Travel industry is facing a hard time in churning profits from social media networks. Being in the recreation industry, travel agencies are the most likely candidates to convert a social network like Facebook and Twitter into a money-making machine. However, recent report from PhoCusWright says that percentage of users being referred to a travel booking website is in single digit percentage number.
“Everybody and their grandmother might be on Facebook, but that hasn’t made social media an actionable and profitable marketing medium,” said Douglas Quinby, PhoCusWright’s senior research director. “Travel marketers are obsessed with that last click that actually books travel, but (consumers) aren’t necessarily going to Facebook with a buying intent.”
Social media is widely considered to be a platform of sharing happy thoughts, travels, food and so on so forth. Therefore, recreational travelling seems to be the perfect candidate to make it a money-machine. But majority of the users go to social networks to share their experiences.
However, despite the lacklustre performances by travelling agencies and hoteliers on social networks, these firms say the main objective of their presence on these websites is not to make money but get a feedback on the services and connect people with each other to create awareness.
“We use social media primarily as a way to communicate important information and stay in touch with customers and potential customers,” Priceline spokesman Brian Ek said. “If it results in bookings, that’s great.”
If that is the case, other industries, even the closest ones to creation industry, will have a tough run in making money from the likes of Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and Twitter. Considering hospitality industry and travelling business the most likely incumbent to social network advertisement, retailers might not have a slightest chance of making any money.
Facebook, shortly after going public in May this year, were pressured to increase profitability. Their main focus has since then been on advertisement. The recent report might not bode well for their future investments in this particular profit-creation tool.