Travel brands have been one of the biggest winners since social networks turned to advertising. After a difficult introduction to the online world, the travel industry is enjoying some of its biggest perks – and 2017 is already looking like a big year for travel brands.
So, in the spirit of things, we thought we’d take a moment to cover which of the social networks we think travel brands should be focusing on this year.
Facebook for the Millennials
Facebook is raising the bar every year in terms of travel marketing and this is the one network you probably can’t do without. Facebook allows you to target people with honeymoon ads as soon as they announce their engagement or wait until travellers are in your city to start showing them with ads for your local services. Those targeting options are insanely powerful.
Facebook knows how important it is to travel brands these days, too. Last year the network introduced specialist Dynamic Ads for travel brands with a number of targeting options to show your best offers to people looking for that next break away.
Dynamic Ads for travel are only available for hotel inventory at this stage but Facebook says they will expand across other travel inventories soon.
The other big news from 2016 for travel brands was Facebook bringing chatbots to its Messenger app. These things are going to transform the travel industry this year! We’ll be publishing a post on the best travel chatbots we’ve seen so far in a couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Instagram for the young adults
We’ve talked about Instagram being the hottest tool in travel marketing before. Almost half of users on the network use it to find new travel destinations and later share their experiences across Instagram and Facebook.
Two very important things have happened for travel marketers since Facebook bought Instagram in 2012. First, people see their friends’ Instagram content on Facebook, even if they don’t use Instagram themselves – and that adds to some already impressive reach.
More importantly, Facebook’s immense targeting options have also made their way to Instagram and these two networks make a fine pair for modern travel brands – especially if you want to target the younger age bracket of Instagram and the slightly older Facebook bracket.
Don’t forget about YouTube
Video content is an important part of the research process for people planning their next big holiday. Google says three in five travellers who watch online videos use them to help them make their buying choices:
*Source: Think with Google
By posting your own travel videos and advertising on YouTube, you’ll be establishing your brand on one of the most important tools travellers use to plan their ventures. There’s also the fact YouTube videos rank rather nicely in Google – another channel no travel brand can do without.
Snapchat: the rising star of 2017?
Of all the networks for travel brands to keep an eye on in 2017, Snapchat looks like the most exciting right now. Perhaps not the most obvious choice for travel marketers, this particular image sharing network has been overlooked for many years. However, it’s starting to get attention from some major travel brands – most famously Marriot Hotels.
Snapchat is becoming the network for youngsters with a whopping 45% of its userbase being aged 18 to 24 years old. Even Instagram’s hip and trendy crowd only squeezes 23% of its users into that same age bracket.
— Gokhan Salmanoglu (@GSalmanoglu) June 25, 2015
So keep an eye on Snapchat this year because it could be the next tool travel marketers are fighting over.
It’s going to be an interesting year in the travel industry and social networks will play a key role in how you connect with holidaymakers. So make sure you’re on the right platforms to begin with and producing the kind of engaging content users are looking for on each of them.