Social media, once seen as the newest gleaming fad, is maturing while showing not a hint of waning popularity. The immense amount of activity, across a wide spectrum of social networks, indicates the “fad” shows no sign of lost significance. U.S. travelers are adopting and participating in a growing number of new networks, in addition to the well established social networks. Social network engagement has led a growing number of travelers to turn to social media for, not only sharing their travel experiences, but also researching their trips in advance. The Phocuswright, Traveler Technology 2014 Survey, in addition to mobile adoption and mobile travel trends, examined the social media use of U.S. travelers as it relates to their travel.
Several important takeaway statistics, from the Phocuswright report, which generally reveal the extent of social media participation by U.S. travelers.
- Almost nine out of every ten travelers (89 percent) were active participants on at least one social network during 2014.
- Eight in ten travelers log into their social network accounts every day, with a further 26 percent continuously logged into their social accounts.
- Traveler participation on specific social networks is up across the board (with the exception of LinkedIn). Numbers for a variety of networks include Facebook (83 percent), Twitter (38 percent), Instagram (29 percent), and WhatsApp (17 percent).
- Nearly four out of ten travelers (39 percent) post comments and photos to their social networks while they are traveling.
As these numbers indicate, social media participation by U.S. travelers continues to expand despite speculation to the contrary. Demographic trends from the Phocuswright study further support this growth. Additionally, the growth trends are favoring social networks, which cater toward mobile devices, involving easily shared posts, which tend to be highly visual in nature, particularly among younger travelers.
- Use of the newer social network platforms, Instagram in this example, is most prevalent among 18-24 year olds at 56 percent and is 44 percent in the 25-34 year old demographic.
- The most popular activity for U.S. travelers on their networks while traveling is the sharing of travel related posts. 43 percent of travelers posted about their trips on at least one social network. Furthermore, 24 percent post to travel review websites about their travel experiences.
- Among U.S. travelers who are active on social networks, 36 percent will search for travel deals on social media and a further 21 percent will share those deals. 27 percent will seek travel tips from their social media connections, while the same percentage are willing to follow travel brands on their social networks.
Social media networks continue to grow and expand, not only in membership, but importance to the daily lives of the users. As travelers increase their engagement on the various social channels they will also increasingly turn to social networks for research and sharing all aspects of their travel.
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