Written By: Andy Ogg – Editor for Travel Professional NEWS
In an ever evolving world of technology and social media, the hashtag has become one of the most viral and effective ways to store, search, and browse content on the web. The hashtag, or better seen as the # sign, creates it’s own library of images, blogs, tweets, and much more using the hashtag as the clarifying and searchable function.
There is no doubt that in the past 24 hours you have heard, seen, or read an article with a hashtag attached to it. Industries and businesses such as cinema, television shows, restaurants, political advertisements, radio stations, and so much more use the hashtag to spread word of their message to not only you hearing or seeing their message, but they hold high hopes that you will then share the message to all of the people that follow you.
The use of a hashtag has become widely accepted as a median of message delivery between cultures, locations, and industries. The inception of the hashtag began in 2009 and has revolutionized social media and interaction to the core by expanding the user interaction to create and share their own content with the world. In the travel industry, the room for expansion using hashtags is unstoppable as a branding and advertising tool and just opening the door to this new marketing avenue may have great returns for your business.
As a travel professional, part of your service to your customers could be to set up a hashtag for your customers to document their trip. Say you have Bill Jones heading to St. Lucia next month with his family, a part of your specialized services could be the creation of a hashtag such as #jonesvacation. This would allow for friends and family to follow the Jones vacation in real time from all of the members of the family using that hashtag. The Jones would be able to document their trip and re-live it each day by simply looking under than hashtag.
We all know the importance of branding your business and the use of hashtags for that can be effective and powerful in the acquisition of new customers as well as creating a following.
There is 5 hashtag guidelines that can help you and your customers share their trip as well as research their next trip!
- What are you doing?
- Where are you?
- Who are you with?
- Why are you there?
- What is your message?
Let’s imagine a scenic tropical beach, a cool drink to sip on, and the blue of the ocean expanding into the distance. We may see the Jones family use the following hashtags to describe the image and share it.
#relaxation #stlucia #beach #paradise #family #jonesvacation #muchneeded #perfection #abctravel
These hashtags would allow for their photo to be seen under each and everyone of those hashtags. Now, if you have a customer looking to travel to St. Lucia in the future, you may suggest or review some of the photos containing the hashtag for #stlucia with them to see some user generated content of unique attractions, tours, restaurants and even smaller properties or accommodations for them to stay at.
When a customer appreciates and cherishes your unique service, requesting them to use a hashtag that you have created for your business is not a request seen as far fetched in todays online driven culture. Most individuals would gladly hashtag your businesses name on their adventure as a thank you for your service but also for their photo to receive more attention.
Now as a business, maybe you already share and post photos of your speciality, if that is the case, make sure to include some of the Top 10 travel hashtags to increase your reach to new markets by utilizing a few of the hashtags below that will work best for you.
#travel #vacation #travelgram #instatravel #tourist #getaway #traveling #ilovetravel #visiting #travelpics
Just a quick example but the hashtag #travel has over 50,731,361 images currently hash tagged, I would say that the market reach is more than acceptable.
Needless to say, the power is there and it’s just a simple matter of learning, applying and using! The hashtag has become a daily occurrence for us all, so why not push your business to the forefront of the competition by stepping outside of the box and creating your own sequence of hashtags that will expand your reach and create more of a following?