Industry experts warned that while embracing social media is paramount to reducing friction in the online travel journey for customers, it should be handled carefully.
The warning of mishandling social came at Travolution’s first Digital Lunchbox event, hosted by Facebook and sponsored by d-flo and Intent Media.
Speakers Stephanie Uhlig, managing director UK at eDreams ODIGEO and Dan Robb, director of digital marketing at Tui Travel spoke about how repeat business can be won.
Robb said: “We see social media advertising as being more fundamental than ever in terms of direct response and booking in the future.
“We have used it more of a branding tool previously but social listening has been embedded in our business for about a year and a half.
“We treat it [social media] very differently for proactive and reactive communication. When you are being proactive I feel strongly that you should work very hard to craft your messaging.
“This needs a degree of skill and control and your message about your product and business should be very well thought through.
“However if you are being reactive people are looking for a much more personalised approach – they don’t want it to be content driven.
“The consumer often wants it to be humble, as a lot of reactive work is on complaints. That lends itself much more to leveraging all of our staff to do something in social, but the proactive stuff is more editorial led.”
Uhlig added: “The number one element for customer trust is having a clear strategy and a team.
“Social media is so different to sending emails. Twitter users expect a response within an hour – 48 hours isn’t good enough.
“With that follows responsibility, trust and good reputation. It’s fundamental.
“We have made it a real priority and have a team of about 10 people in Barcelona who are purely supporting social media.”