Exclusive ITB Feature:
Social media is becoming more and more important as a means for advertising products as targeted advertising increases and travelers actually do the marketing work themselves.
Social networking giant, Facebook, offers an insight into the tastes and habits of its users, as well as their travelling habits, according to Andy Pang, measurement lead in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Facebook UK.
Talking to delegates at ITB Berlin, Pang said 97% of the people who go online while they are on holiday use that time to check their Facebook pages with a similar number - 91% - using the site at least every couple of days.
"It gives us a strong and rich data sources as to how people travel and use Facebook when travelling," said Pang. "62% of people said they wouldn't know where their friends or family went on holiday if not for Facebook. It is by far the biggest outlet for travel sharing experiences and we can use that to our advantage."
While psychologist Stanley Milgram's 'six degrees of separation' theory posited that all people on earth could be linked through six others, Facebook has reduced that number to four on an international scale and three within countries, said Pang, although he made no distinction between Facebook friends and those who users had met in real life.
As such, Pang said that Facebook is social, but still "really there" for advertisers or businesses to market their products.
Bringing up a graphic built from data of people 'checking in' on the site from departure and arrival data, Pang added: "Looking at data from the first six months of 2012, we can look at behavior. One thing you can do is plot it over time and see what are the up and coming routes and destinations. Having this level or data crowd-sourced in this way is data that we can use."This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted. Pete is a British print journalist based in Berlin. Originally from Liverpool, he has been a reporter since 2007 and since then specialized in financial journalism. Pete has lived in four countries and has ambitions to increase that number saying that the only way to really live life is to constantly wake up in a new, exotic location.