Discuss about the Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Social Networks In Business In Tourism.
The report will discuss in detail about the advantages as well as disadvantages of social media in tourism. Social media can be treated as a modern tools or technique for the marketing managers who are specifically looking for ways to get their message out to the audience. This medium has some benefits and drawbacks and tourism-based companies, and other companies as well are struggling to understand the right method to utilize it. It is imperative to completely understand the risks since the field is still very new and it is further very difficult to test all kind of qualifications that any expert can offer for the services (Luo and Zhong, 2015).
The literature review will discuss in detail about the social media and its role in tourism industry. It will discuss various advantages and disadvantages of the social network while using it in tourism. The study will highlight all the advantages of the social network which help companies to discover more about getting in touch and communicating the message to the target audience (Zeng and Gerritsen, 2014). On the other side, there are some disadvantages as well, and it is important to conduct different kinds of studies that will help in gaining complete knowledge on how to use social media in the tourism industry.
Advantages of social networks in tourism
Following are the advantages of social network in tourism based industry: -
- Understanding the customer: to reach the targeted audience with the help of some marketing efforts, it is important to know and understand the potential users and their needs and demand. It is different from the traditional form of marketing, and this is why, social media can be treated as a tool for communication where one listens and also take part in the conversation which takes place around the brand or products (Zeng and Gerritsen, 2014). Therefore, companies need to ask some important questions like do people wants to be interested in the product or the services or do they want to know where people live and some vacations that one can take and participate in social behavior. By paying attention to the conversation among the customers about the industry companies can deeply understand deeply about the needs, issues, and trends of the audience which can also impact the overall marketing based efforts. There are so many hard facts, and social media network can help in collecting that data (Munar and Jacobsen, 2014).
- Competitor's analysis: the tourism based industry is very high on competition, and it is also better to keep a close eye on the competitor's activities. This is why social media is the great method of doing this and since visiting the websites helps in conducting a particular researched which is entirely based on specific keywords. It is also important to keep an eye on the competition which can be taken as a good method to analyze what people are doing and also especially understand what one is not doing. This helps in generating high marketing based options for the companies (Bosun and Modrak, 2014).
- Communication with the audience: the social network is not just the place for selling stuff but also considered as a place to communicate and also engage with the customers. By asking specific quirks as well as responding to some feedback along with sharing the content which helps in creating some value for the company and also helps in engaging with them, companies can go closer to the number of loyal followers as well as some important customers. For instance, a tourism based company which is promoting a specific destination can need people who just visited the place. The interaction with such customers will help in creating an opportunity to further an affinity based on brand and association with the users (Oeldorf-Hirsch et al., 2014).
- Recognition of the brand based advocates: these are those kinds of people or consumers that not just like the services and packages offered by the company but become loyal customers by commenting on the services and new products on the routine basis. These days, this is done on the internet on various social network platforms. In the tourism industry, word of mouth promotion and also getting number of different reviews become an important option for the business since many people look for reviews especially when they are traveling to the new place. The brand advocates will assist in creating a base for impartial or unbiased reviews and further assist the marking efforts by the company (Sigala, 2014).
- The value of great customer service: a good and impactful customer service is at the core of every tourist based business. In addition to great services as well as products, customer services help in making an important difference which helps in retaining the current customers and at the same time gaining new customers. The platform of social media is a great method that assists in delivering the customer service in a prompt manner and also responding to queries on social media brand pages, however; it is also based on searching for interaction around the company in another kind of platforms and also responding to various doubts. Post vacation conversation is imperative for someone especially when they have the liked the experience or read a good review on a social network (Sigala and Chalkiti, 2014). This is why social network platforms become a good medium to sell the packages online since these little things can impact the overall decisions of other considering the destination which ultimately drives a rise in the overall visits.
Disadvantages of social network
Usage and application of social network are time taking process, and it also invites a lot of hard work from the companies. A senior level manager with proper experience and knowledge for the company as well as services many hands handles the presence in the social network. Also, the overall cost in time also refers to the media which is not free altogether. It is a continuous process to understand various new kinds of angle about the product and also post data related to activities of companies. The information can be seen on different platforms (Turban et al., 2015). Also, publishing obviously is based on advertising and is unacceptable on social network platforms. This is why managers must present the data in the form of interaction, or there are chances to lose the customers.
Working on social media to promote the company comes with a lot of risks and one has to keep constantly updated with disgruntled consumers can write anything which will negatively impact the reputation of the company. For instance, each post on Twitter is in public to see, and one has no control over people reaction to the services. Therefore, bad news can go viral in anytime and that too very easily and create a lot of harm for the business. A number of the tourism based company also work from website format to reach customers directly, and there is also a risk of viruses and malware or problems like lack of control over different content or hijacking of the brand. In the end, some unrealistic expectations come from the customers as some of the main risks of social network (Stewart and Shamdasani, 2014).
The concept social networking means combining the traditional kind of marketing with social media techniques which are a strong addition but not a complete replacement of traditional marketing methods. The concept of a social network is also is a move towards communication shown in some possibilities like blogs or social networks. It is not only helping in facilitate the overall exchange and information sharing in real time. Also, the feedback is immediate which is in a unpolished manner and helps companies in understanding the customers' expectation (Leung et al., 2013).
Luo, Q. and Zhong, D., 2015. Using social network analysis to explain communication characteristics of travel-related electronic word-of-mouth on social networking sites. Tourism Management, 46, pp.274-282.
Zeng, B. and Gerritsen, R., 2014. What do we know about social media in tourism? A review. Tourism Management Perspectives, 10, pp.27-36.
Munar, A.M. and Jacobsen, J.K.S., 2014. Motivations for sharing tourism experiences through social media. Tourism management, 43, pp.46-54.
Bosun, P. and Modrak, V., 2014. Using the Delphi method in forecasting tourism activity. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, (25), pp.66-72.
Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., Hecht, B., Morris, M.R., Teevan, J. and Gergle, D., 2014, February. To search or to ask: the routing of information needs between traditional search engines and social networks. In Proceedings of the 17th ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work & social computing (pp. 16-27). ACM.
Sigala, M., 2014. Customer involvement in sustainable supply chain management: A research framework and implications in tourism. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 55(1), pp.76-88.
Sigala, M. and Chalkiti, K., 2014. Investigating the exploitation of web 2.0 for knowledge management in the Greek tourism industry: An utilisation–importance analysis. Computers in Human Behavior, 30, pp.800-812.
Turban, E., King, D., Lee, J.K., Liang, T.P. and Turban, D.C., 2015. Electronic commerce: A managerial and social networks perspective. Springer.
Stewart, D.W. and Shamdasani, P.N., 2014. Focus groups: Theory and practice (Vol. 20). Sage publications.
Leung, D., Law, R., Van Hoof, H. and Buhalis, D., 2013. Social media in tourism and hospitality: A literature review. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 30(1-2), pp.3-22.