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Need to reach the summertime traveler? Tap into social media data

Whether people are planning on sleeping under the stars by the campfire, relaxing on the California beaches or backpacking through the European countryside, chances are they’re doing a ton of research for their next vacation. That means finding package deals, cheap airfare, hotel reviews and popular local activities, among hundreds of other items on their to-do list.

For marketers in the travel industry, this is primetime. This is the time when they need to reach potential travelers. But to do that, they need to create memorable messages that resonate with a would-be vacationer. And to do that – they need to truly understand who the consumer is, what their interests are and what is most relevant to them today.

Social media sheds light on consumers’ summer travel plans

At Experian, we recently leveraged our Social Media Analysis to dig a bit deeper into the demographics, preferences and social behaviors of consumers talking about travel and vacation on social media.

Our findings:

We first noticed that more than 12 percent of the consumers discussing travel plans, also hashtagged “beach” in their posts – good news for businesses in coastal communities. But successful brand marketers go beyond hashtags, reposts and shares. Understanding the types of brands, as well as social media influencers these consumers engage with, enable travel marketers to optimize content and deliver meaningful messages.

Not surprisingly, we found that these consumers were more likely to follow and engage with brand categories including airlines, media companies and hotels. Additionally, these consumers were also more likely to follow and engage with social media handles related to mainstream news (i.e. New York Times, Mashable and Time), travel enthusiasts (i.e. A Luxury Travel Blog, TripAdvisor and Guardian Travel) and comedians (i.e. Sarah Silverman, Bill Maher and Russell Brand).

Our analysis also revealed nearly 60 percent of consumers discussing travel plans on social media were female, while more than 47 percent of consumers fell between 31-50 years old. Additionally, these consumers were more likely to reside in Washington D.C. (2.1 times more likely), Washington (1.3 times more likely) and Vermont (1.3 times more likely) than the average social media user.

Consumers who talked about travel and vacation were also more likely to fall within the life stages Experian refers to as “Urban Edge” and “Jet Set Urbanites” based on our Mosaic® lifestyle segmentation system. People in the “Urban Edge” segment tend to be younger, up-and-coming singles. They live big city life styles near the top metropolitan markets. “Jet Set Urbanites” though, tend to be affluent singles and couples living high-rise fashionable lives in the city.

At the end of the day, each consumer is different. But social media provides marketers with a unique view into the preferences, behaviors and opinions of their target audience. It’s up to marketers to take this information to deliver powerful and meaningful messages that resonate with consumers. Those that do will be able to help consumers plan for their next vacation.

Interested in learning more about how you can leverage consumers’ interactions on social media to learn more about your customers or prospects? Or if you’d like to speak to someone at Experian Marketing Services –  email targeting@experian.com or call us at 877-902-4849.

*This research is based on data from Experian’s Social Media Analysis, which leverages SpotRight’s active Twitter user profiles. Active is defined as consumers who have tweeted in the past 12 months.