Yesterday, we posted about moms who are researching online before purchasing. They’re not alone. Travelers are also looking online and specifically for others’ opinions before booking trips.
Research shows that 95% of travelers trust reviews, and 78% say they reinforce their booking decisions. They also appreciate when hotel management responds to reviews. It improves their impression of the hotel. Moreover, 80% say reviews for hotels where they stayed are accurate.
On the flip side, half of travelers will not book a hotel with no reviews.
So what do travelers look for on sites with online reviews? Number of reviews, images followed by quality.
Women, particularly mothers – who represent a $2.4 trillion market – are making about 83-87 percent of purchase decisions in American households.
In March 2013, Mom Central Consulting surveyed 900+ moms to understand the power of peer influence on these purchasing decisions. The results showed the following about moms:
99% research products online before purchasing; of which, 87% specifically look for first-person recommendations. Marketers need to engage with consumers to get feedback and address it to maximize positive brand sentiments.
81% read 5+ blogs per week, which confirms the importance of encouraging online influencers to blog about your brand.
76% trust social media recommendations for products before purchasing them, and 69% are more likely to purchase if a product is recommended by those they follow on social networking sites.
MMC CEO Marina Maher had a lot to say about networking as a way to build your career and your business in a recent panel discussion hosted by sister agency Ketchum Public Relations called, “Make Your Relationships Count.” You can catch some of what she had to say here on Ketchum’s blog..
“Networking is like oxygen,” Maher said, “I live it, I breathe it, it gets me going.” She suggests that in addition to networking at trade shows, where everyone else is looking to meet the same contacts, you should network in “other swimming pools” where there is less competition. Another great tip: if you’re hesitant to ask someone for a favor, such as an introduction to a business prospect, instead ask for their advice. People like to give you their advice, Maher said. And they often end up suggesting they make an introduction for you.
The panel was hosted and facilitated by Barri Rafferty, CEO of Ketchum’s North American operations. Other panelists included Carol Brodie, CEO and Creative Director of Rarities Fine Jewelry; and Dawn Robertson, CEO of Nygard. Other topics discussed included how men and women network differently. If you want to hear the whole hour-long session, click on the link.
Social media is changing the way we receive news; I’m sure you’ve heard this or experienced it before. Over the last couple of years, I’ve learned of major news, whether it be related to pop culture or politics, through Twitter and Facebook: the passing of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, the reelection of President Obama, the death of Osama Bin Laden, the discontinuation of the Twinkie – the list goes on.
Yesterday I saw an update flash across my Tweetdeck that hit too close to home. It read, “#PrayForBoston”. Having grown up in Boston my whole life and being a Boston University alumna, I know firsthand what a special day Marathon Monday is to the city. It’s a day of happiness and celebration. People from all over the world flood Boylston and Beacon Streets to cheer on strangers as they race towards the finish line. In a matter of seconds this was tarnished, and here I was watching it unfold on Tweetdeck. With my younger sister, and many friends in Boston for the marathon, I began to panic and jumped on the phone to get in touch, only to hear, “The Verizon Wireless customer you are trying to reach is not available.” My parents, who both live in the Boston area and are not quite social media savvy, learned of the news thanks to my (frantic) calls. With phone lines jammed, we all immediately thought the worst. Not too long after, I began to receive Twitter notifications and Facebook comments from friends and family. They turned to their social networks to notify loved ones of their safety. For the majority of the day, that is how I stayed in touch with my little sister and how I learned that my friends and their friends were safe.
Social media has been changing our culture for quite some time. It changes the way we do business and how we find opportunities for ourselves and our clients. It’s fundamentally changing the way we learn things about the world, and how we relay that information to others. Yesterday, for me, it changed the way I connect with loved ones. Who knew a “like” on Facebook or @reply on Twitter could bring such relief? Being connected to social networks is important and beneficial for many reasons, but knowing these tools could be instrumental in alerting someone of my safety or of something of critical importance, changes the way I will be thinking about them, and using them, in the future .