Social Media Users Travel Trends

Found this on Travel Mole today and thought it was worth sharing:

Destination marketers, take note: Travelers who have embraced various forms of social media and/or mobile devices are significantly more likely to use the Internet to select their leisure travel destination, says a recent study.

Eighty-two percent of social network users selected their leisure travel destination online in the past twelve months, versus just 68 percent of non-users. The same pattern of online destination selection holds for micro-blog users (83 percent) and mobile early adopters (91 percent).

That and four other travel trends from recent PhoCusWright Consumer Technology surveys include these (available to buy online):

Despite advanced mobile devices like the iPhone making headlines almost daily, the majority of travelers are not using their phones to visit travel-related mobile Web sites or make travel reservations. “Travel companies, however, would do well to pay close attention to the small but enthusiastic minority who are using their mobile devices for advanced travel-related activities,” says PhoCusWright. “These early adopters tend to be young, arguably hip, and, most importantly, frequent travelers.”

“Travel reviews have a significant impact on booking decisions, and, for now, are cited as influential more often than any other type of social media. But not all reviews have equal sway,’ concludes another report. Their location and content have an effect on how influential they ultimately are, with reviews offered via online travel agency Web sites ranking highest.

The most popular methods for online travelers to share their leisure travel reviews involve two technologies that are rarely mentioned these days. “When asked to cite up to three methods they prefer to use when sharing trip experiences or reviews, the largest percentage of travelers opted for spoken conversation in person or via phone, and email, whose death knell was apparently sounded too soon by some online tech prognosticators,” the survey concludes.

“It won’t be long before social media will be as common as mobile phones, and savvy travel companies have already started engaging in this space. But a newer technology seems to have lured some social network users away,” says this survey.

Online travelers who have joined/participated in a micro-blog are also slightly more likely than non-users to have stopped using social networks.

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Women a Powerful Force in Social Media

Came across a press release from the company comScore that indicates more women than men utilize social media sites.  According their study, women spend more time on social networking sites than men. They report that women spend an average of 5.5 hours per month compared to men’s four hours.

Using May 2010 data, comScores’ “Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet” reported that although women account for 48% of total unique visitors to the social networking category, they consume 57% of pages and account for nearly 57% of total minutes spent on these sites.”

In a related feature , Social Times reported on a popular Facebook site and blog, Moms Who Need Wine (MWNW). The Facebook page has more than 275,000 followers and is quite popular. In a recent poll of their followers, the results showed how women can be highly active in social media:

  • 95% of MWNW Moms say visiting Facebook is one of the first two things they do when they go online (38% say it’s the first, 55% say it’s the second)
  • 74% of MWNW Moms log on more than three times a day
  • Seven out of 10 MWNW Moms spend an hour or more each day on Facebook, with 4 in 10 spending two or more hours

Goes to show that as in travel, women are a powerful force in social media.

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