Meet your next fastest growing segment in travel & tourism industry : the Millennials

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After reading this article “6 Year Olds Are Better At Digital Than Adults” I started thinking about new digital generation and how technology is dominating our lives in every aspect. Digital arena is developing very quickly and every year there are new developments, therefore new generations are more digital savvy. The way we communicate is changed forever.

Who are the Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y)? Generations born between 1980-2000, meaning that now they are aged between 14 and 34. They are tech savvy individuals now growing up and spending more which makes them fastest growing segment for travel and tourism industry. By the end of this post you should get a picture who the Millennials are how can their motivations and behaviors influence travel & tourism industry.

Technology savvy and the NOW! generation

The Millennials use technology much more than the older generations and they have much higher expectations. They want instant information and they are looking for new ways of entertainment all the time. That is why they are called “NOW! generation”. A lot of travel companies assume it is enough just to have a website to attract customers from this segment. They do not realize that a website can be counter-productive if it is not fast enough, doesn’t have relevant information or has outdated design.

The Millennials have high expectations from your website:

  • fast loading time (everything under 4 sec is too long and will not keep their attention)
  • clear and easy navigation (make sure that the first goal of your website should be usability)
  • relevant and meaningful content that answers most (if not all) of their questions
  • possibility of online bookings

They suffer from FOMO syndrome

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FOMO syndrome (fear of missing out) is created for Millennial Generation and their social media presence, meaning they are really concerned that your friends or person sitting next to you is having more fun.

Millennials love to travel for leisure with friends and have a lot of fun. Millennials are highly influenced by word of mouth when it comes to deciding about next travel destination. Social media made this recommendations come in real time descriptions and experiences. Here is how tourism and tour operators can use this fact in their advantage:

  • be present on major social media
  • post real time photos of happy customers from different locations to make them interested to experience your product and services
  • make sure that you have online booking software that can enable them to make booking right away
  • enable mobile bookings for quick reservations

They want to be immersed in the local culture with an authentic local experience

Millennials love to travel and they travel quite lot, much more than generations before. They are also more educated than previous generation of Baby Boomers and they love to experiment. They want to learn something more while they travel and they have high appetite for trying new and exciting things. They prefer having personalized experiences inline with their character and interests. What tour operators can do to attract their attention:

  • while making standardized tours, add some spice to the conventional tour set. Like for example: after visiting Louvre, go to taste local wine or try great local ice cream
  • include in your offer non standardized activities from where they can choose. For example: bungee jumping, water skiing or zorb. Something new, exciting and something they never tried before.

Join me on Social networks: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or you can contact me on kljajicd78@gmail.com

#travel, #tourism, #digital, #socialmedia, #millennials, #FOMO, #technology

Resources:

 What you need to know about the Millennial Mindset                                                          Know your next big customer: the Millennials                                                                    6 Year Olds Are Better At Digital Than Adults                                                                    New Study Sheds Light on Millennial Generation

 

Why the future of travel&tourism industry is in mobile bookings?

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The mobile revolution has begun! In the article that I recently read “Report: Mobile 21 Percent Of E-Commerce, Will Be $84B in 2014” is mentioned that on a global level, mobile commerce will bring $84B in 2014 only. These amounts are not to be underestimated! If you still don’t have your mobile and app strategy, now it’s time to develop it and utilize mobile channel up to his full potential.

Further in the article it is mentioned that responsive design is continuing to gain adoption and estimates that around 42% of mobile sales will come from app and 58% from mobile websites. No surprise that more sales will be coming from websites than from app as app penetration in retail is still very low.

According to Budde Comm site (New Zealand – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts) mobile market penetration in New Zealand is around 120-125% and is growing steadily. Your consumers are there so you need to be as well! Fast internet connections and mobile technology is changing the ways in which travelers are interacting with businesses in the industry. Travelers are now constantly connected and they use technology to plan their trips, make their bookings and share their experiences on social networks. The modern traveler is “constantly connected traveler”.

Within the travel and tourism industry mobile bookings are on the rise and there is a huge potential in mobile apps.  The average person has around 26 apps on their mobile device and in the travel and tourism industry they had an app for a travel agency, a hotel, an airline and a car rental that they were loyal to. The travelers are already using mobile devices to get all the information they need about specific destination they are visiting. The next logical step would be to do all the bookings through their mobile phone!

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Hotels are currently the main sector within industry that is focused on mobile bookings and transactions. This is because customers want to book their hotel in a short booking window and mobile bookings can actually shorten that time even further. There is also cost reduction with all kind of online and mobile bookings and possibility to let customers make an instant booking at any time. There are also interesting ideas that smartphones can be used as a key cards, eliminating the need to invest in physical keys.

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Airline reservations are made through mobile devices as well and a lot of major airliners are providing flight bookings, check-in and a lot more straight from app. I always love to use the example of domestic airliner Air New Zealand who has a great mobile app.

Beside providing the technology for mobile bookings we also need to think about the right content to facilitate consumer to book through mobile device. We need to think about meaningful and remarkable content which will help the consumer do their bookings in the easiest and simplest way.

Join me on Social networks: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or you can contact me on kljajicd78@gmail.com

My blog is also registered in kiwiology (The New Zealand blogosphere), you can find a lot of interesting blog posts there!

Resources:                                                                                                                       Report: Mobile 21 Percent Of E-Commerce, Will Be $84B in 2014                         Facebook say apps key to travel                                                                                               Growth in mobile booking

 

Social Media Trends 2014

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Dragana Kljajic

Recently I read a very interesting article Social Media Trends for Marketers: New Research and I started thinking how things quickly change in digital space and compared to 2013 trends we have slightly different landscape. Social Media and Digital space is changing so quickly that marketers sometimes hardly can catch up with all changes. You have to be constantly connected and follow new trends, experiment, measure and define what is working and what is not working and why.

As mentioned at the beginning, here are the top 7 Social Media trends for 2014 according to latest research published on SocialMedia Examiner site:

1. Increased exposure to social media

No wonder majority of businesses noticed that increased exposure to social media has a favorable influence on their brand. In New Zealand internet penetration in 2012 was 88% (source: Internet World Statistics) and people are massively using social media. The most…

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How to use Facebook hashtags in travel & tourism industry and why are they useful?

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Did you know you can use # for Facebook posts? Recently I read a very interesting article on this topic (Tips from 13 Experts on How to Use Hashtags on Facebook).

If you haven’t been using hashtags on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest before, let’s clarify – what is the hashtag in the first place?

I will try to explain it as simple as possible – hashtag is when you put a number sign in front of a word without spaces i.e. #hashtag. Social networks are able to track hashtags and will display all conversations and images that includes hashtags from newest to oldest. You can find people interested in common topic, get involved or start a conversation. So, this one was pretty easy!

Just in case, here is a short educational video how to use #:

You must be asking yourself – how can hashtags help my tourism business market on Facebook?

Can you imaging jumping into a conversation about top travel destination of your choice or new destination that you want to include in your offer instantaneously?

Or, finding out what other people say on Facebook via clickable hashtags (#)?

You can do all of this and more by typing a simple character (hashtag) in front of your favorite topic or keyword.  Have a look at few examples below tailored for various parts of tourism industry.

Agencies and travel professionals:

Use hashtags in your Facebook posts about top travel destinations or destinations that you have in offer. Then use # to join the destinations people are talking about. For me Cook Islands comes to mind. Here is how it can look like on your Facebook page:

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Tour operators:

You can include # in a post about new attraction that you plan to visit on your next tour.

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Airliners:

Here are some great examples from Air New Zealand using Facebook hashtags to promote news from their company:

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Hotels, restaurants, bars:

You can use hashtags on Facebook for promoting special offers, connecting to specific cities, or simply to to build a community and thank people for being your customers

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And the best part at the end! Some best practices and advice on how to use hashtags:

  • Don’t use too many hashtags in your posts. Usually 1-2 is enough and works quite well.
  • Use industry specific hashtags or you can create your own hashtag for your audience  and according to their interests!
  • If you are using hashtags on Instagram and/or Twitter, then also use them on Facebook. Integration does miracles in social space.
  • You have to use hashtags in the right way and use the right hashtags for your audience.

I hope you found this blog interesting and helpful. Please let me know what is your point of view? Do you see opportunities for your business in using hashtags? Leave a reply below!

Join me on Social networks: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+

Resources:                                                                                                                                Tips from 13 Experts on How to Use hashtags on Facebook                                                   4 Facebook Hashtag Best Practices for Travel & Tourism pros

 

Social Media Trends 2014

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Recently I read a very interesting article Social Media Trends for Marketers: New Research and I started thinking how things quickly change in digital space and compared to 2013 trends we have slightly different landscape. Social Media and Digital space is changing so quickly that marketers sometimes hardly can catch up with all changes. You have to be constantly connected and follow new trends, experiment, measure and define what is working and what is not working and why.

As mentioned at the beginning, here are the top 7 Social Media trends for 2014 according to latest research published on SocialMedia Examiner site:

1. Increased exposure to social media

No wonder majority of businesses noticed that increased exposure to social media has a favorable influence on their brand. In New Zealand internet penetration in 2012 was 88% (source: Internet World Statistics) and people are massively using social media. The most popular social media sites in New Zealand in 2013 were: Facebook, YouTube, WordPress, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Twitter (the full list can be found here: Social Media Statistic, July 2013). This means – almost all your customers are on-line! There is no better place for business to be than on social media. From my point of view, social media have one huge benefit: it provides you with the instant feedback directly from customers. It’s like an on-line survey with the most valuable information. Businesses these days should learn how to use power of social media wisely and in their own advantage.

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2. Visual assets on the rise

With the development of new advertising formats (Rising Stars Ad Units) and trough Google Display network marketers have more choices than ever to advertise all over internet and to use new interactive ad formats. You can choose from many rich media formats like videos, images, animation and flash.

3. Blogging biggest areas of increase

It seems that providing original content and blogging will be even more valued in 2014. Beside the fact that valuable content will help better SEO ranking (for free), it can significantly improve brand exposure and clearly communicate with the target audience. The biggest challenge that marketers will have to face when it comes to blogging is that there are already too many blogs and posts all around the internet. The fact that business is having a blogger and posting content five times a day doesn’t mean that anybody will read that content. For more information on how to write a perfect content for business blog visit “Why No One Is Reading What You’re writing”

4. Google+ top marketers interest list

During my last employment in global company, nobody was much interested in what Google + has to offer. We were thinking that this platform is a waste of time and that we should use more other social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. We had company’s profile on Google + but we haven’t been using it at all. That was such a mistake. Recently, I started discovering advantages of Google + like integration with You Tube which helps you reach much wider audience or hangouts on air. Hangouts on air has been a real discovery for me, not that I only love free video broadcasting, but the quality of video and sound in many cases is much better that on Skype and it can help you reach much wider audience. You can even create your own audience. With the help of Google Drive you can share presentations, pdf’s or password protected documents with your audience. I found on-line this great article which can help you with getting the ideas what else you can do with Google + and what kind of analytic is provided 13 Google+ Tools to Improve Your Marketing.

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5. Podcasting rises

Podcasting is intimate and effective way to deliver content to your target audience. This method of delivery is on the rise because it is time efficient and it cut’s costs. You only need to record a podcast and your audience can subscribe to it through RSS feeds. It is convenient because audience can listen to your podcast when they have time. I found two great article about benefits of podcasting: At a Glance: 7 Benefits Of PodcastingHow The Podcasting Will Benefit Your Business.

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6. Facebook ads dominate social

Facebook seams to become the world’s most popular social network (source: Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites, July 2014) and social networks where majority of brands post their ads. Facebook is three times more popular than Twitter or LinkedIn! If your business already haven’t got a Facebook account you should get one soon.

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7. Social ROI remains a mystery

No surprise that measuring a social media ROI is still a mystery to majority of marketers as each business use different evaluation methods based on their business goals and social media that they are using. While there is no “one size fits all” approach, a lot of useful information and guidelines on how to measure ROI can be found in this great article by Debra Eckerling How to measure Social Media ROI.

Resources:

7 Social Media Trends for Marketers: New Research: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-trends/

Why No One Is Reading What You’re Writing: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/02/06/why-no-one-is-reading-what-youre-writing/

How to Measure Social Media ROI: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/measure-social-media-roi/

13 Google+ Tools to Improve Your marketing: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/13-google-plus-tools/

At A Glance: 7 Benefits of Podcasting: http://www.learningtimes.com/what-we-do/podcast-production/benefits/