Social media as marketing tactic for holiday business

Online marketing in the holiday industry is undergoing a revolution as social media becomes a vital important channel for communicating with potential clients.

Some cutting-edge firms have moved the primary emphasis of their entire marketing effort into the social media realm. The process is inexpensive, and its traffic is self-qualified and so more likely to convert. Social media may soon represent the best practice of marketing in the holiday industry.

The research

Statistical research backs up the anecdotal evidence of social media marketing’s effectiveness. One study specifically concerning the hospitality industry found that social media interaction had a positive effect on consumer’s trust and commitment.

There is a caveat, however. Other researcher shows that, while user-generated communication had a positive effect, material created by the firm had no effect at all. These studies indicate that while use of social media can be so cost-effective as to outclass other channels, effective social media marketing involves not talking to potential customers but giving customers something to talk about.

Strategies for social media marketing

The special nature of the holiday customer, who will doubtless discuss his upcoming trip on line, combines with the results of the research to hint at an array of activities that hospitality companies can encourage in order to maximize the potential of social media marketing.

  1. Offer content that causes conversation. Something amusing or surprising works well, as long as it does not detract from the brand’s image.
  2. Get the consumer to “like” or “follow” the brand. The biggest social media channels have buttons that businesses can put on their web sites to make it easy to do this, as do social bookmarking sites. Use them, and remember that surfers who do this are guests in the firm’s Internet home and should be treated as such, not ignored or bombarded with random offers.
  3. Encourage the customer to comment on posts. Engagement is the key to social media, and there is no better way to get surfers involved that to get them talking. Asking “what do you think?” at the end of a post can be all it takes.
  4. Let surfers share information. Encourage them to tell what they did on their holiday. Sponsor a holiday picture or video contest, and let users vote for the winners. Remember, content that comes from users is more effective than content from the company.
  5. Allow users to share their opinions with others. Positive posts from previous clients will far outweigh the occasional negative response.

In today’s marketplace, social media tactics can make up a large part of a hospitality company’s advertising, whether that firm is a hotel or resort, a restaurant, an attraction or a booking agent. Other marketing channels will still be necessary.

A web site is a basic requirement unless all bookings are made by phone, and leaflets and booklets can be useful. Except for things like these, moving the bulk of a holiday company’s marketing into social media channels can be a very useful tactic.

  • Sally writes for Reserve Apartments who operate Let In Edinburgh the Self Catering specialists. Reserve Apartments also feature properties in Glasgow, for a guide to Glasgow Self Catering Accommodation.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]

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