Social media is showing promising results among luxury travel brands but remains a largely untapped resource for luxury travel advisors. Those are among the key findings of a report to be unveiled next month at the ILTM Americas conference in Mexico's Riviera Maya.
It is the second annual survey conducted by Brand Karma for ILTM that analyzes the online activities and opinions of luxury travelers across North and Latin America. It will detail digital advances and give insight on how best to use the fast-evolving platforms to win new customers.
“Short, personalized digital communications are one of the most effective solutions in reaching the high net worth Americas traveler today," said Simon Mayle, head of marketing for the ILTM Portfolio. "Small really is big in the world of social media."
The report analyzes nearly two million online reviews that travelers posted about more than 2,000 luxury hotels worldwide between January 2012 and June 2014.
According to a preview of the study, it will highlight the importance of personal Facebook accounts in winning new business, advising luxury travel buyers and agents that the key to success is winning customers “one by one.”
The report also finds that luxury travel buyers and sellers can drive significant levels of new business by becoming “community leaders” in social media forums on destinations and travel topics. And it advises luxury travel buyers to focus on marketing the three to five most buzzworthy elements of the hotels they are selling and use “micro-messaging” techniques to communicate concisely and effectively.
It highlights the importance of Instagram and TripAdvisor. As of March, the report says, more than 200 million monthly active users share 60 million photos a day on Instagram. And TripAdvisor accounts for just under half of all luxury hotel reviews worldwide, and 51% of all luxury reviews in the Americas.
The full report will be released during a social media session Sept. 22 at ILTM Americas (iltm.com/Americas).