Social Media: Growing & Increasing it’s Tourism Impact

January 30, 2020 | Bureau | New-age Drivers

Annual growth of social media outreach continues, Youtube remains the most used site followed by facebook, and Instagram is the fastest growing social media site. Compiled by Devraj Singh Rathore.

> The number of mobile phone users in 2019 were 5.112 billion, up 2% year-on-year.

Share of web traffic by device highly favours mobile at 52%, whilst Desktop remains in second place with only 43% of device share to all web pages.

> The number of internet users worldwide in 2019 were 4.388 billion, up 9.1% year-on-year.

The largest penetration of internet was seen in Northern, Western and South Europe and North America with between 88%-95% internet users compared to the total population. Of these, South Europe has seen the biggest increase in internet penetration, with a year-on-year increase of 11%.

> The number of social media users worldwide in 2019 were 3.484 billion, up 9% year-on-year.

The global increase in social media usage is 9%. Saudi Arabia had the largest social media penetration in 2019 at 99%, which is well above the global average of 45%. Other countries with the largest social media penetration include Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore. Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria have the lowest levels of social media penetration.

Social media and Travel/Tourism

  • Eighty-six percent of people said they’ve become interested in a specific location after seeing user-generated content.

Customers look through their mobile-phones, hungry for content that will inspire their next course of action. As indicated by a recent survey, the content that is really impacting them isn’t the brand-generated content from the travel industry or hospitality brands. And, just 48 percent of people say that social content from a superstar or influencer has inspired them to make a trip to a specific destination. Rather, a whopping majority of customers said that natural, user-generated content (UGC) is the main source of inspiration to them when settling on an excursion.

  • Fifty-two percent of consumers say they’ve made plans to visit a specific destination based on an image or video they saw from friends, family or peers on social media – up from 43 percent in 2017.

It’s not surprising that consumers are heavily influenced by the people in their circles. User-generated content fills in as a modern form of word-of-mouth marketing, and people seek advice from the people they know and care about. UGC can inspire feelings — particularly sentiments of FOMO (fear of missing out)

  • When asked how likely they would be to post a photo or video on social media, 89 percent of people said they would post about a positive travel experience.

Social media has made it easy to share those positive travel experiences, and with consumers’ tendency to post, there’s a wealth of organic content at brands’ fingertips. Marketing teams need to capitalize on this authentic, influential content and leverage it across their brands’ social channels.

Leading travel brands, hotels and destinations of the world are leveraging the user-generated content that’s published across their customers’ social channels to drive their own content strategies – and they’re seeing results.