On Tuesday, I attended a seminar hosted by I Love NY about using TripAdvisor and Viator for destinations. The information provided was compelling, relevant, and motivating. But as with all seminars, there’s a disconnect between the information gathering stage, and the action stage, the “shopping cart abandonment” of the travel industry if you will. As I left, I tried to figure out the best way for destinations to incorporate tools like this, efficiently. And it hit me (as most things do)- it should be part of the social media plan!
I’ve touched on social media for destinations before, but this is a new aspect. While tools like TripAdvisor and Viator could be viewed through the lenses of digital marketing, I want to talk about 3 reasons why I believe they should be on your next social media plan.
It can connect with existing sites
Add your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and your site to the description, and then add the TripAdvisor or Viator icon and link to your sites. This will not only boost your SEO and make it easier for potential travelers to find information on you, this will encourage them to utilize the sites. Viator and TripAdvisor allow travelers to make reservations for tours, excursions or visits directly on their site, lowering the potential for shopping cart abandonment. That means more purchases. And that makes everyone happy.
You can reach a larger audience.
With a website in 10 languages, 73 percent of Viator’s audience is international. What destination doesn’t want to increase their percentage of international visitors? For good reason too, since they book out farther in advance, tend to stay for longer periods of time and spend more money while they’re visiting. The first step in increasing bookings is awareness, and potential visitors can’t be interested in visiting places they don’t know about.
TripAdvisor has 96 million members, 435 million reviews, and 390 million monthly visitors. It’s the world’s largest and most popular travel site. They also have sites in over 28 languages- an unparalleled way to reach international audiences. TripAdvisor also lets you connect your reviews directly to your website, making it easy for potential travelers to read what people think. It’s easier than ever for brands to reach audiences on a variety of different platforms, and yet people still trust other people the most. So make it easy on yourself and let others do the work for you.
They have an abundance of analytics.
All alliterations aside, there’s no such thing as too many analytics. Data drives decisions (can’t stop, won’t stop) and Viator and TripAdvisor are able to provide in-depth and timely analytics about any page on their site, from the click through rate and form completions, to the origin of people visiting the site. Whether people come from ads, social media sites, or a google search, the analytics can help destinations see what’s working and what needs to be adjusted. And, both companies will notify you if a page isn’t performing the way it should.
Bonus: it’s free to join.
Granted, this isn’t a reason that’s exclusive to social – free is a bonus for any campaign or plan! But it’s important. Both platforms operate with a guarantee- they make money when you get paid, not until then. How’s that for a cost-reward scenario? And if it doesn’t work, you’ve lost nothing.
Whether you chose to add these tools to your digital marketing plan, or your social plan, end the shopping cart abandonment of execution- and dive in. Your destination is wonderful, why wouldn’t you want to promote it in every way possible?
Looking for ways to increase your destination’s social visibility? Let us help you.