Tourism is one industry where customers are most active on review sites. Customers use review sites to book tickets, check-in at hotels, write about their travel experience, and more. The travel itineraries of individual bloggers and common people are also frantically posted all over the internet.
For these reasons, tourism businesses have easy access to customer data. However, this can also act like a double-edged sword. While people share their happy experiences on social media, they also use it to narrate unpleasant memories.
If you are in the tourism industry, you have to take both types of customers into account while planning services. Ignoring customer feedback and opinions can affect your online image. The role of social media in the travel and tourism business cannot be ignored.
Importance of Social Media Analytics in the Tourism Industry
Social media analytics is the process of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting customer data. It plays a huge role in business decisions, especially in industries that operate through online means. Here is why it is important to understand the role of social media analytics in tourism business.
1. Understanding the behavior of Tourists
Travel packages and plans are designed to lure avid travelers. It is important to understand their mindset. Yet, you must also understand that no two minds think alike. Likewise, you have to gather information about different types of travelers, their preferences, and their overall behavior.
Manual collection and interpretation of customer data is next to impossible. Social media analytics tools automate this process. By doing so, they save you time and resources.
Social listening is an integral part of social media analytics. Social listening comprises a set of intelligent tools that collect raw data. Also, they derive meaning and insights from the raw data. This makes it easy for you to use customer segmentation to create different types of customer profiles. Based on these profiles, you can design different types of travel packages and target specific audiences!
2. Tracking Customer Sentiments
The sentiments of customers are attached to their travel plans. Some might be planning holidays with friends. Some might be looking for honeymoon packages. Senior citizens might be looking for religious travel destinations.
As a business owner, you must handle customer sentiments with care. A slight inconvenience might agitate them and damage your online reputation. Using social media analytics for the tourism business makes sense because it detects the issue before it turns into a crisis.
Tracking customer sentiments in real-time is possible by using social analytical tools. By analyzing customer insights and sentiments, you can protect your online reputation or take steps to improve it.
3. Monitoring Competitors
The travel and tourism industry is so competitive that you have to be on your toes to stay ahead of your competitors. Travel agents, travel operators, lodging and catering service providers, transport providers, tour information services, and guides are different sub-sectors of this industry. There is serious competition in these sectors.
The advantage of social media analytics is that it also allows you to observe what your competitors are doing. By monitoring their strategies, you can revamp your own. Similarly, you can learn from their mistakes and emerge as a smart player in your sector. For these reasons, it is important to keep a close watch on social media trends in the tourism industry.
Have you read these current social analytics trends?
Key Metrics and Tools for Social Media Analytics
Social media and the tourism industry are closely connected. You can use social media analytics to measure the performance of your strategies.
The huge influx of data from all sides can easily leave you baffled. Using KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) helps steer your social media strategy in the right direction. By using KPIs, you can design campaigns that align with the requirements and expectations of your audience.
Here are key social media metrics for the tourism business.
1. Reach and Impressions
Reach tells you how many customers have viewed your content or know about your brand. With more reach, you can create a positive reputation on the internet. Reach is measured by using your follower count, post impressions, share of voice, and other indicators.
Impressions just count the total views that your content has received in a given period. For example, if one customer views your ad twice, it creates two impressions. So, impressions cannot give an exact idea of your reach.
2. Engagement Metrics (Likes, Shares, and Comments)
The metrics that matter are those that help measure your engagement level. Likes, shares, and comments are different ways through which customers engage with your content.
A higher number of likes and comments indicates that customers are interested in your brand. A higher number of shares indicates customers are impressed with your post and want to share it with their friends.
By tracking engagement metrics, you can gauge whether your content marketing ideas are working or not. If the engagement metrics indicate a downward trend, it means it is time to redefine your marketing ideas and content strategies.
3. Conversion and Click-Through Rates
Conversion refers to customers who have actually taken the action that you had expected from your campaign. For example, if enough leads are generated through a lead generation campaign, it means your campaign was successful.
Campaigns for increasing sales, subscriptions, traffic, etc. can also be measured using the conversion metric. The click-through rate is a metric used to calculate the number of people who have taken the intended action of your campaign.
An ideal CTR, or Click-Through rate, can be different for different types of businesses. The average CTR, or conversion rate, of a travel industry website is 4.7%.
4. Hashtag Performance
Hashtag tools are used to track everything being said about your brand. By using hashtag performance, you can count mentions and engagement rates. It is also possible to analyze customer sentiment using hashtags. If the negative hashtag is trending, it means the overall sentiment regarding your brand is negative. Similarly, if hashtags in support of your brand are trending, it is a positive sign for your business.
Various hashtag tools are being used in the tourism industry to measure hashtag performance. Using hashtag performance, you can analyze why some posts are doing well and others aren’t meeting your expectations. New hashtags, trending hashtags, and top hashtags are some types of hashtags that you need to track.
Hashtags like #tourism and #travel are the most popular hashtags in this industry. Some hashtags like #photography, #nature, #vacation, etc. are also related to this industry. So, the next time you post something on social media, do not forget to add these hashtags.
Using hashtag tracking tools, you can set the hashtags for your campaigns. These tools will track hashtag performance, through which you can analyze the performance of your posts/campaigns.
5. Social Media Listening Tools
Social media listening tools have evolved so much that they have become an integral part of social media analytics. To understand social media and its impact on the tourism industry, you can use social listening tools. These are sophisticated tools that use AI and other technologies to track what customers say and think about your brand.
By tracking customer conversations and brand mentions, you can manage your online reputation. By using the customer insights offered by these tools, you can optimize your marketing campaigns.
Social listening tools are also used to anticipate evolving trends in the market. They can also help predict a social media crisis.
Read more to know how you can track social media analytics.
Leveraging Data For Customer Personalization
Personalization is the best thing businesses can introduce into their marketing strategies. Personalization refers to the process of adding a personal touch while engaging with customers.
Social media analytics helps you understand a customer’s behavior, interests, buying patterns, and other details from their previous history. Using this, you can add personal elements and improve their online journeys.
For example, if a person searches for the best trekking spots, social media analytics will convey his interest. You can address this person as ‘Hello Mr. Trek Lover’, the next time you send an email. It will not only make him feel special but also make him more connected to your brand.
Here are some ways of using personalization in your marketing and content ideas.
1. Customized Content Creation
Each customer is different and so are their needs. You can use a special content strategy for each type of customer. Social media analytics helps you identify these customer types.
For example, you can create videos and short clips for the customers who mostly watch videos on social media. Similarly, blogs, travel itineraries, and informative posts can be used for customers who like to read articles.
Through social listening tools, you can classify the customers based on their viewing preferences, age groups, interests, occupations, and other details. Through these details, you can create different customer segments or profiles. The marketing campaigns can be designed to target specific audience groups based on these insights.
2. Tailored Marketing Campaigns
Tailored marketing strategies involve creating marketing strategies based on demographics, age, gender, interests, and online behavior of customers. Customers can be targeted based on their location, traveling interests, hobbies, etc. Social media analytical tools provide you with the data necessary for curating such campaigns.
Specific conditions are to be met when it comes to tailored marketing campaigns. For example, you can create a marketing campaign for trekkers who fall in the 18-40 age group. Similarly, a marketing campaign can be created for newly married couples.
3. Personalized Customer Support
Adding personalization while providing customer support services can be beneficial in many ways. By understanding the preferences of specific customers, you can include upselling and cross-selling strategies through your support services.
Suppose that your customer has contacted you to register a complaint regarding a recent experience at a hotel. You can register the complaint and apologize for the inconvenience caused. If the customer is a beach lover, you can offer a discounted beach resort stay as compensation.
Analyzing Trends and Insights for Marketing Strategies
There are many applications of social analytics in tourism. Its most prominent use is in analyzing recent trends in the tours and travel industry. By identifying the trends, you can create travel plans and packages that resonate with their requirements. Here are the ways of using trends and insights for marketing strategies.
1. Identifying Peak Travel Seasons
In India, the traveling season starts in September and ends in May. Monsoon is considered to be an off-season for travel enthusiasts. Similarly, there are different peak seasons for different locations.
For example, people visit hill stations during summer and prefer beaches in winter. Identifying peak travel seasons as per the interests of certain types of customers requires a lot of time and research. The efforts can be minimized by using social listening tools. These tools can track when the travel interests spike at particular locations.
As the trends are recognised based on data, they are always accurate. Once you have identified the peak seasons, you can create your marketing campaigns and release them at an appropriate time.
2. Targeting Specific Demographics
Using social media analytics for tourism is a smart move because it allows you to target audiences based on their age, gender, location, and other demographic details. By creating targeted ads and content, you can reduce the wastage of time and resources.
In the tourism industry, you will find that the traveling interests, patterns, and other details vary as per the demographics. So, using this strategy can help you optimize your marketing strategies.
3. Discovering Emerging Destinations
The travel industry thrives on ambiguity, uniqueness, and anonymity. To spike the interests of travel enthusiasts, you can uncover untraveled destinations. The zeal to explore new places and tourist spots drives the tourism industry. Social media analytics can help you uncover these spots by analyzing social conversations.
Creating packages and travel itineraries on new and emerging destinations can help your business a lot. You can establish your industry leadership by creating content around these topics.
Best Practices for Social Media Analytics Implementation
Knowing what to expect from the audience is the key factor in the tourism industry. The impact of social analytics in the tourism industry can be maximized by using the right marketing strategies. Here are the best practices to follow while using social media data analytics for the tourism business.
1. Set Clear Goals and KPIs
Your first step would be to define clear goals and objectives for your marketing strategies. Once aware of your goals, you can set the right metrics to measure their performance.
For example, if your goal is to increase customer reach, track KPIs like reach and impressions. However, if your goal is to increase engagement, likes, followers, and comments should be your marketing KPIs. Similarly, different KPIs can be used for different marketing goals.
2. Use Multiple Social Media Platforms
Using multiple social media platforms makes sense as customers tend to explore different social media apps and networking sites. Also, the audiences use different social media platforms for different things.
For instance, they will search for the ‘best places to visit during monsoon’ on Instagram. When it comes to seeking travel tips and recommendations, they may use review sites and travel communities. Understand the nuances of each platform and use it in the best way possible. It will enable you to maximize the use of social media analytics in the tourism industry.
3. Stay Updated with Social Media Trends
Social media trends can help you create content that resonates with the audience. Memes are trending, and making videos and content around memes can help you maximize your post’s reach and impact.
As social media trends keep evolving, tracking these trends and incorporating them into your marketing strategies is key. Social media analytics can help you stay updated with these trends and implement them subtly in your marketing campaigns.
4. Collaborate with Influencers and Partners
Collaborating with the right influencers and partners can be the perfect way to grow and succeed in the travel industry. If you run a tour guide company, travel agents, hotels, and transport companies can be your partners. With the help of these partners, you can offer discounts, deals, and offers on your website. Ultimately, it will attract customers and help your business grow by many folds!
Influencers enjoy a huge following on social media. You can collaborate with influencers to create impactful marketing strategies. Their expertise with content can help you improve your online reach and reputation.
5. Continuously Refine and optimize Strategies
As social media trends and customer habits keep evolving, you must refine and optimize your marketing strategies. Sticking to one strategy can limit your potential to grow. By using customer insights and data, you can discover new ways to lure the audience.
Challenges and Limitations of Social Media Analytics in Tourism
Here are the challenges you may face while implementing social media analytics in the tourism business.
1. Data Overload and Analysis Paralysis
Data overload can lead to overanalysis or overthinking. It ultimately leads to analysis paralysis, which is a stage at which you cannot make a decision even after having enough data.
To avoid this issue, you must focus only on the data that is relevant to your business. Limiting your data collection sources and using automated AI tools for analysis can also solve this problem.
2. Identifying Reliable Data Sources
Finding the right sources to retrieve data can also be a challenge. Also, some social networking sites do not allow you to gather customer data beyond a limit. Research the available data sources and pick the right ones to overcome this limitation.
3. Language and Cultural Barriers
In a multilingual country like India, it is difficult to rely on only one language or state, especially in the tourism sector which is wide and diverse. Using translation tools and AI that deduces meaning irrespective of the language barrier can work. To understand cultural differences, you would want to hire an expert.
There is a huge scope of social media in the travel and tourism industry. To acquire customers and establish your supremacy in this industry, you can use social media analytical tools. Konnect Insights is a platform that is powered by AI, social listening, social CRM, and other tools. It allows you to monitor social media conversations. Visit Konnect Insights today and take your travel business to newer heights!