Three new insights for travel brands on Twitter

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Whether they’re heading to grandma’s house or the Caribbean, many travelers will Tweet throughout two of the busiest travel periods of the year in the U.S.: Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s.

According to our recent research with Millward Brown, travelers use Twitter for everything from finding deals to sharing experiences to giving recommendations. The Tweets they see and send make an impact:

One in two Twitter users says Twitter content is influential in their consideration of a travel brand.

This doesn’t surprise Nicholas Mattera, Director of Digital Engagement at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (@Vegas). “Our local mantra may be ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,’ but consumers are incredibly eager to share their trip planning and in-market experiences on Twitter,” Mattera said.

Mattera also noted that travelers’ constant activity on Twitter makes the platform a valuable marketing channel. @Vegas has run multiple Twitter Ads campaigns using tools including Lead Generation Cards, TV targeting and a Promoted Trend. The Lead Generation Card yielded an average cost-per-lead 20% lower than Mattera’s goal, and the Promoted Trend generated several times the number of Tweet engagements Mattera expected.

Read on to learn how your brand can influence travelers via Twitter Ads. Using our latest research, we’ve compiled a list of top traveler insights (and advertising recommendations):

Travelers turn to Twitter at every step, from booking to bragging.

Twitter is a favorite travel companion; about a third of users access Twitter before or after a trip, while 39% use the platform mid-journey. And nearly 20% of users Tweet to share feedback throughout their travel experience. Because it’s used at every stage of the travel process, Twitter can help brands develop strong relationships with consumers.

Twitter is a great place for brands just starting out and looking to generate awareness. Consumers are 44% more likely to learn about a new travel brand on Twitter than on the average social network.

More established brands can use Twitter to create deeper connections with travelers, leading to valuable user endorsements and recommendations. A significant number of Twitter users (22%) have followed and/or favorited a travel brand, and one in five Twitter users has recommended a travel brand to their followers.

Tip: Increase your follower base by offering content designed to appeal to users at every stage of the travel process.

Travel brands can use Twitter to boost their images.

Users Tweet about all travel experiences, good and bad. Both kinds of Tweets represent an opportunity for brands to enhance their reputations.

Our research shows that 27% of Twitter users share positive travel experiences, creating positive buzz for the brands they mention.

On the other hand, when users share negative experiences, Twitter’s public and conversational nature enables the brands involved to redeem their reputations by responding in a caring way.

Of the 28% of users who said they had engaged a travel brand on Twitter and received a reply, 73% felt more positively about the brand afterward.

Tip: Encourage users to Tweet about positive travel experiences involving your brand. When their Tweets put your brand in a less-than-flattering light, reply quickly and politely.

Twitter content influences travel brand consideration.

Half of Twitter users surveyed say Twitter content is influential in their consideration of a travel brand.

Their favorite kinds of content? Users say they’re most interested in Twitter-exclusive discounts/deals exclusive (46%), last-minute deals (41%), contests/promotions (30%), funny/light-hearted content (30%) and travel ideas/stories (27%).

Tip: Experiment with different types of Tweets, from promotions of exclusive deals to funny stories. Our new ad formats, from Promoted Video to Website Cards, can make your content even more engaging.

The research

Our study with Millward Brown consisted of a 10-minute online questionnaire completed by 1,349 U.S. online consumers age 18 or older who told us they had traveled for business or leisure in the past 12 months. We compared Twitter users to users of other top social networks, and defined a user as someone who logged in to a platform at least once a month.

Case studies

To learn more about how travel brands are using Twitter, check out these case studies.

Three new insights for travel brands on Twitter