Nearly half of holidaymakers expect to use social media to make customer service enquiries

Around half of all holidaymakers expect holiday companies to use social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to deal with customer service enquiries, a survey undertaken by Bluestone National Park Resort has found.

But social media is still used predominantly by the public to find special offers and to enter competitions within the UK travel industry.

The results from the survey by Bluestone, a luxury all year and all-weather short break destination in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, highlights how social media is now one of the most important tools that guests expect to use to engage with their holiday provider.

Out of 1,166 people from throughout the UK who responded, nearly 70 percent of those questioned said they used Facebook to interact with holiday companies.

Of 993 people who answered “what do you expect to see or do with a holiday firm on social media”, 49.8 percent said they expected to make customer service enquiries.

  • 87% used it to see special offers from holiday firms
  • 69.7% used it to enter competitions

Only 37 percent used it to see product updates from holiday companies, while just 17 percent used it to enter topical debates.

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said they didn’t use social media to talk to holiday firms.

Social media channels used to interact with holiday companies:*

  • Facebook – 69.8%
  • Twitter - 26.3%
  • YouTube – 18.1%
  • Google+ - 16.8%
  • Pinterest – 9.9%
  • LinkedIn – 9.3%
  • Foursquare – 0.3%
  • Don’t use social media – 23.7%

 *1,166 respondents

“Our survey demonstrates how any holiday firm not engaging with its guests through social media will be left behind,” warned Yvonne Buckingham, Head of Marketing at Bluestone.

“Potential and existing guests see social media as a way of talking to their holiday provider. It’s more about customer service than just a marketing channel and it's crucial for holiday providers to be able to answer questions and interact with people through these mediums or face losing sales or even face as a result.”

When asked what they expected to see or do with a holiday company on social media:*

  • See special offers – 87.0%
  • Enter competitions – 69.7%
  • Make customer service enquiries – 49.8%
  • See destination updates – 38.4%
  • See product updates – 37.3%
  • See regular posts – 35.6%
  • See company updates – 35.1%
  • See topical discussions – 17.0%

*993 respondents