Immersive experiences. Knowledge seeking. Giving back to important causes. These are just a few of the driving forces that fuel millenials to explore the world – and some of the reasons brands are rethinking the way they connect with this new generation entirely.
As the infographic shows, we’ve learned millenials are turning to social media more and more when it comes to planning and sharing their experience-driven travel. We also know that more than half of this demographic wants full control over how they engage with others through social media.
With millennial spending power expected to reach its peak by 2017, travel brands have taken notice of this powerful generation of travelers and the factors that dictate their spending choices. Recent research shows that millennials tend to trust brands more on social media than with traditional advertising. Millennials (including myself) expect brands to be as instantaneous as the technology we live on.
So what does this mean for travel and tourism brands, specifically in the world of social media? It means a brand voice speaks volumes about the brand experience and how these travelers will interact with it.
The most important part of a brand’s social media presence is having an authentic and consistent brand voice. Our generation is looking for meaningful connections and engagement that makes us feel like we are being heard. When brands can make an emotional connection with their audience through trustworthy content and an emphasis on experiences, they can generate a loyal following and, in essence, brand ambassadors among this powerful demographic.
As travel brands develop and sustain a strong brand voice across various social channels, there are three key tactics to use in order to resonate with this audience and build relationships.
- Know your audience. This goes without saying, but by understanding who the audience is and who the brand needs to be for them, brands are better equipped to use social media as a vehicle for providing that inspiration, along with trip ideas and travel tips.
- Choose a voice for the brand and stick to it. Brands rely on and adhere to brand standards when it comes to traditional advertising and other marketing tools, and social media should be an extension of that. Consistency across all social channels builds trust among the audience and gives them the impression that they know the brand on a more personal level, as they will know what to expect.
- Be original and be human. With younger travelers wanting more authenticity, they’re looking to align with brands that have a human element they can relate to. An emotional connection can be created on a consistent basis by responding to questions, comments and shared content within 24 hours, establishing a seemingly one-to-one relationship.
Social Media Changes The Way Travellers Plan Their Trips by Andy Speight, Digital-trip.com
Future Foundation Millennials Study, 2014