Social media and business travel
Friday, July 20, 2012
Social media is becoming more and more integrated into daily life, with the business travel industry proving to be no exception. A slew of recent articles have confirmed social media's continually rising presence in today's modern world. Business travelers in this tech-crazed generation can observe grand-scale evolutions within their industry as new technology becomes available and social media trends take off.
Staying social while traveling
Business travelers can take advantage of rewards and special offers just by pulling out their smartphones when they arrive at their corporate apartments. A recent article in American Express OPEN Forum detailed that businesses in the travel industry are consistently turning more to points-based marketing programs to keep their guests returning by offering rewards for guests loyalty and social media use. One such program within the travel industry is Topguest. Topquest is a unique platform that travel industry businesses can use to enhance their loyalty programs for the new tech-savvy generation by tying in location-based social media where guests check-in or post a review to realize savings.
The evolution of travel at the hands of new tech and social media
Another article that appeared March 24 on Mashable Tech dove into analyzing the evolving industry with data from a recent survey by market research company Lab42. The survey revealed some startling truths, putting numbers to the trends that have been creeping up on the industry over time. The survey revealed that one-third of social media users have used a mobile app to find attractive pricing for their travel accommodations. The survey also found that 15 percent of social media users have downloaded an app that was specific to a particular trip they were taking. Other interesting facts garnered from the survey include:
• More than 80 percent of international travelers use their smartphones while abroad on vacation.
• Roughly 70 percent post photos highlighting their trip to a social network while taking part in leisure travel
• 46 percent use services like Facebook and Foursquare to check in to restaurants and other places they visit while away
• 81 percent use social media review sites and find reviews left by other travelers to be helpful to them
• Prior to embarking on travel, 52 percent of travelers "Liked" Facebook pages that were specific to their approaching travel destination, with 59 percent of travelers updating their statuses with info regarding their upcoming trip
• After travelers have returned home, 46 percent post reviews about their housing accommodations, 76 percent posted their vacation photos in the aftermath, and 55 percent "Liked" Facebook pages specific to their travel
This last statistic is nominally interesting as more travelers "Liked" Facebook pages related to their trip after they had returned than travelers preemptively "Liking" related pages. This could be interpreted to lend credence to the surge in points-based marketing programs with businesses in the travel industry. Regardless, it is strikingly clear how large of a presence social media and smartphones are maintaining in traveler routines. Even the busy corporate traveler finds the need to use a smartphone while on a trip, and some feel it is a necessary companion for all trips.
Mashable Tech's graphic is worthy of a glimpse for even more insights and statistics relating to the changes in the travel industry. Some of the additional information covered on the infographic includes the top five uses of a smartphone when traveling domestically. Business travelers could easily see themselves performing at least one, if not all, of these actions, even if only from the comfort of their corporate suites as they prepare to venture out into foreign areas. The top five list includes taking photos, using the map feature, searching for local restaurants, searching local activities and attractions and checking in prior to a flight.