Social media is becoming one of the most important influencers for tourists and most travel brands are increasing their social media marketing budgets accordingly. With Facebook edging towards 1 billion users and the growth of other travel social media sites it’s increasingly important for African tourism operators to use these important tools to promote their operations.
A poll by flights comparison website, Skyscanner.com that photos on Facebook have a very strong influence on Facebook users travel plans. More than half of those polled stated that seeing friends’ holiday snaps inspired them to book a holiday to the same destination. Images can influence users far more than text can and eye-catching photos really connect with users.
With Facebook continued growth and pervasiveness any tourism operator in Africa should consider a Facebook page as an essential part of the their marketing strategy. These days it is often a post or share from a Facebook friend that makes us aware of a particular destination in the first place and when they are from a trusted source they carry great weight.
Where social media is at it’s most powerful is with engaging users and building relationships. With this increased engagement comes more commitment to the brand and these users then promote the operation via word of mouth or “like” and “share” doing your marketing for you.
The Cayman Islands tourism board found that quizzes and comments, along with striking images, led to a significant increase in user engagement and bookings.