I came across an article that proposed the question: Is social media in travel over-hyped or under-hyped? It brings up a few travel brands that are using it well but then goes on to explain that the influence of social media on travelers tends to remain a bit on the weaker side, and that travelers are still getting their information from more traditional sources.
I agree that it’s probably somewhere in the middle (you can be over-hyped, or under-hyped, can you simply just be “hyped”?), but if I had to proffer a guess about what the future has in store, my estimation would be that it’s definitely going to become more mainstream (and so, right now, it’s under-hyped).
It just takes a little time. It’s already reached the food industry with specifics like check-in specials, and a lot of people base dining decisions primarily on Yelp reviews. While TripAdvisor may be the Yelp of travel, there’s still going to be the natural inkling to experience things your peers have personally experienced, that you’ve been able to experience with them via the tweets of their vacation of the photos of it on Facebook.
The review of Maui on your friends’ social media pages, the pictures and videos they post, are going to be enough to sway you to book your vacation, whereas before (and this is still, to older generations, considered revolutionary) you’d have to google specific information or images about a destination.
Why bother going to google when you’re on Facebook anyway, and the information you need is there at your disposal?