Social Media and Tourism
Posted on May 14, 2012 by Gemma Dixon - Leave a comment
While New Zealand’s adoption of social media and mobile internet use may not be at the same level as some countries around the world, it is becoming increasingly obvious that New Zealand tourism organisations must be willing to be in that space to help bring more international visitors to New Zealand.
A large part of access to international markets comes down to technology. It was mentioned a number of times at TRENZ2012 presentations how important social media and electronic media are in creating this access to new and existing markets, and converting potential visitors into actual visitors. It also has huge potential in helping increase awareness about what New Zealand can offer, and offers a whole new medium for access that previously did not exist.
Indonesia is one of the key markets New Zealand is currently focusing on, and they are a classic example of why a focus on digital media such as social media is so important in helping promote our country to this market and bringing more visitors here.
It was stated that Jakarta, for example, is ranked the number one city in the world for Facebook adoption, with 17.4 million accounts, and Indonesia is ranked 6th in the world for twitter adoption. Indonesians love to use social media and share their photos online and connect with their friends. They are heavy users of mobile and staying connected electronically. 60% of their total internet access is now through mobile devices.
The reasons for being so connected in this way are due to a number of factors, for example:
- Their society is already social and collectivist
- Due to travel restrictions and congestion it is often easier to connect digitally
- Telco’s giving free access to Facebook and Twitter, making it even easier to stay connected.
So while adoption in New Zealand is not as high as some countries and some people may not see the need to be involved this digital space, the reality is that a lot of the rest of the world is in this space, and this is how they are choosing to connect and research.
Adding to this is the research that the Nielsen group has recently released that says that 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. And the new way of distributing this information and connecting through word-of-mouth is online and through social media.
Building awareness of our country and what can be done here is an important part of marketing our country going forward and cementing a new perception of New Zealand, and there is huge opportunity to utilise mediums such as social media to help with this. The high trust that people place in word of mouth and recommendations from friends just adds to the importance of utilising social media in the tourism industry.
It is important that we understand how other countries are communicating and where their influences come from so we can successfully reach them with our messages of New Zealand and why they should travel here.
For more information on Indonesia and Social Media visit http://socialmedianz.com/opinion2/2011/11/11/putting-the-social-back-into-indonesia%E2%80%99s-media/