Facebook survey shows influence of travel posts


Travel is one of the biggest verticals on Facebook, according to a study the company conducted in Europe, with a little more than half of survey respondents listing holidays as one of the top three posts they see on Facebook.

Vacation-related posts comes above nights out, music, food, pets, babies and weddings, according to the study.

The study polled more than 3,000 Facebook users in the U.K., Germany and Scandanavia, but Lee McCabe, head of travel for Facebook, said the company would conduct a similar study in the U.S., and he said he expected the results to be similar.

McCabe said that because travel is so ubiquitous on Facebook, it's an ideal place for travel businesses to inspire people.

"Just viewing someone's vacation photos on Facebook is a huge influence to kick your friend into the dreaming state," he said.

McCabe said travel marketers could use Custom Audience, a Facebook tool businesses can use to find their customers in their database on Facebook and target them with relevant ads. For example, an airline could use a database of emails of passengers who have flown to Hawaii in the past to reach that same group on Facebook and show them an ad on Facebook for a discounted rate to Hawaii.

Eighty-four percent of Facebook users in the survey said that their friends' and families' holidays inspire them; 65% say that without Facebook they wouldn't know where their families have been on vacation.

Eighty-three percent said that they liked looking at photos of their friends' and families' vacations, even if they were not actively considering a vacation. Fifty-two percent said that when they're on Facebook they start dreaming about a vacation, even though they don't have one on the horizon.

And 47% said that when using Facebook they've scrolled through albums to find out more about a destination; 58% said that the experiences of friends and family at a destination have encouraged them to visit a place they hadn't previously considered.

According to the study, 95% of respondents used Facebook during the booking process: They used Facebook to share links to booking sites, to contact those going with them or to post about their plans.

During the vacation, 91% said they went on Facebook at least every couple days. And when they return from vacation, Facebook is the place where 99% of respondents post something on Facebook about their vacation after they return; 32% post even before they get home from the airport.

Follow Kate Rice on Twitter @krtravelweekly.


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