Virgin Holidays is harnessing the power of social media in its new Trending Travel Guide in a bid to get away from the perceived bias of other review sites.
The new tool, which has been built in partnership with the Forward3D digital agency, brings recommendations from millions of social media posts together to give an accurate view of each destination.
James Libor, senior manager, media, digital and brand partnerships at Virgin Holidays, explained that the company wanted to take a different approach to influencing where customers go on holiday.
He said that with conversations about travel going on at scale on social media, it was a good place to look for recommendations.
“We wanted to find an innovative way to tap into these conversations and present them back to our customers. Essentially, we felt that the power of thousands of individual experiences and suggestions aggregated together could be a hugely beneficial reinforcement,” Mr Libor added.
The fact that social media has become a powerful tool for brand and performance marketing has not passed Virgin Holidays by. It has collected data from the space to drive action and create a different kind of authority.
Tom Bowers, senior content marketing manager at Forward3D, pointed out that younger holidaymakers are increasingly turning to social media to research a potential trip. It is, therefore, time for brands to move away from generic keyword-led articles and embrace this trend.
By using a social listening tool like Crimson Hexagon, Virgin Holidays has been able to collate social media posts and remove the ones offering negative sentiments.
The attractions are ranked based on the opinions of millions of users, with Virgin Holidays then adding its expertise with insights into why the top experiences have been ranked so highly.
Every day, the list of recommendations is updated, offering the most accurate view of what’s trending in destinations around the world at any given time.
On top of the social media curated information, the brand has also enlisted a number of influential travel writers to create exclusive content that can’t be found elsewhere online.