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TripAdvisor has introduced a game changer in the world of online travel planning. They have essentially created a social media platform for travel and appears to be the first of its kind. The platform ‘goes social, gets personal’ and encourages users to get relevant information and inspiration to create their perfect trip. The platform connects travelers with big brands, travel experts, social media influencers, and even their own personal friends. They have introduced brands such as National Geographic, the Travel Channel, Business Insider, GoPro, and TravelBabbo. “TripAdvisor is poised to disrupt the travel industry once again as we create a more personalized and connected community,” said Stephen Kaufer, CEO & co-founder of TripAdvisor.

It’s no secret that TripAdvisor has a huge global impact on travelers and businesses respectively. TripAdvisor boasts over 760 million reviews and opinions covering the world’s largest selection of travel listings, as well as approximately 8.3 million listings for accommodations, airlines, experiences, and restaurants. TripAdvisor-branded sites are also available in 49 markets, and are home to the world’s largest travel community of approximately 490 million unique monthly visitors.

So what’s different? TripAdvisor have added a social feed to their already existing booking/review platform. When a member logs onto TripAdvisor, their homepage is transformed into a personal feed – similar to that of Facebook – with posts from brands, influencers, and from the users/companies they follow. This feed typically includes posts that include links, videos, trips, and more, all depending on who they decide to follow. It allows the brands, influencers, and regular users to create, promote, and share their desired content.

On the social feed, there is an option at the top of the page to ‘share your travel advice’ and a section on ‘who to follow’. There is also a section called ‘from the community’, which contains a host of articles, blogs, and ‘trip’ packages designed to give inspiration on places to stay, eat, and various activities worldwide. After you search for a specific location, for example Sydney, members may see a review of a popular restaurant, a friend’s reaction of a hotel, or an influencer’s interactive map of ‘must do’s’ while in Sydney.
Another interesting addition is the new ‘trip’ feature. Users can create personal travel guides that display their recommendations on an interactive map. While using the map, users can see photos, reviews, comments, etc. written by the creator, with the aim of creating a complete trip package. It’s an opportunity for the user to make their own specific recommendations about a destination and to help interactively guide travellers to a decision about what to do while in their chosen location.

Every travel related business should have a presence on TripAdvisor, big or small, but how could you benefit from the TripAdvisor social platform(opens in a new tab)?

Depending on the size of your tour business, you can spend some time on the new platform adding insider material to your channel. This may include personal photos, behind-the-scenes videos, a background into your guides etc, with the aim of creating a rapport with brands or influencers in your area. It also will help create a more personal, friendly feel and travellers who see this may be more inclined to book a tour with you. Having a number of different tours could play to your advantage too. Once you’ve built up a rapport, you could get involved with a company or influencer in your area and be included in their ‘trip packages’.

The platform is still gaining momentum and it’s not entirely certain if it’ll explode or fade away like so many other social media sites have done in the past. But for the moment, pay attention to it, use it as a sharing platform, and work to slowly build up a profile. Regularly add your most up-to-date content and photos, and be on the lookout for potential partnerships and opportunities in your area. If you’re still looking for TripAdvisor tips, check out our post 37 Ways to Dominate TripAdvisor(opens in a new tab).

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