Mapping the holiday purchase through social mediaNews / Distribution | OnlineBy Viewpoints | July 15, 2015Share This article was originally published on Humans have an innate desire to share. The more connected we are, the more we share and where billions of us choose to share experiences and emotions is on social media.By using advanced social media analytics tools any organisation can map the customer’s purchase journey with the data they provide on social, ensuring we target the right consumer, at the right time with the right message, resulting in the right ROI.NB: This is an analysis from Guy Purchase of social media analytics firm, Crimson Hexagon.Consumers love talking about holidays but they don’t just talk about being on the holiday itself. This is crucial in mapping the journey. The holiday is the delicious treat but there is a plethora of ingredients that go into making it happen: the initial trigger that makes you desire a holiday (shared on social)asking for recommendations (shared on social)travelling to the destination (shared on social)post holiday emotions and experiences (shared on social) The customer’s journey to purchase a holiday in the digital era, is shared by consumers on social platforms. Anything from "I need a holiday" (initial consideration) to "Just got back from holiday, would love to go again" (post-purchase) is documented online.By identifying where the customer is on their journey, be it browsing destinations or writing a hotel review, you can target them with an appropriate content experience that will engage them.Knowing when to deliver the right contentBy pulling data on consumers at the start of their journey, we can look at trends about when they start desiring a holiday.We can see that, although there are conversations throughout the year, there is a surge of people talking about needing a holiday at the start of April which carries on through until the end of August.Providing the consumer with a content experience that fulfills this desire to go on holiday will thus resonate more from April to August.Knowing what content experience to deliver up and whenSocial Data analytics has moved on from just touching the surface (positive or negative sentiment) and can now dive deeper into the data enabling companies to gain actionable insights.We can sort the data into customised categories to discover what type of holidays consumers desire to go on and at what time of the year these initial triggers occur; further insight into what content experience the consumer wants to be served up.We are only analysing data for consumers that express an initial desire to go on vacation. So only posts like 'I need a vacation'Tempted to go away''I’d love a trip to' are pulled from the social platforms.https://twitter.com/HarmoniousDiVa/status/489210195755548672The analysis shows us that more consumers begin to express a 'need' for a beach holiday from late March onwards. The volume rises to a peak during mid-June before tailing off in August. For skiing vacations, we see more consumers begin wanting to get away in November.Desire for a Disney break is more consistent throughout the year although it does suffer a drop during the months of July and August.It is also possible to go further with the analysis to uncover the destinations that consumers express a desire to go to.The absolute key here is to use the insights to tailor the content experience being served up to the consumer based on where they are in their purchase making decision and what they’re interested in.(Click on image for bigger version)A look at an affinity monitor can add further insights into what type of content will resonate with a target audience. The graph below illustrates what those with an affinity to Disney post, read and share on social, as well as the followers of those users.The further left the interest is, High School and SnapChat, the greater the affinity the Disney user has compared to the rest of the population of Twitter.The larger the bubble, Basketball and One Direction, the greater share this interest takes up among those talking about Disney.Offering an amazing hotel deal for a beach break has a greater chance of enticing consumers if delivered between April and July. Equally, sending out visual content via SnapChat of a magical moment at Disneyland Paris in August is less likely to be engaging.Great content will only truly be engaging if it is served up to the right person, who is at that right stage of their purchase decision. It is context that tells us this.With the context that social data now provides us we can reduce the guess work and target the content experience to the right customer.NB: This is an analysis from Guy Purchase of social media analytics firm, Crimson Hexagon.NB2: Travel image via Shutterstock.