One thing is certain in the travel and tourism industry - that is, more travellers are turning to the internet for information when looking for hotels, restaurants and other activities whether they are visiting a new city or travelling abroad.
As a lover of travelling, I always like to try out new hotels, restaurants and activities but also regard myself as a loyal customer to many restaurants and hotels.
According to research, one-fifth of leisure travellers worldwide turn to social media platforms for inspiration within different categories of their travel planning including:
Vacation activities (22%)
As for which social media platform specifically is most used by travellers - Facebook came in first as per the same research.
(Via eMarketer 2013 - referencing research conducted by Redshift Research)
Social media and the internet in general, have certainly brought changes to traditional Word-of-Mouth Communication (WOM). WOM used to be a term used for face-to-face relationships but now, consumers are able to share and exchange opinions with anyone in the world.
Now living in Mallorca, I find myself entertaining many guests who come to stay (particularly in the summer months) but many booked up over the winter too and the internet has become my best friend when organising the the schedule for their stay!
The way in which I initially find these restaurants is through Trip Advisor. I believe that Trip Advisor is the most powerful tool for businesses in the travel and tourism industry. But since moving here, I am spending more and more time scouring social media sites.
It's not just me (as I am biased with a background in online marketing) but Google and other search engines are also placing more emphasis on social media activity. Our likes, shares, tweets and other social media activity is becoming more and more powerful in terms of where websites end up in the rankings. So the more we promote a hotel by, say, liking it on our Facebook page, and the more others in our network like it and share it too, then the more likely it is that the hotel will rise up the search engine rankings.
On top of this, Facebook introduced a reviews app at the end of 2013, which has also impacted the way we use social media. If you have a Facebook page for a business and would like this feature, click here for clear instructions on how to implement it.