Research conducted in Australia shows that travelers are consulting social networks and blogs rather than Google before traveling. The tradition of showing family and friends summer and trip pictures has been replaced by social media. Apps that allow photo editing and filters allow quick sharing and fast viewing.
Social media is allowing people to let their followers live the experience of their vacation and trips while it’s happening. Whether using a smart phone, a tablet, or a traditional computer, more and more people are utilizing social media in their daily lives. Few things have quite as much impact and effect as an online presence.
Recently Tourism Australia has done research to explore the impact of social media on tourism and consumer choices influenced by Facebook. The results show that social sharing their own experiences exerts considerable influence on the way others plan their holidays. In six years the percentage of Google searches has dropped by over 70%. Travel choices are increasingly influenced by social networks and blogs.
Friends and Facebook influence our choices
52% of users analyzed in this research admit they were influenced not only by the official fb pages of travel agencies, but status updates and pictures shared by their Facebook community . Only 48% are not easily affected and retain the original program. In 33% of cases there is a change in holiday planning, instead of booking your hotel, 7% of travelers change the destination, 5% the airline. Word of mouth influences consumer’s choices. No marketing activities can compete with the influential power of Facebook and its ability to guide the choices and consumer’s tastes.
Influence comes from those we know
Consumers trust recommendations from peers over all other forms of advertising; 70% of consumers opinion posted online, 58% brand website. Social media is changing the way we communicate and changing the way we act. In the infographic we can see how social media affects people’s lives and how social media has spread, i.e. for every twitter share only 5 people visited a story, and for every Facebook share only 9 people visited a story.