google travelThere’s no denying that the internet has altered aspects of the travel industry. As capabilities increase online, more opportunities emerge for both professionals and consumers – with social media playing a vital role in it all.

Social media is important within nearly every industry – but especially so within travel and hospitality. It allows for companies to connect with consumers in new ways, as well as communicate and share pictures and information more effectively. This digital and social branding provides profitable reach potential.

Connecting consumers with each other, social media has evolved “word-of-mouth” recommendations. For example, vacation pictures posted on Google+ by one user can pique the interest of many more – leading to increased search inquiries and traffic. Social media is an excellent discovery and research tool.

TripAdvisor recently conducted a survey to determine the top social sites consumers turn to for travel research and planning. Google+ was second only to Facebook, with 40% of consumers citing G+ as their go-to resource.

22% of those respondents found Google+ to be the most useful network – far above others like Twitter or Instagram. This is largely due to the valuable integration of Google’s search and social features. When a consumer conducting travel research turns to Google+ as opposed to another social network, they reap the benefits of the world’s top search engine.

On Google+, those consumers will find travel articles, photos, brand or business details, destination facts or statistics, and Zagat reviews. The unique combination of professional and user-generated information, G+ streamlines SEO and social efforts. Together, these work to increase visibility and traffic.

When consumers search on Google, they are also shown Google+ results on the right side of the page. Social results for the Phoenician resort are shown below:

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The above information improves brand credibility, increasing the likelihood of customer acquisition. For those in the travel industry, Google+ is the ideal resource to attract consumers and influence decisions. Social networks often lead consumers to search engines for more in-depth research, and in this case, it will lead them right back to Google’s social side.

To optimize your presence on Google+, contact ZOG Digital for an SMO audit today.