Believe it or not, social media has now become part of our lives. It's a key communication tool for all levels of relations, whether personal or family.
This has ignited brands to adapt latest trends with an aim to reach their online targets and new markets.
Talking of new trends, we look at the four major developments that have affected the way we all experience travel from the point you get your tickets online to the point you rate your experience.
Social media tags
With the advent of the smartphone euphoria you are likely to be part of a friend's "planning phase" through tags, shares and status posts either seeking advice, or simply expressing their anticipation. Using metrics, hoteliers can identify specific individuals who have shown interest in exploring destinations. Therefore, if well timed, this is the best phase to get potential customers and lead them to your service.
Word of mouth recommendations
According to Lilian Gaitho from Jumia Travel, online communities, usually joined together by a common interest or background such as alumnus groups, religious factions, neighborhood watch and the like are great starting points for almost unbiased recommendations. The simple idea that a buyer is more likely to trust word of mouth from a friend of a friend than they would an online ad will affect a traveler's planning and final action.
Blogging and micro-blogging
Some people tend to post short excerpts and stories from their travel in real time. Think of snapchat, or the latest introduced " Whatsappstories" or Instagram stories that easily capture mood, environment and reactions in a continuous prose without the need to sit down to produce a long winding documentary! If not these, Facebook fans also do not seem to mind going live, or even typing down briefs that capture their experiences as their journey or stay unfold.
Reviews and likes
In this article, Invesp, a marketing and analytics firm observes that 90% of consumers read online reviews before placing an order or making a purchase. Even more intriguing is that a staggering 88% trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations per the survey.
Sharing our reviews on social media is seen as a channel for free expression and could go anyway; for a thumbs up on service and experience, a lukewarm expression or a downright disappointment. These, will no doubt influence the decisions of any traveler who comes across them.