Excerpt from PhocusWire

On average, working age people are now spending up to two and a half hours on social media platforms each day. And it’s no secret that businesses have taken note, especially new ones that want to make a quick — and inexpensive — splash. 

“For startups it is one of the most cost-effective ways to build brand awareness,” said Martin Stoll, CEO of Sparkloft Media, a creative agency that works with travel brands and has its roots as a social media agency. He calls social media a “must-do for any brand.”

Perhaps no one in travel has taken that more to heart than @hotel, a hotel booking platform that founder and CEO Konrad Waliszewski compared to an “OTA for Instagram and TikTok.” While @hotel doesn’t have the revenue streams of the big online travel agencies, its 60 million followers across social media accounts could make it a force if social media’s role in travel searches continues to grow.

“Social media is the new SEO, and travelers search on Instagram and TikTok before Google,” he said.

But after years of different social platforms taking center stage - some fading out (RIP Vine) and others skyrocketing - which platforms remain relevant for travel startups as they market their product to the masses? Is TikTok most important? Does X — formerly Twitter — still matter?

How do travel startups and businesses decide what platforms to use?

Put simply, different social media platforms serve different purposes.   

The most important thing, savvy users say, is to keep in mind which sites are drawing the clientele they want for their businesses.

“We’ll go wherever our customers are - wherever they’re spending time,” said Kyle Tibbitts, chief marketing officer at Wander, a network of smart vacation homes. “[We’re] agnostic as to which platform wins or loses.”

Strategies have to keep up with whatever platform and content is capturing attention. 

“Our playbooks evolve every single day based on new data insights,” Waliszewski said. “This data continues to unlock new ways to capture attention faster, maintain engagement longer and spark enough emotion or value to be worth a share, save or comment. While the tactics are constantly changing, nailing this dynamic is the key to unlocking viral growth.”

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