Four Distinct Characteristics of Travelers on TwitterJune 19, 2017
As summer yawns awake, social media is bursting with activity from summertime travelers.
On Twitter alone, 1.8M people express an interest in travel, and more than 812,000 follow one or more of 11 top online travel companies, according to Zoomph’s database of over 208 million enriched profiles.
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To better understand this year’s travelers, I’m tracking Twitter activity around 11 online travel companies–namely, Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, HomeAway, Kayak, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity, TravelZoo, Trivago, and VRBO.
By comparing data around the people who follow these companies (a.k.a., our “Travel Audience”) against the Twitter “General Audience,” I ran across several early findings.
1. The Travel Audience is 23% more likely to be female compared to Twitter’s General Audience.
2. The Travel Audience skews older: 31% of travelers are more likely to be Gen-X, and 42% are likely to be Baby Boomers.
3. The Travel Audience more frequently uses “Travel,” “-lover,” “World,” “Wife,” and “Student” in their Twitter bios.
4. By looking at the common Twitter accounts followed by the Travel Audience, we see that travelers tend to be information gatherers and stay up-to-date on news, whereas Twitter users are more focused on entertainment.
With 67% of the Travel Audience following @TripAdvisor, it’s a dominant resource for planning a trip. By comparison, only 15% of travelers follow @Airbnb—but Brian Chesky can take comfort knowing that his company is the top-followed handle in travel commerce.
Why does any of this matter?
Historically, marketers have relied on pixel tracking or panel data to understand their audiences. But social media opened a floodgate of human data, letting you understand and segment your audience like never before. Since social data is based on real interactions in real-time and over-time, it can be more accurate and return both macro and micro actionable insights. This is gold for marketers in the travel sect whose target audience tends to hop across the internet and send many mixed signals.
Over the coming months, I’ll continue analyzing the companies mentioned above. These analyses will look at social posts mentioning the official Twitter handle of each company, which are being tracked by a social listening feed in Zoomph. This feed may include hashtags or Instagram content later, but no matter what, I’ll always implement a consistent approach across brands to maintain a valid data set. Stay tuned!