Luxury brands ‘failing to exploit social media’

Luxury brands ‘failing to exploit social media’

Connections Luxury Phuket: Eighty senior buyers and suppliers met in Phuket last month for Connections Luxury’s second Asian event, sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Rose Dykins reports from Thailand

Luxury travel brands could be bolder and more experimental with their use of social media, according to philosopher and online presenter Jay Shetty.

Speaking at Connections Luxury Phuket, Shetty said: “Before I got on to a flight to LA, I tweeted about my favourite pizza place in the city, mentioned that I really wanted to watch a certain basketball team play during my visit, and that I couldn’t wait to check into my hotel – and no one responded.

“How amazing would it have been if each of those had tweeted me back, or if they’d collaborated? Or, what if Uber had reached out and offered to transport me to each of those places?

“I’m fascinated by how brands get closer to their people, and I don’t think it should be that difficult based on the technology available to us today.”

Shetty highlighted the role social media plays in influencing consumers’ booking decisions.

“Three out of four people put their holiday pictures on social media, and 87% use social media as a way of researching where they should travel to next,” he said.

“So it’s a real missed opportunity. I’m not sure there’s enough experimentation with social media in the luxury travel industry. I haven’t noticed any adverts or brands doing anything groundbreaking in this space.”

He added: “User-generated content is huge – look at having hashtags that your holidaymakers can use, or just watch what they’re posting. Grabbing that content and using it as a way to promote your brand is definitely a smart thing to do. Use social media analytics tools to get to know your audience better.

“If you know that somebody has booked with you, why not take a look at them on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, because that’s going to give you a much better insight into what they are like. You can improve your service and your marketing just by knowing who someone is.”

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