Social media has long evolved from a place to like, share, and comment. Today, it’s all-encompassing, with many people using it to get their fix of information about news, products, services, and so much more. Many social media networks have also become a place to buy products and services, from furniture to holidays.
Almost a quarter of all online purchases are made on social media, according to research from Visa. As a travel brand, social media can play an integral role in making people aware of your holidays and giving them an avenue to book their next getaway.
In this guide, we’re looking at why social media is now such an important selling tool – not just for generating interest in your holiday services. But also as a genuine way to sell and boost your bottom line.
The comfortability factor 💺
There’s no doubt that people have become more comfortable using social media to make purchases. Many are even searching for alternatives to tried and tested methods for buying online, looking for ways to purchase that are more seamless.
Fifty-four percent of people use social media to research a brand. If they’re happy with what they find, they often want to experience the entire journey through social media – from the initial research to transacting.
Shopping habits are changing, especially with younger demographics such as Generation Z.
Around 23% of adults search for holidays on social media, while 16% use associated hashtags to find the type of vacation they want. Social media is second nature to most internet users, and advertising and selling your holidays on there is a great way to attract more customers to your travel brand.
The role of influencers ✌️
Micro and nano influencers are having a greater impact on people’s buying decisions online. By striking up partnerships with businesses, the brand is able to come across as more authentic and therefore promote products and services without seeming like they’re simply after a sale.
They add a layer of personalisation to the process, which sits well with audiences who crave authenticity. Micro and nano influencers can offer a detailed knowledge of products they genuinely like while having a greater connection with their followers than, say, the brand or a super influencer.
Their reach might be smaller, but it’s also more concentrated. That means purchase percentages can end up being higher than if a super-influencer is promoting a product to a generalised audience of millions.
Social media platforms 👍
Social networks are well aware of the power of using their platforms so consumers can complete purchases. Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook have all spent considerable resources refining the user experience so audiences can buy products and services with minimum fuss.
Facebook Shops, for example, lets businesses create digital storefronts that act as product catalogues for consumers. And platforms like Facebook and Snapchat want to go one step further, refining the digital shopping experience to be more like physical stores.
Whether through augmented reality (AR) or other means, social media networks are keen to become the go-to places to shop for a range of products and services. Many customers like to stay on one platform, and if they land on a social media network in search of travel inspiration, they’ll be happy to go through the entire process in that space.
What does this all mean for travel brands? 🧳
There has never been a better time to be on social media, especially as the networks continue evolving into platforms where people live their digital lives. The market is more extensive than it’s ever been, which means there is greater scope to find your audiences and convert them to customers.
From promoting brand awareness to generating leads and turning them into actual customers, social media is now a platform that can do it all. That’s why its resources are growing, with budgets increasing by an average of 20 percent.
They continue to grow at the expense of print media, as companies now see social media as the de facto way to gain traction. As a travel brand that gives you plenty of opportunities to be creative and resonate with your message while selling key products and services all on the same platform.
Social selling and the future
Travel brands that aren’t currently selling products and services on social media might decide that it’s time to rethink their strategy. And the companies that already have something in place find themselves in a strong position to benefit from the raft of customers who now want to transact on platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram without leaving the sites. With more than a third of people planning to buy on social media, the selling space is evolving. And it’s becoming increasingly social.