As a businessperson, owning or managing a hotel, have you ever asked yourself if your company’s Facebook page is worth it to invest your attention and time in it? Or is there anything at all, that a simple Instagram photo can do to attract more real customers?

Isn’t the social media there just for fun and entertainment?

The answer is yes – it is there to entertain, but in this fun process of inspiration, consumers choose their future tourist destination.

In fact, according to Facebook, 52% of the users were inspired from a friend’s photos for their future travel plans. In addition, 55% liked the social media pages of hotels and travel destinations, related to the trips they are planning.

Not only inspiration level is important for the online marketers in the last several years, but it became a special statistical metric, called Engagement. These are all the “likes”, “shares” and “comments” of a company’s online publication.

The social media is no longer just a fun factor and the numbers are speaking for themselves:

2 B
Facebook has more than 2 Billion daily-active users
0 %
of the users have liked a brand in Facebook. Hotels and airlines are the most popular
30 %
of people use Facebook on vacation, because they like to share the experience with their friends
0 %
of people share photos from their vacations in Facebook when they return home
87 %
of Facebook page’s engagement happens on photo posts
500 M
Instagram has nearly 500 Million daily active users
200 M
More than 200 Million Instagram users visit a business profile at least once daily
30 %
of Instagram users say they’ve bought a product they discovered on Instagram

The travellers of today are privileged with access to a huge amount of online information in the form of social media pages, travel blogs or videos, TripAdvisor reviews, or Instagram photos dedicated to a friend’s latest vacation.

The opportunity of having 24/7 online information, directions and tips, ultimately changed the way travellers are planning a trip – from the moment of inspiration to the booking.

When making their research, travellers no longer plan their trip, based on travel agent’s recommendations. More and more they trust the opinions of their online friends, that share their experiences and write reviews about their holidays. In this regard, the social media is their advanced digital version of the most successful practice for recommendations in tourism – word-of-mouth.

By sharing photos, videos or different activities, each hotel tells its story and this story has to touch the right audience. Yes – it is about touching these emotional parts of the audience and make them desire exactly one place amongst the many like it.

Luckily, websites like Facebook and Instagram make it easy to reach the desired group of customers in the right time of their Buyer’s journey and create for them engaging content.

Even if it is not so easy to measure direct bookings from social media, it is certain that it can play an important role to the business. The unique ability of these online channels to engage, measure, and to build a two-way communication is а sufficient reason for companies to take them seriously as a powerful tool.

The hotels are beginning to understand the power of these online networks and how they can support them with a stronger brand identity, bigger sales, and the ability to interact directly to their guests.

Although the social media is no longer a new thing, its potential is in constant development.

Hotels require marketing specialists that constantly monitor trends in the field, and know how to adapt to them. Especially if the experts know in-depth the specific pulse of their Industry.

The more quickly companies follow these new digital trends the sooner they can transform their online efforts from an expense to an investment.

*Source: Deloitte, Facebook for business, Facebook IQ and Statista