Beyond the Social Media Glitterati

Social Media is a place of the perfect mirage. This is a mirage which convinces the end users into believing the authenticity of flawless imagery of travellers having the times of their lives. But there’s more to this Social media glitterati than meets the eye.

Digitization has brought along a sense of transparency in our lives. Right from travel photographers to food bloggers, we can follow, connect with people and take a peep into their lifestyle the moment we want. A majority of the working population is busy in their 9 to 5 jobs – some trying to make their ends meet, others living the childhood dream by creating a niche in the area of their expertise. When these people open up the social feed on their phones, they just scroll through posts that tickle their sense of wanderlust. Instagram photos aesthetically shot at exotic locations, Facebook posts shared from attractions across the globe, and Tweets appreciating regional cuisines – Social Media has proven to be a platform of influence for potential travellers.

Inside the Mind of a Potentially Disillusioned Travel Buff: Underpinnings of Social Media and Influence of the Travel Industry

The globe-trotting lifestyle does seem very enticing on first look. On the surface, happy, smiling individuals who have let it all go and have adopted the nomadic way of living, are the biggest motivators for travel. The visual medium is one significant contributor for people to be inspired, and for travellers to inspire. Yet, most people can hardly afford to grab the next flight to their favourite destination and simply dash off.

The accessibility quotient definitely has a big role to play in this newfound urge for the wanderlust. Let’s break down this mechanism:

  • Scrolling through the social media feed on their smartphone, end-users (say, Segment A) spot photos and videos that they ‘like’, and hence interact with them.
  • This affinity is tracked by the algorithms on almost every social network – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You name it.
  • Travel companies get into the game by creating posts similar to the ones liked by the users, or by sponsoring the posts that are travel-oriented.
  • The ad platform on these social platforms is tailored to depict all statistics for marketers to identify and act upon these specific users, the Segment A.
  • Over time, the same end-users start getting more of these enthusiastic travel lifestyle photos.
  • Humans are designed to take action if the initiative for action is simple and seemingly conducive. The click-through impact of these social posts goes through the roof.
  • This is where the travel agencies jump in by banking on these split-second decisions that lead the users to instantly plan out their whole itinerary.

Content drives influence. This influence, however, can also lead to an illusion in the minds of the consumers. This results in a modern form of peer pressure. However, based on their own cognition and lone decision making, most end-users have are bound to take more practical decisions.

Image Source

Image Source Content platforms have been focusing on creating content that appeals to the millennials and their urge to break the shackles of everyday life. Millennials have long been considered to be prominently impatient – metaphorically hoping to build Rome within a day. This early expectation also drives them into having inflated ambitions that other age-groups have a hard time adjusting to. Yet, it’s difficult to fight that instinct to click on that promoted Facebook post that leads directly to booking that Airbnb shelter and buying that Airplane ticket.

The Middle-ground?

Leaving everything aside and letting go of the professional commitments is less realistic than the filter-addicted social platforms make it seem. This is also the reason why there has to be a middle ground, one that brings along a sigh of relief from the complicated professional ongoings.

One point needs to be taken into perspective here: it’s much more practical and achievable if people plan out an occasional week off, relieving them of their professional commitments. Not everyone lies in the same spectrum of career choices and/or professional being that allows them to leave a trail of their lavish, nomadic lifestyle across the globe. This segment of potentially enthusiastic travellers is inclined towards opting for that occasional breeze of wanderlust that fits in with their profession.

Travel itineraries are difficult to schedule and might as well end up into a phase of procrastination for the preoccupied individuals who have a tough time accepting the millennial trend of following the heart. With work stress pushing people to look for a brief hiatus, the travel industry probably needs to tap into this practical aesthetic while keeping their ambitious Gen-Y strategy in tune with the presently digitized world.

There is a particular enthusiasm surrounding the newfound urge for the wanderlust (that people can brag about on their social profiles). But come the next decade, this digitized nomadic lifestyle is sure to adapt and creep into further segments of the working population. The travel ecosystem is in a transition that is sure to mature into a more practical, encompassing approach.

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