Well I am here to tell you they most certainly do, talking from personal travel experiences, of course.
The best part of logging onto Facebook or Instagram is seeing a friend’s holiday and travel bloggers pictures then desperately wanting to see what they have seen, be where they have been. Off I go and I book my adventure, then capture and share my own incredible holiday pictures on social media giving my friends FOMO (fear of missing out) and so the cycle continues.
Coming off my last overseas trip a beautiful friend of mine loved my holiday photos so much she went and booked the exact holiday I had just been on. Very flattering and I just loved giving her all my recommendations. There was a lot of trust between us, after seeing my experiences through photos on social media and now my excitement face to face.
Is it just that we have come to trust each other more than marketing campaigns?
Is it a case of who can we trust more?
I think it might be.
Facebook has their own head of Travel, Education & Consumer Services a Mr. Lee McCabe who has written a paper on Australia’s social media and travel. This paper found that 52% of Facebook using Australians were inspired to travel and influenced on where to go by looking at friends Facebook photos.
“The definition of expert has changed – it has shifted from someone with professional credentials to potentially anyone with firsthand experience, ideally a peer or close friend” Lee McCabe.
However when it comes to traditional advertising on social media are we liking and following tourism pages and clicking on those marketing banners? One of my favourite things to do on social media is to like and follow a tourism experience or destination page if I have experienced it and loved it or are planning to go there. It builds excitement before a trip and helps cement the memories of a wonderful time in your life. But do we trust them? Can we trust them?
Marketing or Social Media?
Both!! Well, marketing on social media or using social media to market your brand. If you have a social media account (I have 6) you would have seen the professional tourism and experience pages. These are fabulous ways to research a trip and find comments of fellow travelers of their experiences. These pages are filled with stunning and professional photographs to entice us to visit. Social media is great, it allows us consumers to take in these wonderful photos but also find true traveller’s photos too. Find reviews and decide for ourselves if we are being fooled by good marketing or the brand is being genuine.
Steve Olenski a writer for Forbes Magazine wrote:
“It’s not necessarily where you reach them, it’s more about how you engage them with your brand” Steve Olenski.
Right now how do people engage with each other? Social media of course. The article Steve Olenski wrote highlights three great examples of social media marketing. One demonstrates that using social media influencers (Such as Lauren Bath) in a brands marketing campaign, to engage the younger demographic because social media is how we connect. These campaigns were aimed to influence us, because of how much our travel photos inspire the travel plans of friends and family. Sneaky sneaky, but so innovative.
For me, my travel plans are influenced by photos from friends, family and social media influencer’s accounts. I feel I can trust their opinion and see their experiences with my own eyes, it is a much more personal way to research travel, to dream of faraway lands and find my next adventure than with glossy brochures and intricate websites.
What do you think? Please leave your comments below.
Thank you for reading ♥
*Authors own photos used where no link is provided to source.