New research by online marketing agency, Gravytrain, has revealed that one in six UK consumers would consider using social media to engage with a holiday provider.
The study of 2,000 consumers, conducted by OnePoll, showed that a third of those who were ‘comfortable’ about engaging with their holiday provider, or potential provider, on Twitter, Facebook or another social channel, would be happy to purchase a holiday via these routes. Some two thirds of those surveyed would be happy to ask questions about their holiday or destination before travelling, 60% were willing to complain about poor service and 42% would consider ‘liking’ or recommending a holiday firm via social media.
Overall, younger people were found to be more comfortable engaging with operators through this media, with more than 20% of 18-24 year olds, and just 10% of the 55+ age group doing so. Some 40% of respondents aged 18-24 agreed that a friend, family member or acquaintance recommending a holiday provider on social media would make them more likely to buy these services, while just 20% of the 55+ age group said the same.
When asked about what reservations they would have when communicating with travel operators via social media, 39% cited a lack of privacy, while 13% were worried about not speaking to the right person and 9% mentioned a slow response or a lack of sufficient information as a worry.
Kevin Taylor, CEO of Gravytrain, said: “As digital and social media continues to evolve, it is vital that all providers seek to engage with consumers in this way, and for those targeting younger age-groups this could be particularly valuable. However, this does come with a caution - no business should jump into social media feet first. Companies need to seek advice to avoid being bombarded with requests or complaints that they simply can’t handle, as this in itself can damage a reputation.”