The Importance of Social Media

Video Transcription

Hi, I'm Tyler Hurst, the VP of Sales and Marketing here at LiveRez.com and I want to welcome you to this week's edition of Whiteboard Wednesday.

Now, today I want to talk about something that we are absolutely familiar with, something that we are all familiar with. Something that seems like a marketing thing that maybe we need to do more of, but why and trying to understand how to do it better. And today I wanna actually talk about social media and how it really relates to travel. Now, before we get into really some of those travel statistics and why, let's talk about the what. Now, thinking just on a mobile device alone. Okay, just on a mobile, not desktop, the top sites, this is surprising statistics that I found. That one of the top sites for usage was actually Instagram, followed by Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook were some of the top being used mobile applications for social media. Now, on a desktop it's a little bit different, you see the Facebook was certainly high up there, Twitter, LinkedIn were certainly there also. But it's kind of interesting to think about what kind of device are guests using when they're traveling.

Now, when we start thinking about the conversation of using social when they're traveling, we have to start understanding if you as a property manager were going to have a social media strategy, why would you want to? So let's talk about some of the why's and then let's talk about some of the stats and then I want to share a personal story that might kind of help. First of all, some of the why's would be first of all, social sharing. Social sharing is an incredible, incredible attribute that you can apply to any great marketing strategy to really help boost your presence online and you don't have to do a lot of the work. You can certainly put something out and let other people share it or reply to it and go ahead and share that with their friends and family. Two, another medium, it's just another way to bring your message out to many viewers on the internet and ultimately it's fairly inexpensive to do so. Social media is basically free, you can certainly do paid advertising which can help to boost your credibility and visibility on social media channels.

And then very lastly is it gives you that credibility. I've certainly been to other places and seen the companies and said, "Man I really like this place," and I go there and there's the Facebook or the Twitter and there's no tags and I can't hashtag or attribute something wonderful about their business. Now, there are some fun facts that really kind of help apply. Number one, 52%, 52% of travelers say that they use social media for their summer vacation inspiration. So if you're not there how can they know? And so it's true, I've certainly done it. I look at places on social media, I follow some travelers and I'm like, "Man, I'd really like to try this." And certainly it's like if someone was at a specific location they'd say "This was really great" or "Try this" or "Go to this location". I certainly want to know about that also, the insider tips per say.

Also, 74% of travelers actually use social media while on vacation. So, how does that help you? Well, once again, if you are unlikable. So if you have the ability for someone to "like" their location, to "like" to company, to "like" something, to write a good review about you it really gives them the ability to find you and to use it. Now on certain travel websites also you'll find the ability that as you view a vacation rental you can actually hit the "like" button. Well, if you think about that, they "like" your property, well interestingly now all their friends see that that individual "liked" something that you've seen and they've just shared that with their community also, and that might continue on. Especially if it's a video, if it's something that's really fun to view. As things go viral that will really help your cause also. But very funny enough is that actually 78% of travel brands have actually said that social media is one of the top sources, it is in their top 8 sources for travel traffic.

Making sure you are out there on these social media sites and engaging in conversation, whether it's Facebook, Twitter, certainly Instagram or Pinterest will certainly help. One of the instances that I've have had that made me a believer in social media and kind of caught me by surprise is we went recently on a trip to Hawaii for business and I had the opportunity to take my family with me. Well fun story, I was like looking up on these websites how to do this, where to go here, being completely unfamiliar with such a wonderful place. My wife on the other hand, planned out the whole trip before we got there. How? Pinterest! How many of you have ever thought about using Pinterest to really help bring credibility to your brand? And it showed us all these places and these great things and ideas to do. So certainly use Pinterest and make sure you pay attention to all the channels.

It's not just Facebook and Twitter, like sometimes I thought. Now, free tip, really helpful: one of the questions we commonly bump into is how do I have time to do all these social media things? How do I make sure that I have a message on all these different portals? Well, there's actually a really neat tool out there that I really love and that is Hootsuite.com. Hootsuite.com is a tool that allows you to aggregate all of your messages into different social media brands and then you can push one message out to all your brands at one time. Also you have the ability to schedule them. They even have an auto scheduling feature so it really can save you time by sitting down, writing out your messages and scheduling for the next week or two weeks. All right so take advantage of social media to help your travel business, it will certainly make a big difference in your viewability and bring more traffic to your website. I'm Tyler Hurst and that's this week's edition of Whiteboard Wednesday. See you next week!