Social media has etched itself into so many of our daily routines. Most of us don’t even realise how much we use it until a family member jokes that we skim through Facebook like it’s the morning paper. And who can blame us? Social media has become a means of consuming content tailored to individual taste and it’s in our human nature to become addicted to things that stimulate our senses.
Like a suitcase and a holiday, the travel industry and social media go hand in hand. Using social media as a tool to initiate, develop and maintain client relationships may be the best marketing trip your agency will ever take. Here are a few things you should know before you join…
Build Relationships Through Transparency
Mark Zuckerberg once said, “by giving people the power to share, we’re making the world more transparent,” and he was right. Let’s not forget the reason platforms like Facebook and Twitter were invented in the first place. Travel agencies should view social media as a communication tool rather than a form of potential income. Taking part in travel discussions and sharing content from different sources will help to create familiarity between you and those that cross your online path. If you need somewhere to start, join our conversation at #tech4travel on Twitter.
The Visual Experience
Did you know that vision is the most well-developed of all of our senses? Yep. People are more likely to remember details of a photograph than a paragraph of text. Take your connections on a visual journey through use of imagery, infographics, videos and memes, but be selective with the content you use and avoid clogging newsfeeds with full albums. Many travellers enjoy sharing their experiences on Instagram. It’s selection of 20 filters have revolutionised photo-editing since its inception in 2010 and there will be no shortage of content for travel agencies joining the hype!
Blog Like You Mean It
Blogging and sharing is a huge part of the networking experience – especially for travellers! There are countless travel blogs out there that have been successful – go get some inspiration from them! Creating content that your audience both want and need will increase your search engine ranking, making it easier for travellers to find you online. Need a few tips? Don’t throw keywords in where they don’t fit – you’ll be tricking no one. Instead, blog to let your customers know that you’re an expert in your field. Come up with a strategy, research the latest travel trends, take on interesting topics and answer common questions.
Researching keywords is a great way to discover questions commonly asked by travellers. You can do this by typing the beginning of a phrase into the Google search bar and taking note of any suggestions. Google’s suggestions are an attempt at connecting users with content they might be looking for which makes this an extremely helpful tool for marketers!
For example, if you type “best Greek” into Google, the suggestions are “best Greek islands to visit”, “best Greek restaurant London” and “best Greek islands for beaches.”
Customer is King
Over recent years, social media has become a customer service tool with online users targeting official company pages to publicly express discontent over bad experiences. This is no different for travel agencies but don’t worry – bad feedback is sometimes inevitable and it will give your agency the chance to flip the situation around and openly regain trust through great customer service. And it works the other way too! Happy customers will enjoy praising your agency through reviews and recommendations enticing others to use your service. Facebook, TrustPilot and TripAdvisor are all trusted sources for reviews.
Customers like to know that someone is always there throughout their journey with your brand and social media platforms will give them easy access to your information at any given time. For example, your bio is at the forefront of your social media page. If your agency specialises in affordable Euro Trips, write about it there so it’s the first thing they see when they visit your page.
Deal or No Deal
Customers are always dreaming of a getaway. Showcasing deals and packages in a creative way on social media is likely to win dreamers over. This “window shopping” experience is an essential part of the conversion process. If your agency is best known for selling African safari’s, try sharing promotional videos and imagery of wildlife in Kenya and the package will sell itself.
Get Serious About Social
If you’re not already reaping the benefits of social media, now’s the time to jump on board.
Here are a few tips to help you along the way…
- Verify your Facebook page to boost your agency in the search bar which will increase the possibility of engagement.
- If you don’t have the manpower to manage multiple platforms, then don’t! Focus on maintaining one platform to a high standard rather than joining multiple networks and neglecting them.
- Post regularly and consistently so your followers know when to expect you!
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