What if I told you that TripAdvisor is no longer the most popular review site for the travel industry? Based on a great new study published by the fine folks at Skift, Facebook have become more popular for finding travel inspiration and reviews than traditional online review sites like TripAdvisor. While one might not think of Facebook as a review site, the content created by travelers serve as reviews whether they have a star rating or not. Not only does this study tease out which social networks are being trusted for review content, it also highlights user behavior when it comes to leveraging reviews.
40% of travelers share their travel experiences somewhere online
27% Shared to Facebook
18% shared to Trip Advisor
4% shared to Pinterest
1% Shared to Twitter
Travelers are increasingly looking to their peers on social media sites for travel inspiration and reviews
77% of travelers said that they will be planning a trip this year based on the reviews of others
16% found reviews from other travelers to be not trustworthy
Americans under the age of 34 are the most likely to take reviews into consideration while planning a trip
Americans over the age of 55 are the least likely to consider them.
What does all of this tell us? No matter where they are posted, online reviews are a huge part of the consideration process when it comes to planning a trip for the digital consumer. Many brands in the hotel and travel industry think monitoring traditional reviews sites for bad press is sufficient; however they are missing a major opportunity if they aren't active on social media sites. We have to shift our thinking from star rating, to what people are saying. I personally love this study as it confirms that Facebook and other social media sites are becoming more engrained in the brand presentation for the travel industry. It's time to stop letting your receptionist, secretary or front desk staff manage your social presence!
So what can brands do?
Get serious about social media marketing and dedicate knowledgeable resources to manage the efforts
Implement a social listening strategy to keep an eye out for bad review content
Have a plan on how to remedy negative reviews or content
Implement a content strategy that lets your brand shine
What do you think about this study? Do you turn to Facebook and other social media sites for travel inspiration?