globe in nine languages. To know more about us visit our social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+; visit ICEPortal, or give us a call at (+1)954-893-6778. We would love to hear from you!
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