Facebook Targets Travel Companies In 2014

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Facebook plans to launch events, research and ad targeting improvements in its aim to see more travel companies add the platform to their digital marketing mix.

Last week, the social media giant presented a study by researcher Sparkler to existing and prospective travel clients. The research helped Facebook to highlight the social network’s key role in the five core stages of going on holiday: dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing and reflecting, Marketing Week reports. The study revealed that Facebook makes 52% of its users start thinking about a holiday even when they haven’t booked one. Nearly all (95%) of Facebook users also access the site to search for activities associated with their vacation before heading off.

The results from the study are expected to help travel companies understand why adding Facebook to their advertising spend is worth the money, Facebook UK measurement solutions group head, Andy Pang, told the publication. Travel marketing is now broadly associated with search as its primary tool, but usually this mechanism fails to deliver the desired results in the buying and planning stages. At the dreaming, experiencing and reflecting stages of travelling, it is friends and family in pictures that have a greater influence than a photo of a desert beach in a glossy brochure, he said.

As part of its ambition to make travel a “key sector focus” next year, Facebook will also stimulate industry players to make use of its new Custom Audiences tool, which allows companies to connect their CRM databases with the network’s own user data, helping them better see what their customers want. The social network is also fine-tuning its ad targeting tools for brands, allowing them to identify consumers likely to book their vacation in the short run and more likely to engage with an ad as a result.