Travel brands using BeReal, as well as TikTok and Instagram, can boost their standing with Generation Z travelers if they emphasize being authentic in their content instead of focusing on going viral.
Marketers that believe the photo sharing app BeReal is a fad might need to take a second look. The platform, which was launched to promote authenticity on social media and combat its negative effects, has grown in popularity with travel brands looking to make inroads with Generation Z travelers.
Tourism Fiji is one of those brands incorporating the app into its marketing strategy, and it opened an account on the France-based platform in 2022 to give locals an opportunity to show travelers the country outside of its resorts. Skift examined the rise of short-form content in destination marketing efforts to reach Gen Z travelers in a 2023 Megatrend.
“We watched the rise of BeReal and felt its ethos perfectly aligned with Fiji’s. We saw an incredible opportunity to become the first destination in the world to create an account,” said Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill.
“The app gave us a chance to show Fiji requires no filter at all, so we set out to upload unedited images.”
BeReal gives users two minutes to produce a post after altering them to show others what they’re doing at a random moment during the day. The content Tourism Fiji gathered inspired a new campaign celebrating the International Day of Happiness, with Hill stating its long-term goal is to produce a realistic image of the country.
“It is an authentic way to show would-be holidaymakers what they can expect,” Hill said.
Catalina Serrano, the global intelligence lead for customer experience at marketing consulting firm Findasense Global, believes the app suits companies emphasizing authenticity in their marketing efforts.
“BeReal … is attracting audiences who are tired of filters and fakes,” Serrano said. “Brands who use it build a more genuine bride to their audience.”
Tourism Fiji is not alone among travel brands looking to reach out to younger travelers via BeReal. Spain-based travel agency B Travel gave discounts to the first customers contacting the company on BeReal, and it has plans to boost its presence on the platform.
“We have future projects on BeReal that would suit us very well,” a representative from B Travel’s parent company Avoris said.
Marine biologist and travel blogger Pilar Escribano also speaks highly of BeReal. “I want to show a more real image. We are not always traveling or doing interesting things all the time, we have mundane moments like anyone else,” said Escribano, the creator of the website Traveleando.
Escribano does believe that BeReal presents challenges to marketers though.
“The app just allows posting one picture a day with a byline, without letting you add context to the place you are at the moment of posting,” she said.
That could change change as the app continues to evolve. BeReal’s popularity is expected to surge, having been named by Apple the iPhone app of the year for 2022. A little more than 10 million people used it daily in February 2023. But why would travel brands emphasize it instead of TikTok or Instagram?
Serrano believes the platform is valuable for companies looking for a boost other than simply attracting more followers.
“BeReal offers unique characteristics and it makes efforts to be inclusive and diverse, creating a safe space for people of all cultures, identities and backgrounds to share and experience,” Serrando said.
Surely the travel industry can find a use for such a platform.
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Tags: destination marketing, fiji, marketing, social media, tourism marketing, travel marketing
Photo credit: Tourism Fiji has used the BeReal app in its marketing efforts. Tourism Fiji