How to travel agents can utilize social media for marketing to travelers in 2020

Engage every generation with these marketing tips

Social media marketing for travel agents is a key part of the digital strategy, but when you’re creating audiences and thinking about what to post, it’s essential you consider just who you’re trying to target.

As explored in our latest ebook – a guide to the travelers of tomorrow broken down by generation – each generation is using the internet differently, and each has their preferred social network. 

This article will explore the different networks that each generation uses, and how travel advisors can capture the attention of potential clients by utilizing it as a marketing tool. 

For more in-depth analysis and actionable tips, download our ebook now: GENERATIONAL TRAVEL TRENDS 2020: A GUIDE TO THE TRAVELERS OF TOMORROW FOR TRAVEL ADVISORS

Social media marketing to Generation Z: under 25 year olds

The first truly digital native generation, Gen Z have the most interesting habits when it comes to social media and internet usage. In relation to travel, they are incredibly discerning, obsessing over reviews and recommendations (sometimes reading up to nine or more reviews) before booking, and are often influenced not by brands or travel companies, but by friends and online influencers.

Bedsonline How to travel agents can utilize social media for marketing to travelers in 2020
With smartphone use at its highest among this generation, there’s a lot to learn when it comes to social media. If you’re looking to attract Gen Z travelers, don’t turn to the likes of Facebook.

"Gen Z aren’t exclusively using one platform, but each platform seems to be popular for different things. Snapchat is where they tend to post videos or selfies most, and Facebook seems more organizational, with over a third of the generation using it for creating and checking out events."

For travel advisors, Instagram seems to be the key network for reaching Gen Z, as it’s on this image-led platform they are most likely to follow brands. This means you’ll need a photo-first strategy, with striking pictures and engaging but genuine captions in order to bring in this type of traveler. 

Find out more about Gen Z and their travel and booking habits by downloading our ebook.  

Social media marketing to Millennials: 25-43 year olds

According to the Center for Generational Kinetics, Millennials have been advertised to more than any other generation today. This means they are well-versed in spotting ads versus non-commercial content online, and likely have a bit of advertising fatigue. That’s why it’s essential to know how to use social media marketing to engage Millennial travelers.

Bedsonline How to travel agents can utilize social media for marketing to travelers in 2020

Millennials prefer content over straight-up adverts, so consider a less salesy approach. Can you inspire them with fun facts or fascinating stories? Perhaps you can link your social media content with whatever’s trending on Netflix among the age group, as studies have shown a rise in TV and film-inspired travel.

"This generation also cares about reviews, so if you’re selling products that have fantastic testimonials, shout about it online."

Facebook seems to be the network of choice for Millennials, so get yourself a profile and start telling the stories behind your brilliant trips. There’s more insight into Millennial travelers in our ebook. 

Social media marketing to Generation X: 44-55 year olds

Gen Xers tend to split their time between new and traditional media, so consider a cross-platform, online/offline marketing approach for these travelers. Facebook is by far the most popular network among Gen X; studies show less than half of them are on Instagram. 

Bedsonline How to travel agents can utilize social media for marketing to travelers in 2020

"As a generation who worked throughout the Great Recession of 2008, this is a group of travelers who really appreciate value and discounts. This means hitting them with special offers on social media is likely to garner the most interest. "

Exclusive discounts for your Facebook followers will go down well among this generation, or giveaways and competitions through the likes of Instagram could work well. 

Social media marketing to Baby Boomers: 56-74 year olds

Interestingly, while the shift to mobile for marketers has been a big deal over the last few years, Baby Boomers are still a desktop generation. Studies have shown that almost a third of Boomers will use a laptop or PC to shop online, while only a quarter are using their mobile devices. 

Bedsonline How to travel agents can utilize social media for marketing to travelers in 2020

"This doesn’t mean they’re not social media savvy, though, with over 80% belonging to one social network at least. Facebook is by far the most popular channel among Boomers, and it’s a great tool for luring them in to seek out more information. "

They often use social media to garner inspiration and will visit company websites or Google things as a result of seeing them on Facebook and other networks. 
As we discovered in our latest ebook, which is all about selling to the various different generations of travelers in 2020, Boomers are big on hotels and love to travel for longer periods than other generations. When targeting Baby Boomers, use your social media channels as a way to dangle a carrot – hook them in with something enticing, then direct them to your website for more information.

  1. The state of Gen Z 2018; Center for Generational Kinetics
  2. Marketing, Selling to and Employing Millennials (aka Gen Y); Center for Generational Kinetics
  3. Marketing to Millennials; Lyfe Marketing
  4. Marketing to Baby Boomers; Keap
  5. Generational marketing tactics; Wordstream
  6. The Three Ps of Gen X Tech Use: Plugged In, (Social) Platforms and Privacy; emarketer


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