Consumers use a variety of digital tools during their trip planning, such as Google or Tourism Kelowna's website. While these may be the starting points of the consumer's research journey, this is not necessarily where it ends, as social media also plays an integral part of the journey.
While searching and planning for their next trip, a consumer might find your business on Google maps or through your updated Tourism Kelowna listing. From there, some travellers may go to your website while others will go directly to your social media accounts. There are a couple of reasons why the consumer may go to your social channels:
- To be inspired and see what your business offers through the gallery of your latest content.
- To find up-to-date information about what your business is currently offering.
"Recent studies from GlobalWebIndex and Facebook have found that over a quarter of global users between the ages of 16-64 have turned to social networks during their online product research. A sizeable 81 percent of respondents specified that Instagram, originally set up as a photo-sharing platform, is now a consumer search go-to." - thenextweb.com
These studies remind us that it is imperative that your channels are as up-to-date as possible. If a consumer ends up on one of your social media accounts but the content is from months ago, what does that tell them? They might interpret it to mean that your business has closed down. However, if your social media channel is filled with recent content, offering both information and inspiration for potential travellers, consumers may go to your website and eventually purchase your product or book your service. Additionally, strong social media content creates an opportunity for consumers to interact with your account and amplify your message with their followers, especially once they've used your products or services and want to promote their positive experiences.
Updating your social media channels regularly is even more important during COVID-19 since things are changing frequently and consumers want to have the most current information about your business' offerings and health and safety protocols. Make sure your hours, contact information, and website are all accurate so potential customers can easily get in touch with you. If your social media accounts appear inactive or have outdated information on them, it could be costing you business. Make sure you are reaching those who use social networks as a research tool and keep your social media accounts regularly updated with fresh content.