With social media proving to be the most cost-effective and impactful way of directly getting engaged with younger consumers, travel companies have begun to invest time and resource into this space for faster outreach and connection, finds GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s Job Analytics Database reveals that there was a 175.8% increase in social media-related jobs in the travel and tourism industry from 2020 to 2021. This showcases that an increasing amount of travel companies have acknowledged the importance of social media for brand engagement and customer service.

According to GlobalData, *30% of Gen Z and *32% of Millennials state that direct engagement with a brand is a key driver of a purchase. These percentages are significantly higher when compared to Boomers and the Silent Generation, with *13% and *4% of these cohorts perceiving direct engagement with a brand to be a key driver, respectively.

Ralph Hollister, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “A travel company’s success with Millennials and Gen Z can now be determined by its performance on social media, with positive performance and service levels on these platforms encouraging brand loyalty while boosting visibility.”

Ryanair is a leader in terms of encouraging brand engagement through social media, with 1.6 million followers on TikTok.

Hollister continues: “Ryanair has gained a mass following on platforms such as TikTok because it capitalizes on viral content such as memes that are entertaining and relatable. This social media strategy allows the company to already be in the minds of its next generation of customers. It also creates differentiation, as the airline can cultivate its own distinct personality through the content it posts.”

Additionally, social media allows for widescale company contact through direct messaging services, allowing for enhanced levels of customer service. Dutch airline KLM considers social media to be an integral part of its customer relationship strategy. Since 2010, KLM has gained a reputation as a pioneer in the field of social media by consistently adopting the most advanced social media-related technologies, such as AI and voice-activated technology to boost service levels. As a result, KLM now offers a 24-hour customer service platform via various social media sites, in 10 different languages.

Hollister concludes: “With social media’s ever-growing popularity, travel companies have moved to where their younger customers are. As such, social media will continue to grow as an integral part of travel companies’ strategic operations as specific roles and teams managing social media output continue to be bolstered at all major companies.”

*Data from GlobalData’s Q1 2021 Consumer Survey with 21,768 respondents.

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