Travel and social media go together famously. People love to share their vacations and travel experiences online, and social is a great way to keep in touch while you’re traveling abroad.
It’s no wonder, then, that travel companies take social seriously; it’s a window straight to their target audience. So what are the smartest travel brands doing to get the most return from social? Here are a few examples.
Turn Customer Questions into Cash
In Q1, customers asked companies nearly eight million questions through tweets and Facebook posts. The average response rate for US companies was only 18% on Twitter and 59% on Facebook. To many companies, having to provide customer care on social media may look like a timesink. The truth is that the demand for customer care is actually a huge opportunity for any business — and can often have a significant impact on the bottom line.
Dutch airline KLM finds a huge return from staying on top of customer inquiries via social. Many customers rely on KLM to help them make last-minute flight changes, bookings, upgrades, or cancellations. Just last year, KLM made over $28 million from the work of their social media customer service team alone. That sort of revenue is only possible when companies see social customer care as an opportunity instead of a burden.
Remarket with Social Ads
Brand recognition matters as much in travel as it does for any other industry. It can be easy for potential customers to hop from travel aggregator site to travel aggregator site and just choose the travel option that’s cheapest, without much consideration for the brand. Travel companies especially need to position themselves in front of relevant consumers as often as they can.
They would do well to use social advertising techniques like remarket. Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor do a great deal of remarket on Facebook, serving ads back to consumers who recently visited their site or have potential interest in their services.
The return on remarketing, if done correctly, can be very strong. We’ve found that native ads within the News Feed work exceptionally well, and many brands see a higher conversion rate from them as compared to other Facebook ad units. As Social Media Examiner notes, remarketing on Facebook is often cheaper than remarketing through Google or other search engines. With a proper remarket, you’ll receive a high return on ad spend through the additional purchases that may have very well gone to your competitors.
Offer Unique, Localized Promotions
Travel is all about location, so location should be a natural factor in your social strategy. JetBlue has started more than a few social promotions based on this idea.
A couple of summers ago, they began a promotion to give customers flying out of New York City airports a discount whenever the temperature in Central Park rose above a certain temperature. The promotion generated a ton of buzz on social and ultimately led to a lot of bookings. It also led to a ton of press, which contributed to the promotion ending early when its popularity overwhelmed the company.
The promotion did well because it offered a strong discount, tied into a real-world event, and was localized. When travel brands create personalized promotions, they’re sure to see success.
The role of social media has expanded greatly since its inception. Though important, posting content is only one of the many things brands can do to leverage social and reach their target audiences. There are huge business possibilities on social, and with the right tools, teams, and measurement, brands have more potential than ever.