Social media's strength in generating leads has long been known by travel brands, but new research suggests that it also plays a role in closing leads, too.
Further findings from EyeforTravel's 'Understanding the Travel Consumer's Path to Purchase' white paper – we've used the report's findings a few times on the blog over the last couple of weeks – to show that social media domains are often visited late into the travel funnel.
The research reveals that travellers log on to social media as late as 15 minutes before making a purchase.
In all the countries analysed by Jumpshot - Brazil, Germany, India, the UK and US - social media sites were visited in at least 15% of the cases, rising to just under a quarter for those booking on OTAs in the UK and US.
In addition, 6% to 12% of consumers visited YouTube in their pre-purchase path, pushing the usage of social media up further.
The study used the clickstream data of more than 100 million customers, tracking consumers who made a purchase via an airline, hotel or Online Travel Agency (OTA).
Here are 3 pieces of content to close leads on social media.
EyeforTravel advises travel marketers to "continue to view social media as a useful marketing tool up until the point of purchase, but with a focus on programmatic advertising targeting offers that will attract clicks in the latter sections of the funnel."
It also notes that brands "can pick up considerable tracking data in these latter stages to fully personalise an ad".
EyeforTravel's research doesn't go into what customers are looking for on social media to convince them to make a purchase, but it's likely to be some sort of sign that they're making the right choice in opting to go with your business.
Customer testimonials are great for building trust. They act as some sort of proof to the visitor that your business lives up to its promises in providing fantastic trips abroad etc. If you use social media wisely, you can turn your social media profile into a hub of customer testimonials.
Some legwork might be involved to generate some testimonials – asking customers for feedback or searching brand mentions – but it's well worth your time.
Authenticity is everything these days. It enables people to relate to your business and marks you out as a reliable and trustworthy company. User-generated content (UGC) makes your business appear more authentic – ideal for getting leads over the line.
Travel businesses are in a privileged position when it comes to UGC, with travellers not shy about posting pictures and feedback from their trip – make the most of it.
How Digital Trip can help
Firstly, you should download our free guide to social media marketing, designed especially for travel websites. Then consider our travel technology, which can provide insights into what it is that visitors want from your brand as they near a purchase.