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How to capture Gen Z travelers’ interest on social media

How to capture Gen Z travelers’ interest on social media


Social media undisputedly occupies a healthy territory as part of the inspiration and research landscape. But social media’s role in the travel industry goes further than just pretty saved posts.

Social platforms are useful for brands competing for travelers’ attention, and companies have taken note, incorporating social media into marketing strategies for years. But capturing and retaining attention requires careful consideration – especially with an audience like Gen Z – which has grown up with social media.

During a Center Stage panel Tuesday at The Phocuswright Conference in Fort Lauderdale dubbed “Beyond the Funnel,” Kelly Covato, U.S. head of travel for Snap Inc., Sanjay Bhatia, travel industry director for Meta, and Gary Morrison, CEO of Hostelworld, shared insights about attracting that younger audience in a discussion led by Phocuswright senior research analyst Madeline List.

Here’s what to know about capturing Gen Z travelers’ attention on social media.

Travel brands should meet their audience where they are

A great portion of the global population uses social media. But not all members of the population are using social media in the same way. As a result, it’s important to meet your audience where they are – on whatever platform they spend their time on and with products that are appropriate and a fit for their interest.

Morrison, whose Hostelworld mostly hosts travelers between 18 and 35 years old, said its audience is largely fascinated by TikTok, which affects how Morrison thinks about social strategy.

It’s this “huge question of where your customers are,” he said. “And where your customers are … that’s where you need to make sure that your strategy plays out.”

Gen Z is interested in a constant flow of content

Gen Z is certainly not new to social media. With the first members of the generation born in 1997, social media has been a constant part of their daily interactions for the majority – if not all – of their lives.

Snap Inc. has a large Gen Z user base, and Covato said that long history with social affects how Gen Z uses it.

“They come back (to Snapchat) on average anywhere between 40 times a day,” Covato said. “So you’re not needing to create just one piece of content to reach them. You’re going to have to create a large swath of content to really interact with them.”

That “multi-product strategy,” she said, has been helpful in attracting a younger audience that “needs multiple touchpoints to kind of get to the end destination.”

Younger users are interested in “trustworthy” social media content

Bhatia said Gen Z users are “more likely” than other demographics to research brands or products on social media to learn more about what they’re interested in.

In terms of what Gen Z wants out of content, Bhatia said, “they want it to be trustworthy. They want it to be informative. And they want it to be authentic.”

Watch the full discussion below.

Beyond the Funnel – The Phocuswright Conference 2023 Meta, Snap and Hostelworld



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