Have you booked any holidays recently? Did you happen to find any information about your destination through social media channels?
Social media has quickly become the key to discovery for travel brands, as well as services such as Booking.com or Airbnb. Type a destination hashtag into Instagram’s search and, as well as posts from local tourism boards, you’ll find authentic experiences from other travellers (and paid influencers) to inspire your next trip. Most of our friends still share holiday photos on Facebook too.
I remember when my mum used to have catalogues by travel organisers on our dining room table, and the catalogues were shared and discussed with friends, neighbours, and colleagues. These days, younger generations might not order a print catalogue and gather around it but the same social elements are still there in a different way. According to Falcon.io, a staggering 87% of Millennials use social media for travel inspiration – they share and discuss their travel plans with people they know, bloggers and influencers, and directly with travel brands too.
With this changing consumer behaviour in mind, some of the key reasons why all travel destinations should be active on social media channels include:
- Increased reach and brand awareness: An active social media feed of images and key information about the destination attracts new audiences to visit your websites, and mobile apps.
- Increased conversion rates: Social media channels drive traffic to your website - and a stunning image from your destination might be the last piece in the puzzle convincing your next guest to book their holiday.
- Improved customer satisfaction: By sharing up-to-date information, participating in conversations (social selling), and having one-to-one discussions with both your existing and potential customers, you will be able to increase customer satisfaction rates.
Creating high-quality content and being active on social channels is one thing, but the most successful travel brands create user-generated content campaigns encouraging travellers to share content mentioning their branded hashtag (or tagging them to images). Authentic content from other travellers will reach audiences that aren’t following your brand at the moment - and social proof from a friend or an influencer increases conversion rates.
So, how do you display user-generated content and social media feeds on your website to increase conversions? We’ve gathered a list of some of our favourite brands for your inspiration:
Jay Peak Resort
Jay Peak, a resort in Northern Vermont, offers a mountain getaway, indoor waterpark, disc golf course, and much more. Jay Peak has beautiful mountain landscapes to show and a relatively young audience who're active on social media channels.
Jay Peak Resorts is using Flockler to track and gather mentions of their hashtag and then highlight the best entries on their homepage and throughout the website. This makes sense: Instagram feeds on websites and other digital services increase the time spent on site and encourage others to find out more about locations and resorts.
One of best ways to spend your holiday week (or two) is to jump on a luxurious cruise trip and visit multiple destinations in one go. With Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, you can enjoy a visit to the romantic coastal towns of France, head north to Lofoten and Norway’s fjords, or spend your Christmas amongst the palms.
Sounds amazing? It is! And the images shared by the company's customers are absolutely fascinating too! Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' homepage welcomes visitors with a beautiful grid of user-generated content – a lot of smiley faces and stunning landscapes are guaranteed!
Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl
Have you ever booked a “Room with a view” for your holiday?
Romantic Hotel Muottas Muragl in Switzerland can definitely claim they provide exactly that for your stay. And what would be a better way to highlight it than adding a social media wall with the #muottasmuragl hashtag?
Social proof by other hotel guests and a social media wall embedded on your website increases the number of bookings and encourages others to share their images too.
Marco Polo Reisen
I think I already mentioned that younger groups like Millennials are actively looking for tips and inspiration via social media channels when planning their next trip. Therefore, it comes to no surprise that Marco Polo Reisen’s Young Line website features a feed of Instagram images. They are encouraging customers, 20-35 year-olds, to share their experiences and feedback with the hashtag #MPYLT. This content is then displayed as an elegant social media feed on their homepage.