Social Media’s Impact on the Travel Industry

Explore four ways social media impacts the travel industry and how your brand can leverage its potential for digital marketing success.

Written by
June 26, 2023

Social media has brought the world together in so many ways. It has highlighted our similarities, shown our differences, and created a space unlike anything we have ever seen. From the beginning of social media -, to where we are now with Tiktok and Lemon8, no one could have predicted the impact social media has had on society and marketing. No sector of human development has yet to be touched by social media - including the travel industry. Here are four ways social media impacts the travel industry and how your brand can leverage its potential for digital marketing success.

1. Social Media Inspires Future Travel

These platforms have provided a source of inspiration for consumers and future travelers. The 2023 Traveler Value Index shows that 35% of consumers use social media for inspiration. This number gets even higher when you drop the age to under 40. It is cited that over 50% of those under 40 use social media as inspiration. Digital marketers can leverage this trend by strategically positioning travel offerings to consumers.

By curating engaging content, visuals, and storytelling, your brand can captivate the attention of potential travelers, tap into their wanderlust, and inspire them to explore new destinations. You can reach the right audience at the right time through targeted advertising and influencer collaborations, showcasing your brand's unique experiences and amenities. By harnessing the power of social media as a tool for inspiration, you can drive brand awareness, increase bookings, and ultimately elevate success in the competitive travel industry.

(Via @muyonoresorts)

2. Social Media Acts as a Visual Itinerary

Along with highlighting new destinations for travelers, social media has been able to function as visual itineraries for new places. The more information and posts about specific places, the more likely people will want to go there - leading them to book the trip. By seeing these picture-perfect destinations, consumers now have inspiration for not only their trip schedule but also their social media feed. Over time, we have seen similar photos taken in similar places - the standard image one posts to show they visited a highly sought-after spot. For example, if you see a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Eiffel Tower, you immediately know that person went to Italy.

Creating an online presence that caters to travelers' cravings for these notable experiences will entice more visitors to add your brand to their itinerary. You can share exciting travel plans and customer experiences that showcase visually appealing spots on your property to inspire guests to take and share pictures. For a deeper look into experiential marketing for hospitality brands, click here. Your social media accounts should be a reliable source for travelers to plan their trips by frequently updating them with eye-catching content, insider tips, and exclusive deals.

3. Social Media is Organic (Free!) Marketing

By using brand hashtags, UGC, and posting content aligned with trends, brands also use social media to their advantage. Brands are adding less traditional forms of marketing into their repertoire, such as influencer partnerships, reposting UGC, and hopping onto viral trends such as TikTok sounds. Brands must reinstate their position by doing things with no other marketing goal outside of being "trendy" and relatable. With Millennial and Gen-Z social media use rising daily, brands must be on top, not be left out.

This leads the marketing industry to rely heavily on those who know, understand, and use the platforms to the full extent. Without the knowledge of how these platforms work, the understanding of what story is being told to consumers based on perception, and the constant monitoring of accounts, brands in the travel industry will sadly be unfollowed, unfriended, and forgotten. A relatable social media presence seamlessly blending with customers' organic feeds will always win. Chipotle's Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter are great examples of this!

4. Social Media Offers Vast Paid Advertising Opportunities

In addition to the organic marketing potential, social media platforms offer extensive paid advertising opportunities in the travel industry. This opens up a unique avenue for brands to engage with potential customers and drive conversions. For example, influencer marketing has become a powerful tool, enabling travel brands to collaborate with creators who can promote their destinations, accommodations, and experiences to their loyal followers. By partnering with relevant influencers, brands can tap into their authenticity and reach, driving brand awareness and attracting potential travelers.

Aside from influencer marketing, social media platforms offer robust advertising strategies, such as Meta ads, that allow businesses to target their ideal audience and interests precisely. These platforms provide powerful targeting capabilities, enabling travel brands to tailor their ads based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. This level of personalization ensures that advertisements reach the right people at the right time, maximizing the chances of conversion. By seamlessly blending paid content with organic posts, travel brands can create a cohesive and immersive experience for users, making their ads feel like a natural part of their social media feeds.

(Via @modelistemagazine)

At Delicious Digital, we understand the vital role organic social media plays in the success of travel brands. Partnering with some of the leading hospitality and travel brands, we have created impactful social media strategies while staying updated with the latest trends, algorithms, and consumer behaviors. From crafting compelling content to managing accounts and monitoring brand perception, we provide comprehensive solutions that keep your brand relevant, engaged, and unforgettable in the minds of travelers. Contact us today, and together, we'll navigate the dynamic world of social media to elevate your travel brand to new heights.