In a report published by immediate future, more than one million social conversations were analysed to provide insights as to how travel brands can optimise their social marketing to influence purchasing decisions and return on investment.

Customer conversations mentioning travel, flights, hotels and associated keywords were analysed from March 2014 to March 2015 to gather a better understanding of where UK travellers were talking in social, what they were talking about and what motivates social activity along the customer purchase journey.

A clear pattern emerged with the volume of social content produced throughout the customer journey and how that content influences customers who are in the planning stages of their holidays.

The report found that 23% of travel conversation in social takes place on holiday and 27% after the holiday predominantly across Facebook and Twitter. This conversation motivates 37% of people to make a travel purchase based on customer reviews and feedback.

Added to that, a recent Facebook study revealed that 68% of consumers agree that reviews give them the confidence to book a holiday with 76% agreeing that reviews offer insider knowledge not available elsewhere.

Given these insights, travel brands can capitalise on the social conversations taking place in the ‘Experience’ and ‘Post Purchase’ stages of the customer journey.

Katy Howell, CEO for the digital consultant company, said: “By drilling deeper into the customer journey and taking into consideration peak conversation times and the key emotions expressed at those times, brands can create annual content plans that deliver tangible results.

“For example, unsurprisingly most of the UK talks about being on holiday in June, July and August but the desire for a holiday peaks in April, June and September. Brands who don’t capitalise on this sentiment are missing a trick when it comes to increasing ROI through social”

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