I could write about these baffling statistics for hours, but I’d rather jump into the more interesting part – why are they important to the travel industry?
To start, I will need to jump into some more statistics (I’m a geek, I know) on how travelers research and make decisions related to their holiday preferences. Here are some interesting stats:
- Almost 40% of all tour and activity bookings are made online
- 95% of travelers read reviews before booking
- 85% of consumers read up to 10 reviews before they feel that they can trust a business
- 85% of customers expect businesses to be active on social media
- 92% of consumers say they trust earned media, such as social media, word of mouth, a recommendation from friends and family, above all forms of advertising
There are three essential reasons anyone in tourism should use a social listening tool.
- Monitor your brand
As already stated, consumers rely on information read through the internet and social media to decide where to spend their money. One negative mention can make your potential customer look the other way, close the browser tab and search for other options. Can you imagine then how many damage even fifteen negative mentions can do? With media monitoring tools, you can be alerted about any negative brand reviews in real-time and react to make sure the mistake never happens again. In addition to that, you can directly address criticism, try to reduce the damage and maybe even turn their review from negative to positive.
- Keep an eye on your competitors
Having the right information about your competitors is even more important you think. And we often overestimate our abilities to keep tabs on what they are doing. I’m sure you’ve been in many situations where you were surprised. For instance, let’s say I own a kayaking agency and earn most of my money in the summer. Come June, I still have a relatively low number of requests from potential customers. So I turn to my competitor’s social media channels to see what they’ve been up to, only to find that they’ve had a major “30% off during June” campaign. No wonder his boats are rented and mine aren’t! How could this have been avoided? If I had kept tabs on my competitor through a media monitoring tool, I would’ve known about his offer the minute he posted it online. I could have countered it with a better offer and could have had a good portion of that traffic to myself. Silly me.
- Find potential leads
Now that our brand is carefully watched, monitored and nurtured, let’s dig in the pool of opportunities to attract new customers. For example, if I want to find people who are visiting Croatia but don’t know where to go or what to visit, I can monitor their public requests through Mediatoolkit and send them messages with my offer directly so that I can make my hotel, activity or location a must stop for their Croatia trip. Here are some of the examples I found:
Now that I’ve found potential deals, I can approach them directly through social media and offer them a discount for a kayaking adventure or ask them to participate in a giveaway I launched on my social media webpage. There are a lot of possibilities, all I have to do is be proactive and engage.
Monitoring your brand and your online reputation has become a key factor for the tourism industry in the last decade. The information is just a few clicks away, and customers don’t really care about your great marketing if they’ve read hundreds of negative experiences about you online. Use media monitoring to respond immediately to anything that’s happening and create new opportunities for your brand.
Update made on July 15th 2019.