A healthy skepticism can be a good thing when it comes to social media, as it is a new idea for most hotels and destinations. But for the general public, your target audience, social media has become a part of everyday Internet life. The benefits of social media are real, abundant and measureable.

The Internet has changed. What was once an efficient one-way communication device has evolved into an interactive, two-way communication tool. Consumers are now driving the content of the web. Gone are the days when hand-written comment cards would reside at the bottom of a dusty box in the lobby. Today’s digitally driven consumers now broadcast their experiences directly online via social media. The information that they post is instant and public. The reality is that consumers, some with the even the slightest technological know-how, are using social media to speak up, regardless of whether or not you are participating in the conversation. With over 44% of all Internet users active in social media, the phenomenon has matured to the point that it can no longer be passed off as a fad. The time to get involved is now.

As a cardinal rule, it is important to remember that involvement in (and success with) social media takes time and commitment. Your efforts will not come to fruition overnight. Social media must become a habit and extension of all other marketing activities. The objective is to be able to prove to past and potential visitors that you are listening and you care, which goes a long way in building consumer trust.

Read on to uncover the various benefits of social media, demonstrating its critical place in your overall Internet marketing strategy.

Social Media Benefits

Benefit 1: New Marketing Channel - Social Media allows you to push content quickly and cheaply to a primed audience.

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