Could Twitter’s new Buy Now button gain traction in travel for in-destination bookings?

Along its journey to commercialization, Twitter has been experimenting with elements of e-commerce to turn tweets into transactions.

The idea is that a business can push out a media-laden tweet with a call to action that results in an actual purchase. This would then be further enhanced by recently added engagement platforms, such as Periscope.

One of the first brands to test this out for live events was the Atlanta Hawks, the American basketball team. In order to fill seats at the last minute, the brand tweeted out a promotional message offering a limited number of tickets at a reduced price — and available only via Twitter.

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Not only does this create excitement for the brand, it rewards fans for following the Twitter handle and encourages non-followers to follow in order to see the latest offers.

Could this functionality have a place in travel?

The ability to purchase travel through Twitter might seem to be a bit challenging, but there are a few key use cases that would be interesting for a transition from broadcasting to conversion on Twitter.

The first is regarding airfare deals. Promoted Tweets can be targeted to specific users via geography, which means that exclusive airfare deals can be pushed out only to those folks who may have interest.

The specific flights could be limited by time and place, encouraging more spontaneity and last minute bookings.

In fact, airlines could even boldly offer last-minute seats on flights that haven’t filled up. This might be something more suited to low-cost carriers; nonetheless, e-commerce on Twitter brings up a new channel for revenue management.

The next use case is for tours and activities. This is a very streamlined application as these travel items are low-cost and generally ticketed — very similar to a basketball game.

A tour operator or DMO could have a regularly scheduled feed that pumps out bookable tours and activities for specific locations.

Finally, hotels and other local hospitality businesses could provide a similar “local to do” stream. This becomes a value-add to the on-site experience while reducing the stress on the concierge during busy periods.

Hotels could also offer their own package deals to compete with the likes of HotelTonight, sweetening the deal for a last-minute booking with something like a complimentary breakfast to avoid publicly discounted the rate.

We’ll keep an eye on Twitter’s moves to become a transactional tool — for those with large followings, it might be time to start testing in order to determine what works best.

Perhaps conversion is not why followers are there, or perhaps it’s a matter of the right deal/right time/right prospect. The only way to know is to test!

NB: Clickable image courtesy Shutterstock.

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Nick Vivion

About the Writer :: Nick Vivion

Nick helps brands blog better at Ghost Works, a boutique blog management service. Nick was previously the Director of Content for tnooz, where he oversaw the editorial and commercial content as well as producing/hosting tnoozLIVE.



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  1. Drew Meyers

    Man, “buy now” would become so irrelevant so quickly…unless geo was built in. Imagine getting buy now offers for in destination activities for all sorts of random locations that you’re not in. That would get old, really quickly. I’d probably unfollow every single one of those accounts really quickly.


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