Africa Travel Week

How travel brands can use social media

From gaining destination inspiration on Instagram to saving mouth-watering meals on Pinterest ‘must visit’ boards, social media has a huge influence on where people visit.

Travellers use social media at every stage of their trip and now is the time for travel brands to make sure they are getting the most out of it.

Research supports the theory that social media has the power to sway travel decisions. 55% of people like social media pages related to trips they are planning. Get social media right, and you’ll be attracting your target audience in no time.

While 48% of travellers don’t take inspiration from travel brands, they do pay attention to the destinations their favourite influencers visit. User-generated content, whether it’s from content creators or just regular Instagram users, often heavily influences people’s travel decisions.

Bearing this in mind, here’s a couple of reasons why you should invest time in social media to connect with travellers:

Attract new customers and spread the word

In a post-coronavirus world, people will likely spend even more time on social media. Within the next 24 months, social media use is predicted to increase to about 3.1 Billion. Right now, 87% of millennials use Facebook for travel inspiration. Therefore it’s important to create a social media presence to establish your brand online. 43% of social media users have purchased a product by liking a photo via Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Therefore, getting your social media strategy could really transform your sales and help you stand out against your competition.

Build customer satisfaction

Social media platforms have become a recognisable tool for communicating faster with brands. 63% of people use social media for service-related needs, so if you want to increase customer satisfaction a strong social media presence and response rate to messages will be important.

Want to know who’s doing social media well within the travel sphere? Here’s a couple we can think of right now:

Condé Nast Traveller – With over 2.6 million followers, their Instagram feed is effortlessly curated. Conde Nast have cherry picked their content and know how to build a loyal and engaged community.

Travel + Leisure – With a follower count of 5.2 million, Travel + Leisure know exactly what modern travellers want. You can witness their attention to detail in each post and how the brand is built on projecting their visual identity.

Creating a visual identity that is consistently communicated via social media is key to keeping your brand relevant. Travel brands like @virtuosoltd use their Instagram profile to market their offering, showcase their values and let people know what they stand for. It’s very important to build a consistent presence through the content you publish on platforms like Instagram. Travel influencers like @chrisburkard & @spiritedpursuit promote beauty in travel and give their followers a familiar figure to follow and identify with. In a competitive market where individuality is key, having a well-known figure that travellers can relate to will play to your advantage.

There are lots of engaging ways to accelerate your audience growth right now. Why not host regular Instagram take over campaigns with influencers to expose your profile to their followers and build a bank of high quality content that you can post? This strategy take minimal effort but can have a huge payoff in terms of brand awareness. You will be surprised at how engaged your audience will be once they know they can expect regular content from you.

Now is the time to take exciting risks with social media content and promote your business. The important thing is to share regular content and be honest with your audience about your brand journey and what you have to offer.

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.