Can Social Media Boost Tourism Marketing?

Jun 11, 2013

Word of mouth has long been a powerful factor in advertising and marketing efforts, provoking new clientele while having the potential to, similarly, affect businesses in a negative manner. Since so many people look to their friends and family when making important decisions about activities, recreation and large purchases, it is no surprise that social media has become a method consumers are using to share how they feel about ideas, businesses, companies and potential purchases.

social media

Why is Social Media Valuable to Tourism

Social media makes it very easy for users to share information and opinions for one another. Similarly, it also makes it very easy for users to share information, ask for help making decisions and seek out the ideas of people who have frequented a business when making a potential buying decision.

Tourism and travel are a buying decision that can sometimes be time-consuming to plan and costly for some people, depending on the destination. As a result, travel and recreation are the types of buying decisions many travelers look to fellow travelers when discovering more information about what a place has to offer and whether it can meet their needs.

Negative Travel Perception

Just as social media can be a powerful tool in creating a buzz, highlighting safety and displaying the various activities and draw of a destination, social media can also be detrimental to a destination’s brand. Multiple negative comments, shares, blog posts and even news that goes viral can quickly diminish the value of a destination and hurt the tourism for a region.

Addressing Negative Social Media in the Tourism Industry

One of the best ways to manage the brand of a region and use social media to build tourism is by addressing both positive and negative connotations that have been associated with a region. Replying to comments and criticisms in a professional manner can highlight the aspect of listening and show travelers that issues may be resolved and problems are not simply overlooked. In addition to providing a method of interaction between a destination and potential travelers, commenting on problems and even positive testimonials creates a sense of community.

By using social media to listen to potential travelers, respond to potential problems and highlight the quality aspects for a specific place, tourism industries can display their own brand and help create an identity potential visitors can relate to. As a result, creating a sense of community where sharing is welcome and encouraged, social media can be used to provoke continued repeat visits by those who’ve already seen a region while giving potential visitors the chance to check out a destination and converse with other social media community members. Tapping into the power of social media as a method of promoting word-of-mouth advertising is a valuable tool that tourism industries, like brands and companies, can tap into in order to expand and share the diverse aspects that make them unique and special in contrast without other places around the globe.